By Kelly Baughman
The skies are a little bluer over the Gulf Coast as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels have returned home from their training facility in El Centro, California for their 2019 season. Now in their 73rd year, the Blue Angels established the foundation upon which flight demonstration exists today. With each performance, the Blue Angels strive to embody the commitment to excellence and passion their predecessors had for naval aviation.
Around the country, the team serves as ambassadors of goodwill by bringing naval aviation to men, women, and children across America. The precision flight demonstrations showcase the professionalism, excellence and teamwork found in all Navy and Marine Corps units, as well as provide the thrill and magic of flight to people each year.
Named after the famed 1946 New York City Blue Angel nightclub, the Blues flew their first airshow in Jacksonville, FL on June 15, 1946. Since its inception, the team has flown for more than 500 million spectators worldwide. As some of the most skilled pilots in the world, the Blue Angels fly just 18 inches apart during their diamond 360 maneuver. Talk about precision!
Want to see the nation’s most elite flight squadron in action? Head over to the National Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola to the viewing area for visitors to watch the team practice. The team visits the museum to answer questions and sign autographs after most Wednesday practices.
Upcoming practices include April 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 30 and May 1, 7, 14, 15, 28, 29. All practices are at 11:30. Practices may be cancelled on short notice due to weather and operational commitments.
Make sure to put the Blue Angels 2019 Pensacola Beach show on your calendars, to be held on July 11th this year.
The 2019 Blue Angels Flight Team includes:
#1 | CAPT ERIC DOYLE | USN – Flight Leader / Commanding Officer
#2 | LT JAMES HALEY | USN – Right Wing
#3 | LT JAMES COX | USN – Left Wing
#4 | MAJ JEFF MULLINS | USMC – Slot
#5 | LCDR BRANDON HEMPLER | USN – Lead Solo
#6 | LCDR ANDRE WEBB | USN – Opposing Solo
#7 | LT CARY RICKOFF | USN – Narrator
#8 | LCDR ADAM KERRICK | USN – Events Coordinator
LTCOL MARK MONTGOMERY | USMC – C-130 “Fat Albert” Pilot
CAPT BEAU MABERY | USMC – C-130 “Fat Albert” Pilot
For more information on the U.S. Navy Blue Angels or for a complete practice and show schedule, visit www.blueangels.navy.mil.