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Blue Angels Return To Air Shows Following Last Year’s Cancelled Season

Sequester Of 2013 Prevented Squadron From Appearing At Air Shows


The Blue Angels are back in Wisconsin, performing this weekend at Deke Slayton Airfest in La Crosse after last season was canceled following the federal government sequestration.

Before the weekend’s air show, the crew on board the Fat Albert — a C-130 that functions as the Blue Angels’ logistics plane — simulated what the Marines would do during an operation. C-130s are used by the Marine Corps for refueling and to transport troops. It can take off in small spaces and accelerate and turn incredibly fast.

“Best part of the whole flight, right here,” one crew member said as everyone on board became weightless at zero Gs. A few minutes later, 2G force made things feel much heavier.

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Captain A.J. Harrell has been flying Fat Albert for three years. He says with uncertain fiscal situations, it’s important for the Blue Angels to remind civilians stateside what the Marines and Navy do.

“It’s important for the American people to understand – because if they really do understand what is going on overseas and over the horizon that they don’t see, the value that they get is extreme,” said Harrell.

After the simulation on the Fat Albert finished, the Blue Angels FA-18 Hornets practiced their show. One of the solo pilots is Lieutenant Commander David Tickle, also known as Blue Angel number 5. He said that after a year off, it’s great to be appearing at air shows again.

“Very few people in the American public have ever served in the military,” said Tickle. “It’s very important for us to connect with the public. We need the public’s support.”

The Blue Angels will also be at the Milwaukee Air and Water Show in June.

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