Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)
Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)

Blue Angels Rock Oshkosh, Discuss Super Hornet Transition Plans

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Popular Posts | 1

Blue Angels Fly at Oshkosh for the First Time

Oshkosh always has an award winning lineup and many highlights through the week. This year – the show was home to another first.

For the first time ever, the United States Navy Blue Angels flew a full demonstration in the skies over Oshkosh.

The team arrived Wednesday afternoon during the afternoon airshow, announcing their presence with a perfectly-timed (of course) flyby at the end of the national anthem. Only five jets arrived initially, with #3 arriving several hours later and #7 coming in separately after that.

On Thursday, the diamond pilots performed their circle and arrival maneuvers, where they pick out landmarks to use as they fly. They were supposed to do this during the daily airshow, but the aircraft had a small mishap while taxiing out in the interest of safety they canceled. They were able to reschedule for 8pm, after the airport is normally closed. Two jets took off and completed the necessary maneuvers just in time. Fans who stayed noted the rare chance to see the Blues jets with afterburner glow and lights on. The solo pilots performed their circle and arrival flight on Friday morning.

Noticeably absent from the show was the Blue Angels’ famous blue and gold C-130 Hercules, Fat Albert. In the wake of the crash of a USMC C-130T that killed 16 servicemembers, the USMC ordered a safety stand down of all C-130Ts, including Fat Albert. Bert was not only unable to perform, she never even made it to Oshkosh. Instead, the team relied on a Navy C-40 Clipper, the military version of the Boeing 737-700C, to bring in their maintenance crew and some equipment.

US Navy Blue Angels - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017US Navy Blue Angels - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017

The Blue Angels also participated in a popular Theater in the Woods event on Friday, July 28th. During this appearance, they spoke about being on the team and took questions from the audience. A couple of the questions were particularly interesting; when asked about female Blue Angel pilots in the future, Blue Angel #1 revealed that there have been no female F/A-18 applicants for the past two recruitment cycles. The team has never had a female fly as a Hornet demonstration pilot.

US Navy Blue Angels - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017US Navy Blue Angels - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017

The transition to the Super Hornet was also discussed. Currently, the team is in their 30th year of flying the Boeing F/A-18 Legacy Hornet. Despite internet rumors of a switch to the Super Hornet in September of this year or at the beginning of the 2018 season, the team plans to continue flying their Hornets for now. In fact, they are currently inducting three “new” Hornets into the squadron.

The target date for transitioning to the Super Hornet is not until 2019, and it was quickly pointed out that it could slip beyond that. There are several Super Hornets already set aside for the team, but they will need to be modified and tested before the pilots can begin training. One step in the right direction was mentioned; apparently a couple (now previous) Blue Angel pilots have already flown the current flight demonstration profile in the Super Hornet simulator and the results seemed positive. Hang in there Rhino fans!

Didn’t get a chance to see the Blue Angels at Oshkosh in person? No worries! We’ve got you covered with a video of their entire Friday performance!

Fat Albert Grounded As Part Of C-130T Safety Stand Down, Not Expected To Appear In Oshkosh

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 0

US Navy Blue Angels - C-130 Hercules Fat Albert

Fat Albert is grounded once again. All KC-130T Hercules aircraft, used by the Marine Corps, have been grounded as a precaution after a KC-130 crashed earlier this month in Louisiana, killing 16. This includes Fat Albert, the support aircraft of the US Navy Blue Angels demonstration team that is performing at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh this weekend. Unfortunately she is not expected to fly in to Oshkosh or perform in the show. The team’s F/A-18 Hornets will still perform as planned.

Bert actually remains on the ground in Idaho Falls, ID, where the team performed last weekend. A US Navy C-40 Clipper (737) flew in to Oshkosh to deliver the team’s support staff and some equipment. There is no word on how long the stand down will last, but it indicates that there are concerns stemming from the crash that require further analysis. Fat Albert returned to airshows from a nearly year-long overhaul earlier this month.

EAA initially announced (and later reaffirmed) that all C-130s in the US military were grounded, but this was later proven to be false. Although we updated our posts as more information became available, we apologize for any confusion due to what should have been a reliable source.

Blue Angels Announce 2018 Officers, Including New Demo Pilots

posted in: Jet Teams | 1

US Navy Blue Angels

Two new F/A-18 Hornet demonstration pilots, a C-130 demonstration pilot, a maintenance officer, and a public affairs officer will be joining the elite Blue Angels team in 2018. These new officers will fill the shoes of the existing team members who are wrapping up their tour of duty when the 2017 airshow season ends. Also joining the Blue Angels is 2018 is a new commanding officer, Cmdr. Eric Doyle. He will take over for Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi.

Here’s some information on all the new team members:

F/A-18 Hornet Demonstration Pilots:
Marine Maj. Jeffrey Mullins, 30, of Memphis, Tennessee, is an F/A-18 Hornet pilot currently assigned to Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 31. He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2006.

Navy Lt. Andre Webb, 31, of Lawton, Oklahoma, is an F/A-18 Hornet pilot and 2008 US Naval Academy graduate currently assigned to the “Golden Eagles” of Training Squadron (VT) 22 based in Kingsville, TX.

Maj.-MullinsLt. Webb

C-130 Demonstration Pilot:
Marine Capt. Beau Mabery, 28, of Lompoc, California, is a C-130 Hercules pilot currently assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2011.

Maintenance Officer:
Navy Lt. Garrett Hopkins, 38, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is a maintenance officer currently assigned to Strike Fighter Wing Pacific Detachment (SFWPD) Fallon. He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2009.

Public Affairs Officer:
Navy Lt. David Gardner, 36, of Warrensburg, Missouri, is a public affairs officer currently assigned to the USS Makin Island (LHD 8). He graduated from the University of Central Missouri in 2003.

Capt.-MaberyLt.-Hopkins

Lt.-Gardner

All of the officers were recommended by Rear Adm. James Bynum, chief of Naval Air Training and approved by Commander of Naval Air Forces, Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker. Join us in welcoming them to the team and wishing them the best for a safe 2018 season!

Exciting New Details And Developments For EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017

posted in: Airshows | 0

B-1B Lancer Twilight Flyover

EAA had their annual AirVenture webinar today, where they preview the main attractions and airshow performers at the convention in Oshkosh. In addition to the well-known highlights like the US Navy Blue Angels, USAF F-35 Lightning II and A-10 Thunderbolt II Heritage Flight teams, the Apollo astronaut reunion, Blue Origin’s rocket display, and the bomber parade, we learned about several major military/warbird developments that are planned for the show.

The webinar is summarized in more detail on our forums, and we invite you to add your own thoughts there as well!

F-35 Lightning II and P-51 Mustang Heritage FlightB-25 Mitchell Bombing Run

Here are some of our favorite mentions on the webinar:

  • B-1B Lancer bomber to fly in Monday and perform in the Wednesday twilight airshow
  • Different F-35/A-10/P-51 Heritage Flight formations each day
  • Airbus A400M from the Royal Air Force arriving and departing on Wednesday
  • MASSIVE pyro (96 bombs!) to open the Doolittle Raid reenactment – six bombs per B-25 Mitchell flying
  • Two A-10s will perform a field attack demo with pyro
  • Numerous military aircraft throughout the week, including F-22 Raptors, AH-64 Apaches, and F-16 Fighting Falcons
  • Potential surprise national anthem flybys on Tuesday and Wednesday – very mysterious right now
  • Blue Angel survey flights are being split between Thursday (diamond) and Friday (solos/Fat Albert)
  • Notable warbirds include the F-86A Sabre, Boeing YL-15, C-123 Provider, A-20 Havoc, P-63 King Cobra, SBD Dauntless, P-47 Thunderbolts, Spitfire Mk. IX, and possible B-24 Liberator

Again, there are a lot more details in our EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017 thread than we can share here, so please head there to read up and join the discussion! What do you think the surprise flybys might be?

Fat Albert Returns To Airshows!

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 3

US Navy Blue Angels C-130 Hercules Fat Albert

Fat Albert, the Blue Angels C-130 Hercules transport will return to the skies this week for the first airshow demonstration since her maintenance overhaul. Bert will fly in the annual Pensacola Beach Airshow, slated for June 8th. Practice day is Friday, June 7th.

Late last summer, Fat Albert was grounded for the end of the airshow season, missing the popular shows at NAS Oceana, MCAS Miramar, and Fleet Week in San Francisco. During the overhaul, Bert underwent a complete inspection and received a new paint job!

Maj. Mark Hamilton, Maj. Mark Montgomery and Maj. Kyle Maschner will be the pilots of Fat Albert for the 2017 airshow season. Fat Albert is always flown by an all Marine crew.

Don’t remember the Fat Albert routine? We’ve got you covered! Check out this video of a full Fat Albert demonstration at the 2016 Lynchburg Airshow in Lynchburg, VA.

Once you’ve watched that, watch from INSIDE Fat Albert!

EAA Announces Preliminary Airshow Schedule For AirVenture 2017 In Oshkosh

posted in: Airshows | 0

EAA AirVenture

EAA has released the preliminary daily airshow schedule for this year’s AirVenture convention in Oshkosh! This schedule doesn’t include all of the military performers and will obviously change a bit in the coming weeks. Join us in Oshkosh on July 24th for the biggest party in aviation, and be sure to share your thoughts in the EAA AirVenture 2017 thread on our forums!

As you’ll see, there is now at least a small twilight show every night of the week. Other highlights include numerous US Air Force Heritage Flights, the Doolittle Raid tribute, both B-29s flying together for the first time (!), and of course the US Navy Blue Angels, making their aerobatic debut at the show!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Day: Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Matt Chapman (Extra 330LX), Rob Holland (MX-2), Bill Stein (Edge 540), Twin Tigers Aerobatic Team, Aeroshell Aerobatic Team (T-6 Texans), Greg Shelton and Ashley Key (450 Super Stearman/wing walking), John Klatt (Screamin’ Sasquatch), Kyle Franklin (Piper Cub), David Martin (Bücker Jungmeister), Jerry Kerby (Wild Blue), Bob Carlton (Sub Sonex JSX-2), Warbirds of America arrival show, Seaplane fly-overs, Lindbergh 90th anniversary tribute, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University E-Spirit of St. Louis, Piper Cub 80th anniversary, Bob Hoover tribute

Evening (Twilight Flight Fest at the Fun Fly Zone): EAA STOL Invitational Flying, Paradigm Aerobatic Team (dynamic maneuvering), Patriot Parachute Demo Team, 3-D RC flying

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Sean D. Tucker (Oracle Challenger III), Phillip Steinbach (Game Bird 1), Skip Stewart (Prometheus 2), The Thric3 (Matt Chapman, Rob Holand, Bill Stein), Kyle Franklin (Piper Cub), Matt Younkin (Beech 18), Greg Koontz (Legend Cub), Bob Carlton (Sub Sonex JSX-2), Manfred Radius (Salto Sailplane), USAF Heritage Flight, Doolittle Raid tribute, B-29s (Doc and FIFI), Class of ’45 – Jim Tobul & Scott Yoak (Corsair and P-51 Mustang), Warbirds of America show, Homebuilts Review, Stratos VLPJ

Evening (Twilight Flight Fest at the Fun Fly Zone): EAA STOL Invitational Flying, Paradigm Aerobatic Team (dynamic maneuvering), Patriot Parachute Demo Team, 3-D RC flying

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Patty Wagstaff (Extra 300LX), The Thric3 (Matt Chapman, Rob Holand, Bill Stein), Twin Tigers Aerobatic Team, Jim Peitz (Beech Bonanza), Vicky Benzing (Stearman), Gene Soucy and Teresa Stokes (Grumman Showcat wing walking), John Klatt (Screamin’ Sasquatch), Kyle Franklin (Piper Cub), USAF Heritage Flight, Warbirds of America show, Vintage Review, RotorWay 50th anniversary, Lindbergh 90th anniversary tribute, Christen Eagle anniversary (Matt Chapman)

Night Air Show: Doolittle Raid tribute, Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Paradigm Aerobatic Team, Aeroshell Aerobatic Team (T-6 Texans), Gene Soucy (Firecat[KH1] ), Redline Airshows, Greg Shelton and Ashley Key (450 Super Stearman/wing walking), Matt Younkin (Beech 18), Bob Carlton (Super Salto), Fireworks and Wall of Fire sponsored by GE Aviation

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Sean D. Tucker (Oracle Challenger III), Mike Goulian (Extra 330SC), Kirby Chambliss (Edge 540 and Red Bull Air Force), Bill Stein (Edge 540), Redline Airshows, Jim Peitz (Beech Bonanza), John Klatt (Screamin’ Sasquatch), David Martin (Bücker Jungmeister), USAF Heritage Flight, Warbirds of America show, Dassault (Falcon 8X), Blue Angels (site orientation flights)

Evening (Twilight Flight Fest at the Fun Fly Zone): EAA STOL Invitational Flying, Paradigm Aerobatic Team (dynamic maneuvering), Patriot Parachute Demo Team and Red Bull Air Force, 3-D RC flying

Friday, July 28, 2017

10am-11am: Blue Angels (site orientation flights with TFR in effect)

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Kirby Chambliss (Edge 540 and Red Bull Air Force), Patty Wagstaff (Extra 300LX), Skip Stewart (Prometheus 2), The Thric3 (Matt Chapman, Rob Holand, Bill Stein), Aeroshell Aerobatic Team (T-6 Texans), Matt Younkin (Beech 18), Blue Angels and Fat Albert, Warbirds of America show, B-29s (Doc and FIFI), USAF Heritage Flight

Evening (Twilight Flight Fest at the Fun Fly Zone): EAA STOL Invitational Flying, Paradigm Aerobatic Team (dynamic maneuvering), Patriot Parachute Demo Team and Red Bull Air Force, 3-D RC flying

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Sean D. Tucker (Oracle Challenger III), Mike Goulian (Extra 330SC), Rob Holland (MX-2), Jim Peitz (Beech Bonanza), Vicky Benzing (Stearman), Gene Soucy (Grumman Showcat), Warbirds of America show, USAF Heritage Flight, B-29s (Doc and FIFI), Blue Angels and Fat Albert

Night Air Show: Red Bull Wingsuits, Paradigm Aerobatic Team, USAF Heritage Flight, Aeroshell Aerobatic Team (T-6 Texans), Gene Soucy (Firecat[KH2] ), Redline Airshows, Greg Shelton and Ashley Key (450 Super Stearman/wing walking n), Matt Younkin (Beech 18), Bob Carlton (Super Salto), Fat Albert, Fireworks and Wall of Fire

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Patriot Parachute Demo Team, Mike Goulian (Extra 330SC), Kirby Chambliss (Edge 540), Patty Wagstaff (Extra 300LX), Skip Stewart (Prometheus 2), Matt Chapman (Extra 330LX), Redline Airshows, Greg Shelton and Ashley Key (450 Super Stearman/wing walking), Kyle Franklin (Piper Cub), Maj. Joshua Boudreaux (Wild Blue), Scott Yoak (P-51 Mustang), International Aerobatic Club competition demo (Cameron Jaxheimer), USAF Heritage Flight, Blue Angels (non-aerobatic demo) and Fat Albert

Fat Albert Is Ready To Roll: Maintenance Complete!

posted in: Jet Teams | 3

Fat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFB

The Blue Angels’ C-130T Hercules, affectionately known as “Fat Albert” is ready to return to the team after undergoing a maintenance overhaul at Hill AFB! Fat Albert crew members went to Hill AFB recently to check out Bert and take delivery of the aircraft. Bert had been at Hill for several months after a chemical de-paint process was performed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. This process allowed for the removal of the paint to check for any corrosion on the aircraft.

In May, we reported that Bert (minus the famous Blue and Gold paint) was undergoing test flights over Hill AFB.

At Hill, Bert underwent a complete programmed depot maintenance checkout and got a new coat of paint to get airshow ready!

Fat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFB

Fat Albert has been missing from the team’s aerial demonstrations since mid-2016. While Bert was undergoing maintenance, the team borrowed another C-130, always known as Ernie, and the popular airshow demonstrations were not performed. Now that the work is complete, the pilots will begin practicing the airshow routine and finally bring Bert back to the airshow circuit. At this time, we don’t know when during the 2017 season Bert will return to aerial demonstrations with the team, but stay tuned for more updates!

Fat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFBFat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFB
Fat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFBFat Albert Completes Maintenance at Hill AFB

Colorado Highway Named In Honor Of Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, Blue Angel #6

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0
Colorado Highway Renamed Jeff Kuss Memorial Highway
Courtesy: CDOT/Navy

A new sign now stands as an honor to fallen Blue Angel #6. Colorado Highway 3 just outside of Durango has been renamed as the Capt. Jeff Kuss Memorial Highway in honor of the Marine pilot. The announcement comes nearly a year after the tragic accident in Smyrna, TN in which Kuss lost his life.

The resolution, brought forward by Rep. Barbara McLachlan who represents the district of Durango where Kuss resided, was formally read before the chambers of the Legislature of Colorado and passed in both the House and Senate with all members joining as co-sponsors. McLachlan said that she sees the resolution as “a tribute to Kuss, his family, and veterans across the state.”

Five members of Kuss’ family who live in Colorado were present in the House of Legislature for the announcement of the resolution.

The town of Smyrna, TN, where the accident occurred is also working to honor Kuss by building a memorial. They have raised half of the expected $1 million cost of the memorial but help is needed to complete the project. Click here for more information on how you can help.

Smyrna, Tennessee Announces Memorial For Fallen Blue Angel Capt. Jeff Kuss

posted in: Miscellaneous, Popular Posts | 1
Blue Angel Captain Jeff Kuss Memorial - Smyrna, TN
Photo courtesy of the town of Smyrna

The mayor of Smyrna, Tennessee announced plans today for a memorial to Blue Angels pilot Capt. Jeff “Kooch” Kuss, who was killed in a crash while preparing for the Great Tennessee Airshow in the city last June. The memorial will feature a retired F/A-18 Hornet in Blue Angel colors, on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum in the Blue Angels’ home town of Pensacola, Florida.

Captain Jeff Kuss - Blue Angel 6

Kuss was a Captain in the US Marine Corps, and flew as Blue Angel #7 in 2015 and Blue Angel #6 in 2016. The team was flying a practice performance in Smyrna last June when Kuss attempted to perform a Split-S on takeoff. A Navy investigation into the crash found that he entered the maneuver too low and too fast, and impacted the ground near the airport. He left behind a wife and two kids. The report led to a mandatory rest period for the team every two months.

Mayor Mary Esther Reed outlined the memorial plans at a press conference that was streamed live online. She described Kuss as an American hero and explained that citizens wanted to see him honored. The city featured many impromptu tributes to him in the hours and days following the crash. Around half of the expected $1 million cost of the memorial has been raised already, but help is need to complete the project. You can donate to the memorial by visiting www.CaptJeffKussUSMCMemorial.com

BREAKING: Snowbirds and CF-18 Demo Added to the 2017 Memphis Airshow

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 0

Snowbirds and CF-18 Demo added to Memphis Airshow

Big news for those attending the Memphis Airshow this weekend. The show has added performances by the CF-18 Hornet Demo Team and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds Air Demonstration Squadron!


The addition of the two teams comes after show organizers were forced to cancel the Montreal 375 celebration, which was to feature the Snowbirds. Flooding in Canada has caused numerous issues and resulted in the deployment of Canadian Forces and first responders.



The Snowbirds and CF-18 join an already stellar lineup which includes the Blue Angels, USAF F-16 Viper Demo, Shockwave Jet Truck, Leap Frogs, Scooter Yoak in his P-51, Jim Tobul in his F-4U Corsair, Skip Stewart, Mike Wiskus, Michael Goulian, the Stearman Formation Team and a B-17.

Tickets are available at MemphisAirshow.org

1 2 3 4 7