Yep, that's Mike in there!
Even though Mike has been flying these super fast jets for a year now, Abby Kate and I just got our first look at him in action on Friday. The squadron held a family day where all the wives got to take a ride out to the middle of the GIANT runway and be literally feet away from where our husbands did their "bouncing." Abby Kate and I were outfitted with earplugs and I had my camera ready. I was told Mike would be flying jet 1-0-0. We watched awhile before the guys got into the air and into their pattern. It wasn't long before 1-0-0 came storming out of the sky and down onto the runway for a quick tap and then back up so fast I'm surprised I aimed my camera successfully. The noise was tremendous. Abby Kate DID NOT like it at first. But the more I explained that Daddy was flying that plane, the more she got into it. She kept saying "Daddy fwies," while pointing to the planes. She even talked on the radio to him saying, "I wubbee" [I love you] - except we found out later we were talking to the wrong pilot. :)
It was so awesome to see Mike fly. It was cool to see his pilot friends and classmates in the jets among his as well. He did very well, which made me feel so much better about him actually landing on the carrier next week. I was so proud of him... he looks dang good in the jet, too! However once you get up close you see the huge, furry mustache he's been growing (a tradition of the pilots that are preparing for their initial carrier qualification). Mustaches look fine on some people, but it doesn't fit Mike one bit and catches me off guard every time I look at his face. I crack up at it. Abby Kate pokes it and says "nassy, NASSY!" [nasty, NASTY!]. haha. He has managed to avoid my camera thus far, but I'll do my best to get a close up of it before he leaves Friday for the boat.