The Blue Angels is the United States Navy’s flight demonstration squadron that is the pride and joy of Pensacola, Fl. The team demonstrates their talents during the show season (March through November) at various practices, flyovers and air shows. If you like to feel the roar of the jets as they zoom through the sky, you won’t want to miss one of these appearances. A total of 17 officers voluntarily serve with the Blue Angels. The squadron travels all over the United States, visiting more than 50,000 people in a standard show season. The Solos (individual jets in the show) showcase the high performance talents with high-speed passes, slow passes, fast rolls, slow rolls, and very tight turns. The highest speed flown during an air show is 700 mph and the lowest speed is 120 mph. In this feature, find out the dates of the July and August practices, get more information about the Pensacola Air Show on July 14 and read a special Q and A with a Blue Angel!
Q and A with Anthony Rodriguez
1. When did you begin flying for the Blue Angels and why?
I began October 2017, which is when I checked in. I grew up watching the Blue Angels. I‘m from Houston, Texas and always watched them as a kid. I went into the Navy and came to Pensacola as a student and watched them fly over and always really enjoyed how everyone was really happy to see them. Pretty much the positive attitude and it still gives me goosebumps today
2. What is your favorite thing about being a Blue Angel?
I have two. The cohesion of the team is a big aspect. Everybody here is from the Fleet, so everybody comes together and becomes a team throughout their tour here. Another part would honestly be the faces of everybody when they see the planes fly, it’s incredible. I have friends that would come down and just the happiness of seeing their faces when they fly over. The awe, excitement and happiness.
3. What are the Blue Angel practices like?
We pretty much keep it as if we were dong a show. Practice makes perfect so anything we need to do better, we learn from our practices. Therefore, whenever we go on the show we shoot for excellence and the shows are a lot better.
4. What is the process for becoming a Blue Angel?
You have to apply after you get approved from your commanding officer and then an interview with the team between February and May. Then the interviewees are selected and we come here and go through a 90 day program where we essentially become a team and then start going off on the shows. It’s a little lengthy, but its definitely worth it.
4. What is something you want to tell all of the Blue Angel fans?
Anybody that is around the Pensacola area, definitely come check out the show. It’s going to be a great show and we’re fortunate to be here.