“Blues” Of A Feather
“Blues” Of A Feather Won’t Be Flocking Together At This Weekend’s Airshow
By: Kelly Woodard
The sky will rumble once again as the Navy’s finest provide an action packed weekend on Pensacola Beach this Friday and Saturday, July 11th and 12th for the Pensacola Beach Air Show featuring Pensacola NAS’s own Blue Angels.
The world-famous Navy flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels, will perform exhilarating stunts and heart-pounding maneuvers over the Gulf of Mexico to entertain crowds on Pensacola Beach.
The thrills begin Thursday, July 10th at 2 pm for practice and again Friday, July 11th at 2 pm for a full-scale dress rehearsal. On Saturday, July 12th, the air show begins at noon with “the Blues” taking to the air at 2 pm.
The skies will scream with Navy flight team demonstrations, civilian and other military aircraft performances, and US Coast Guard Search and Rescue team demonstrations. Aircraft and teams participating in the Pensacola Beach Air Show include the Grumman Widgeon G-44 flown by Julian MacQueen, Prometheus flown by Skip Stewart, Team RV, MX2 flown by Gary Ward, Extra 300SHP flown by Kevin Coleman Aerosports, and the hometown favorite, Fat Albert, a C-130 Hercules.
But one high flying Blue Angel favorite will be missing from the mix. “Fat Albert”, the Blue Angels C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, will be grounded for all of this weekend’s shows due to a recent bird strike. The four-engine, propeller-driven plane built by Lockheed Martin routinely demonstrates its tactical flight capabilities at air shows by ascending at a 45-degree, nose-up angle to an altitude of 1,000 feet to simulate operations in combat conditions.
W.A. "Buck" Lee, executive director of the Santa Rosa Island Authority, said of Fat Albert’s absence, “While Fat Albert will be missed, the Navy’s first order of business is safety. A bird strike is serious business, and these things happen. I think that everyone is just excited that the Blues are back so the show will still be incredible.”
For both shows, the water will be cleared at noon by the Coast Guard, and the entertainment will get underway with Julian MacQueen kicking off the show. Breaks will occur between acts to allow beach go-ers time to cool off in the Gulf.
The event is free and can be viewed from both Casino Beach and Quietwater Beach on the sound side. Boats are welcome to anchor on the sound side, but will not be allowed to anchor in the Gulf due to safety reasons.
The event is free to the public. It is recommended that all spectators plan to arrive early as the traffic tends to slow around 10 AM. Toll fees will apply to all vehicles. For more information, visit www.pensacolabeachchamber.com or call 850-932-1500.