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Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow…

Posted by on November 12, 2016

NOVEMBER 11, 2016

VETERANS DAY WEEKEND. What better way to celebrate Veterans Day Weekend than to attend the Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow at Naval Air Station Pensacola. The show celebrates not only the holiday weekend, but the 70th Anniversary of the Blue Angels team as well.

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Veterans, I salute you!

NAVAL AIR STATION, PENSACOLA. It’s the site for the homecoming show, location of the famed Naval Aviation Museum and home to the Blue Angels, the Navy Demonstration Flight Team. As employer and as home-away-from home to countless sailors of all ages, both enlisted men and officers, the United States Navy dominates the scene. It’s what the town of Pensacola is all about. And the real star of the show is the Navy’s Exhibition Flight Demonstration Team, the Blue Angels.  Or as everyone here calls them, “the Blues.” Old men, young men, boys and girls and kids of all ages are devoted to these guys, the Blue Angels. And the ladies are too. Really! This is the Angels’ home. And there’s not a man, woman or child in the city who’s not keenly aware of it.

 

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Enter the Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola and look up. This is what you’ll see.

THE BLUES. The Blue Angels flight demonstration team is more than just a group of individuals; brought together to represent the United States Navy and Marine Corps. This team combines the best and brightest, at the top of their craft. Their camaraderie and chemistry assure the team mission is more than just a job – it’s a passion!

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Six very elite pilots, getting ready to be introduced to a massive crowd.

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These Hornet Jets fly at speeds up to 500 miles per hour, so it takes a pretty experienced photographer to get nice clear photos. But even though these aren’t as I’d like them, I’m posting so you can get an idea of how impressive the show is. 

SINCE 1946. Since 1946, the Blue Angels have flown for more than 260 million spectators. The Blue Angels are an American air show favorite and delight audiences across the country with their precision, speed and aerobatics. During their aerobatic demonstration, the Blues fly six F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, split into the Diamond Formation (Blue Angels 1 through 4) and the Lead and Opposing Solos (Blue Angels 5 and 6). Most of the show alternates between maneuvers performed by the Diamond Formation and those performed by the Solos.

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The precision is amazing. There are no other words to describe it.

 

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There was an announcer who narrated the show and told us where to be looking for the planes. Without him, we’d never have seen what was coming…things move very fast!

 

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These photos don’t really convey the vibe. It was loud, breezy, macho and patriotic!

 

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Without the vapor trail or smoke I’d never have been able to track the planes.

 

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All six in perfect diamond formation. The Angels look like soaring birds silhouetted in the sky, but in fact they roared by us at between 4 and 500 miles per hour!  

 

 

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One of the crowd pleasers. But then all of their maneuvers were crowd pleasers. 

 

 

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Florence took this shot and it’s the best one of the day.

 

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There were over a hundred thousand spectators. Even with the reserved box seats we had, it was difficult to see all the action. But this photo gives a sense of “how fast” and “how low” they flew by us on the tarmac. 

 

WOW, WHAT A SHOW! Here’s my take. If you’ve never seen the Blues and you have a chance to see their show, do it for sure. It’s hands-down one of the most exciting and exhilarating performances you could ever see. But I’m not sure I’d recommend going a second or third time. It’s an outstanding performance and I left feeling good about our country and our military. But the crowd was huge, many tens of thousands. And both today and in San Diego where we’ve seen them in the past, parking is a nightmare. Cars and buses are well directed and the event is probably as well organized as it could be. But with so many people converging on such a small place at the same time, you can expect very, very long lines for the buses that shuttle you to the airfield and even longer lines at the end of the show when the entire crowd is leaving at the same time. Despite these observations, we had a great time and we’re glad we went. Watching the show, I felt proud to be an American and proud of these aviators who sacrifice so much to keep us safe. Godspeed to each of you!

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I’ll continue my story next time.

2 Responses to Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow…

  1. Kitty

    Nothing like watching the Blue Angels. We saw them at the Miramar Air Show and what a show they put on! God bless them!

  2. Greg Alford

    I’ve seen them at Miramar as well, but their show here was even more emotionally charged here. NAS Pensacola is home to the Angels, and “boy, oh boy” does the town love them! I think there were 120,000 spectators!

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