WATCH: 1010 WINS Gets an Incredible Ride Over NYC in a Marine Corps Osprey for Fleet Week

Joe Cingrana
May 24, 2019 - 6:19 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Fleet Week has once again arrived to the shores of New York City and that means civilians get a chance to visit the U.S. Navy and Marines on THEIR turf.

SEE IT: MORE PICTURES FROM PARADE OF SHIPS

Warships and aircraft have been docked and on display for visitors throughout the week, after parading into New York harbor with sailors and soldiers manning the rails.

One of those ships, the USS New York, hosted 1010 WINS reporter Al Jones and myself, his producer, amongst a group of other media professionals as the Parade of Ships entered the harbor and docked at Pier 88 on Manhattan's West Side.

The visit started at 4 a.m. at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport, as the crews awaited their helicopter ride into the Atlantic to rendezvous with the ship off the New Jersey coast. Al and I have both covered the military in the past, and were excited to once again be treated to a ride in a Navy aircraft — but we had no idea what we were in for. The aircraft that was on the way to pick us up was the tilt-rotor, vertical take-off Bell/Boeing MV-22 Osprey, flown by Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 -- otherwise known as the "Thunder Chickens." 

The deafening sound as the Osprey landed at the heliport certainly woke up a few New Yorkers that morning. After a brief safety talk and security sweep, we were led into the Osprey to take our seats and get strapped in for the flight. 

Well, most were strapped in. 

I was given the rare and mind-blowing opportunity to be strapped ON to the aircraft’s frame allowing me to roam about the cabin, and more importantly, sit on the back ramp beside Marine Crew Chief Phippen who was in charge of the passengers and equipment for our flight. 

It was the exact same set up he was secured with, which also allowed him to sit on the open rear ramp of the aircraft during the flight. I believe the official military name for that is THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE. 

"When I tell you, you can get up and sit on that box," Crew Chief Phippen yelled to me over the rotor blades, engine sound, and quickly beating hearts about 30 seconds after take off. He then showed me where I could sit on the ramp while looking straight out at the city from a couple of thousand feet. 

So I got up, sat down on the ramp beside him, and we traded looks of amazement and pride for the entire 20 minute trip out to the USS New York. 

It was the ride of a lifetime, one that has once again left me in complete awe at the impressive technological power and incomparable professionalism of our military and service members. 

Thank you to the men and women of the USS New York and the "Thunder Chickens" for the ride of a lifetime, the warmest of welcomes aboard, and for all that you do day in and day out. 

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