Augustana Math Professor Flies with the Blue Angels


As a kid, Dr. Timothy Sorenson always wanted to be an astronaut. In July 2012, he got a chance to experience the next best thing when he flew in a $28 million Blue Angels FA-18 as part of the U.S. Military's K-I Rider Program. He was selected, officials say, because of his work to expose mathematics and physics majors to career opportunities in the military, law enforcement and government.

His flight coincided with the Sioux Falls Airshow 2012, set for July 21-22, 2012 on the campus of the South Dakota Air National Guard.

A lover of aircraft and a frequent attendee of the annual OshKosh Experimental Aircraft Association air show at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisc., Sorenson, an assistant professor of mathematics, arrived at the South Dakota Air Base in Sioux Falls 90 minutes prior to take-off for a pre-flight briefing by Blue Angels Crew Chief Kyle Storm. During the overview, he learned about the aircraft and practiced techniques to avoid G-force intolerance.

View photos of Dr. Sorenson preparing for his flight.

With a fresh "flat top" hair cut (in honor of the flight) Sorenson proudly wore a pair of 1956 aviator sunglasses owned by his father-in-law, Chuck Hillstrom, who passed away in late June 2012.

The FA-18 was flown by Lt. Mark Tedrow.

Learn more about the Sioux Falls Airshow 2012.

View the KELO-TV story.

View the Argus Leader video below.

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