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Thread: The Blue Angels

  1. #1
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    Default The Blue Angels

    In honor of the pilot who lost his life today, please share your thoughts and memories of watching a Blue Angels performance. Their last time in Hawaii was at Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii in 2004. I was there.

    This is fun... Dale Earnhardt Jr. rides an F-18 Blue Angel. Watch others try to take G's too. Most of them black out or throw up.

    Along with the Navy, there's the Air Force F-16 Thunderbirds.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    The Blue Angels are as much a part of Seattle's annual summer festival, Seafair, as the hydoplanes that race on Lake Washington are. The last time I saw them live was about 3 years ago, when we watched them practice from a park alongside I-90. They love coming to Seattle every year and we love watching them do their aerial maneuvers (especially the fleur-de-lis maneuvers). We chuckle when TV newscasters report on their fighting the G-forces (one local reporter usually has the honor of taking a ride with them and they usually record and broadcast that person's flight, distorted facial expressions as they go into a roll and all).

    One year we didn't have the Blue Angels performing because there were liability/insurance issues, but the public made such a stink about not having them, that they have been coming every year since then. They usually park their jets on Boeing Field next to the Flight Museum for about a week, and every day while they are here, people are just lined up at the chain link fence hoping to get a glimpse of the pilots. They truly are good PR for the Navy. Many kids say they want to be Blue Angels someday.

    I'm sad to hear that one of their pilots was killed in this crash.

    Miulang
    "Americans believe in three freedoms. Freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and the freedom to deny the other two to folks they don`t like. --Mark Twain

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    That's so sad. RIP pilot of plane #6...RIP.

    Here's another accident that didn't end as tragically except for the plane.

    Former Blue Angel, Capt. Stoney Mayock, was a tenant of my dad's for quite awhile. Can't remember what Stoney did in civilian life, altho' realtor comes to mind, but he and Pop became friends.

    My folks and I were invited to a party at the Mayock's home in Laguna Beach, 1977, iirc. Stoney and his wife were hosting the then Blue Angel's who were appearing in El Toro, I think. Dang...this is part of my long term memory which should be at the top of it's game!

    Anyway...it was a great party and I had my Polaroid camera on hand. Somehow...towards the end of the evening...ummm...I got all the Blue Angels autographs...on my...ummm...upper chest...ya know...ummm...between my adam's apple and my cleavage! There was absolutely no disrobing or anything that could be rated R...or X...barely PG! My dad took the picture. It's currently in storage otherwise I'd scan it and upload it right here...as proof! My mom was h3llbent on me hooking up with (as in dating!) one of the Angels...didn't make any difference which one! I didn't...but we all were invited to the performance. Whatta great group of guys.

    True story! Thanks for the memory!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    Sad to hear that a pilot lost his life today in a crash. Here are a few pictures I shot of the Blue Angels when they came to KMCA base in October 2004:



    I'm still here. Are you?

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    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    Huge bummer. I wasn't much of a modeler when I was a kid but I *had* to have the Blue Angels set. I proudly displayed the four planes I built (badly), until all were broken one by one by my own inexpert aerial maneuvers.

    I saw them once at Seafair as Muilang described. I've also seen them numerous times here in the Bay Area at their annual appearance for Fleet Week. Up until a dozen or so years ago they'd practice the whole week before by buzzing the towers in the Financial District. We used to sneak onto the service elevator onto our roof at work for a better view of them against the bay. That was a great distraction from work for employees, but too many people complained and sadly they ended that practice.

    My favorite appearances have been when they'd do a "flyby" during the national anthem at a Giants or 49'ers game. Flying supersonic, you can't see or hear them coming until they are right over your head. There is absolutely nothing as exhiliarating as that pure power sensation when those F-16's come screaming from out of nowhere scare the bejesus out of you!

    While that pilot didn't die in combat, he served his country with as much honor and distinction as any other soldier/sailor/airman/Marine, and for that I thank him for his sacrifice.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    Quote Originally Posted by Pomai View Post
    Their last time in Hawaii was at Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii in 2004. I was there.
    Were you on the base itself? That must've been a great view of it.
    I live near Coconut Island, directly across the water from the base, and had the pleasure of seeing all three shows in 2004 -- two that were open to the public, and one just for base personnel -- from my home. (Well, the last day we watched from a boat anchored off the end of the base runway.)
    But better than that was the practice day before the three days of shows. From 8am to almost 4:30pm, they were tearing up the skies over Kane`ohe in an endless array of amazing flying! It seemed that sometimes they were just 100' over the rooftops, and one time one of the pilots actually looked down and waved, while flying in wingtip formation! Amazing they could break concentration to do that.
    And at one point I ran a quick errand, and driving back on Kamehameha Highway the Angels howled straight down the highway too, again at what seemed only 100' overhead. WOW. Apparently they do that to get familiar with local landmarks. Heh.

    Anyway, try to get to Kane`ohe for the practice day this year.
    And, of course, sympathies and condolences to the family of the pilot killed today.

    .
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    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

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    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    I have seen them in the 1970's flying F-4 Phantoms, then in early 1980's flying the A-4 Skyhawks.

    I sort of wished that the Blue Angels would at least try the F-14 Tomcats but they never did.

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    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    Yup. On base for Saturday and Sunday's event. Wish I got to see those practice runs you mention.

    Actually, on the event days, the (single) Air National Guard F-15 performance was more "radical", at times almost hitting mach. Also pulling tighter G maneuvers (or so it looked like it) than what the Blue Angels were doing. The Navy's F-18/Blackhawk cover and rescue SEAL demo was also pretty cool. So was Patty Wagstaff's 300s performance. I was hoping the gang from the Kawainui R/C clubs came out to fly. That would've been the perfect venue. Perhaps this year.

    Wow Lika, Kaneohe bay views. Awesome. Back in the 70's and 80's when it was called Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station, the Marines were flying F-4 Phantoms. Noisy son-of-a-b#tches on approach, but man, those things took off like rockets. Now MCBH has mostly P-3 Orions and some F-18s.

    It'll be neat if/when Hickam's ANG get's the F-22 Raptors.

    Quote Originally Posted by LikaNui View Post
    Were you on the base itself? That must've been a great view of it.
    I live near Coconut Island, directly across the water from the base, and had the pleasure of seeing all three shows in 2004 -- two that were open to the public, and one just for base personnel -- from my home. (Well, the last day we watched from a boat anchored off the end of the base runway.)
    But better than that was the practice day before the three days of shows. From 8am to almost 4:30pm, they were tearing up the skies over Kane`ohe in an endless array of amazing flying! It seemed that sometimes they were just 100' over the rooftops, and one time one of the pilots actually looked down and waved, while flying in wingtip formation! Amazing they could break concentration to do that.
    And at one point I ran a quick errand, and driving back on Kamehameha Highway the Angels howled straight down the highway too, again at what seemed only 100' overhead. WOW. Apparently they do that to get familiar with local landmarks. Heh.

    Anyway, try to get to Kane`ohe for the practice day this year.
    And, of course, sympathies and condolences to the family of the pilot killed today.


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    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    Quote Originally Posted by NoCal Boy View Post
    There is absolutely nothing as exhiliarating as that pure power sensation when those F-16's come screaming from out of nowhere scare the bejesus out of you!
    I stand corrected. As most of you know, the Blue Angels fly F/A-18 Hornets. I'm not too up on my military technology.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    You might of got mixed up with the Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds fly the F-16.

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    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    I was wondering about that. The Thunderbirds will fly Air Force planes, hence the F4's back in the 70's then to the T-38 Talon then to the F-16. What are they currently flying now?

    But they will never fly the F-14 as that was strictly a Navy bird. The T-38 Talon was the Air Force's trainer that became the F-5 Tiger. The T-38/F-5 bore a close resembleness to the Air Force's F-18 and the Navy's FA-18 fighter planes that used a twin tail design as opposed to the T-38's single tail.

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    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    Quote Originally Posted by NoCal Boy View Post
    I stand corrected. As most of you know, the Blue Angels fly F/A-18 Hornets. I'm not too up on my military technology.
    Remember the FA-18 is the Navy version of the F-18 Air Force variant. Both are similar planes as Congress wanted a multi-service task plane to save bucks. They tried that with the F-111A and failed miserably when the Navy rejected the plane because it was too heavy for carrier service.

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    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    Bummer. I too saw them in 2004. My favorite memory was "The Sneak" maneuver where a lone Blue Angel came out of nowhere 20 feet off the deck at Mach 1 creating the vapor donut around itself like the pic I found below. I really wish I got a pic of that... too cool.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    When I was in the Air Force the Thunderbirds came to our base for a show. We stood on roof of our shop looking down to the field when a lone Thunderbird did that move on us. We were 30-feet above the ground when that plane buzzed us at 50 going really really fast. Talk about scaring the SH*T outta us.

    One thing about being on a remote base in the middle nowhere was that the planes can occasionally break Mach for the boys in blue. Ever had a plane buzz you twenty feet overhead at over 600-MPH? Yeah I had to change my underwear especially since that bastard snuck up from behind. First the plane fly's quietly over you like a bullet then the sound follows about three seconds later.

  15. #15

    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    I was wondering about that. The Thunderbirds will fly Air Force planes, hence the F4's back in the 70's then to the T-38 Talon then to the F-16. What are they currently flying now?

    But they will never fly the F-14 as that was strictly a Navy bird. The T-38 Talon was the Air Force's trainer that became the F-5 Tiger. The T-38/F-5 bore a close resembleness to the Air Force's F-18 and the Navy's FA-18 fighter planes that used a twin tail design as opposed to the T-38's single tail.
    T-Birds are still flying F-16s. They came the same year as the Blue Angels last did in 2004. Blue Angels did their show at K-Bay and T-Birds did their show at Hickam AFB. I remember back when the Blue Angels in the 80s and T-Birds in the 90s did their shows off Waikiki. In 93' the Blue Angels did their show at Barber's Pt. when it was still a Navy base.

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    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    Quote Originally Posted by cezanne View Post
    Bummer. I too saw them in 2004. My favorite memory was "The Sneak" maneuver where a lone Blue Angel came out of nowhere 20 feet off the deck at Mach 1 creating the vapor donut around itself like the pic I found below. I really wish I got a pic of that... too cool.
    I remember that! That was probably the coolest part of the demonstration. Looked like he dropped in from over the Koolau range. I don't think he broke the sound barrier though. Close to it.

    The air show continued today without the Blue Angels, but to honor the fallen pilot, who was identified as Lt. Commander Kevin Davis.

    If you watch the video footage closely, it looks like he was rejoining the formation pulling a super-tight radius hi-G turn, possibly causing him to black out. Otherwise if it were mechanical failure, he should have had time to eject. Someone's gotta' have better video footage than the ones they've currently got.
    Last edited by Pomai; April 22nd, 2007 at 12:06 PM.

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    Default Re: The Blue Angels

    Quote Originally Posted by Pomai View Post
    pulling a super-tight radius hi-G turn, possibly causing him to black out. Otherwise if it were mechanical failure, he should have had time to eject. Someone's gotta' have better video footage than the ones they've currently got.
    That turn couldve induced a high-speed stall too. It looked as if the bottom fell from under it coming out of the turn. But if that was the case he could've ejected like you said. Maybe he was trying to steer clear and minimize casualties on the ground rather than eject.

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