Drew Blickensderfer visits Luke Air Force Base I NASCAR RACE DAY

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Drew Blickensderfer and Daryl Motte visit Luke Air Force Base to see what goes into air craft recovery.


DARYL MOTTE: Drew and I are here at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, and this is pretty amazing. You got to do uh, aircraft recovery. It reminded me a lot of NASCAR. Did you see a lot of similarities?

- It's amazing. You know, I was with the crew chiefs here of the F-35s at Luke Air Force Base, and these guys own this plane. Kind of like I feel like I own the 43 car.

It's their responsibility to make sure this thing takes off, lands, and goes through all the maintenance correct. They are in charge of this plane when it's on the ground. They work hand-in-hand with the pilot to make sure it's at top notch condition. So there's a ton of similarities between what I do daily and what these guys are going through here on the Air Force.

SGT. PATRICK MURPHY: Drew did an incredible job out there. When we ran through everything, uh, he made sure that he avoided all the safety areas, any sort of safety concerns. We bought up, chalked the aircraft, parked it, just pretty much right exactly where it needed to be, and everything worked out perfect.

DARYL MOTTE: Now when the pilot climbed down, I saw you guys conferring. It reminded me a lot of when a driver climbs out of the car and you compare notes. What did you guys talk about?

- Well, when he climbed down, you know, they asked me if it was a good flight, everything went well, they got numbers. You know, before he shut the engines down, they talked about how much fuel was on board, how much was going on. It's kind of like the driver looking at the dash saying, my water temp was this, this is where my track bar is at. They're logging information to make sure everything went good, so that tomorrow, it can get back up in the air.


DARYL MOTTE: Did he ask any questions that surprised you?

- No, not really. I mean, you could definitely tell a lot of comparisons between NASCAR and what we do out here. So I think he kind of got the overall gist of it pretty well.

DARYL MOTTE: Now, did you get any feedback on how you did?

- I did not. I'm safe. There's no missing limbs, and the plane is parked relatively close to where it's supposed to be parked. So, I think I did OK. We'll have to see.

DARYL MOTTE: One thing I just want to know. Does it ever get old? Because everybody here that's never been here before, their eyes are just still bugging our of their head. Does it get old?

- Oh, absolutely not. I've been here at Luke Air Force Base for three years. I was at Tyndall Force Base working on a 22 before that. The six years, it never gets old, not a single bit of it. Just knowing that we're the ones that help put those aircraft in the air, it's tough to beat that, all the pride behind it.