The U.S. Navy Blue Angels arrived in Alaska earlier this week ahead of this weekend’s Arctic Thunder Air Show.
The roar of the famed blue and yellow Hornets will be heard as the Blue Angels take to the skies above Anchorage.
“Ever since I came out of the clouds and we descended over the mountains of Alaska, I’ve just been in complete awe. It’s been kind of mixed emotions and feelings being here in Alaska. It’s one of the states I’ve always wanted to visit and it’s truly a blessing to be here,” said Blue Angels No. 4 Pilot, Lt. Andy Talbott.
The elite aerial demonstration team will fly a modified five-jet formation following the loss of their No. 6 pilot early last month. Despite the departure from the usual six, the performance will be nothing short of the prestige of the original beloved Blues.
“High performance maneuvers, very close proximity formation maneuvers. Very precise to show the capabilities of the aircraft as well as our cohesiveness as a team to trust one another. To show you the precision that we actually execute through a flight demonstration,” said Talbott.
Team effort for the high-flying show starts on the ground.
“We work on all the landing gear, all the flight controls, composite sheet metal, all the structural repair. Basically everything you can see on the outside of the aircraft we work on it,” said Petty Officer Mike Hearn, Blue Angels Airframer, “these are old aircraft so it takes a lot of tender love and care to keep them going but we absolutely take pride.”
For some, it’s when the show is over, when spirits are flying high.
“As soon as I land I walk straight out to the crowd and get to sign the autographs for the little kids right on the crowd line, and young adults…really be up close and personal with the locals here in Alaska, that truly is my favorite part,” said Talbott.
Gates open for Arctic Thunder Open House beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday with events until 5:00 p.m.