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

“Naked” Fat Albert Returns To Flying Following Major Overhaul

posted in: Jet Teams | 2

"Naked" Fat Albert Takes Flight After Overhaul

One of our fans sent in these photos of Fat Albert looking decidedly naked a few days ago. The Blue Angels’ famous C-130 Hercules has been undergoing major repairs at Hill AFB in Utah for months, but the aircraft is clearly airworthy again, and we’re told new blue, gold, and white paint is being applied this week. That’s surely a good sign!

"Naked" Fat Albert Takes Flight After Overhaul

Bert was previously expected to resume airshow demonstrations by now, but the latest rumors put the return to performing in early June. Although the aircraft is flying and being readied for its return to service, the all-Marine crew will need to complete their annual training before performing. In the mean time, they have been borrowing a standard KC-130, known as “Ernie”, to fulfill the team’s transportation needs.

Photo credit: Photos by DOPEY

Fat Albert To Miss Start Of Blue Angels’ 2017 Airshow Season

posted in: Jet Teams | 6

C-130 Fat Albert Maintenance Overhaul

Last August, we reported that Fat Albert, the famous C-130 Hercules flown by the US Navy Blue Angels, was undergoing a massive maintenance overhaul at Hill AFB in Utah. The rework caused the beloved aircraft to miss the remainder of the 2016 season, and the Marine Corps crew borrowed a standard KC-130 to transport the team’s equipment. They could not perform in the backup, known always as “Ernie”, due to differences in the airframe.

Now, it looks like Bert will still be undergoing maintenance as the 2017 airshow season starts.


In a tweet to a fan on the Fat Albert Twitter Account, “Bert” announced she’ll miss the first show of the season at NAF El Centro in California. Other photos posted to Twitter show the propellers detached from the aircraft and the iconic gold paint on the nose of Fat Albert.

C-130 Fat Albert Maintenance OverhaulC-130 Fat Albert Maintenance Overhaul

At this time, no return date for Fat Albert has been released but we have heard that the team expects to get the aircraft back in March. Once Bert is back in service, it will take the crew 5 or 6 weeks to train up to demo standards, so the first performance may not be until late April or early May. Get well soon, Bert!

C-130 Fat Albert Maintenance Overhaul

Fat Albert Loses Famous Blue Angel Paint Scheme As Part Of Maintenance Overhaul

posted in: Jet Teams | 0
US Navy Blue Angels - Fat Albert C-130 Hercules - Paint Stripped
Photo Credit: Tinker AFB

Fat Albert has lost the famous blue and gold colors of the Blue Angels as part of a maintenance overhaul currently underway. The aircraft was flown to Tinker AFB in Oklahoma, where crews worked in three shifts to remove the famous paint scheme and check for corrosion. The base Facebook page posted a photo of this work in progress, and today another photo was posted by the Fat Albert Twitter account showing the end result; a naked Bert!

US Navy Blue Angels - Fat Albert C-130 Hercules - Paint Stripped
Photo Credit: FatAlbertUSMC

As you can see, only the bright yellow nose remains. The aircraft will be flown to Hill AFB in Utah for major maintenance and repair work. Indications are that severe corrosion is behind the effort that will keep Fat Albert grounded for the rest of the 2016 airshow season. In the mean time, the team will fly a regular ‘fleet’ C-130 for transportation and logistics, but will likely not perform in it.

Blue Angels’ Fat Albert Will Reportedly Not Fly Again Until After 2016 Airshow Season

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 10

US Navy Blue Angels - C-130 Hercules Fat Albert

Fat Albert, the famous C-130 Hercules that serves as the transport for the US Navy Blue Angels, appears to be done flying for the season. As we reported last week, Bert was forced to miss the Seattle Seafair airshow this past weekend due to unspecified maintenance issues, and unconfirmed reports began circulating that it would not be back to flying status any time soon. A tweet by one of the three Fat Albert pilots, USMC Captain Katie Higgins, seems to confirm the news. She mentions that Bert is in depot-level maintenance, and that she will not fly that airframe (164763) again during her time with the team.

The team will likely utilize a normal Marine Corps KC-130 for its transportation needs for the remainder of the season, but it remains to be seen whether that aircraft will perform in shows or not. From what we have heard, it seems doubtful. This puts a further damper on the current Blue Angels performance that remains a five-jet routine following the crash of Blue Angel #6, Captain Jeff Kuss, earlier this year. The sixth jet will rejoin the performances once Commander Frank Weisser is fully proficient in the routine.

We have reached out to the Blue Angels for comments and official confirmation. In the mean time, those needing their Fat Albert fix can take a ride in the cockpit during an airshow flight earlier this year:

US Navy Blue Angels’ Fat Albert To Skip 2016 Seattle Seafair For Maintenance

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 0

US Navy Blue Angels - Fat Albert

The US Navy Blue Angels’ famous C-130 Hercules transport known as “Fat Albert” or “Bert” will not be performing with the team in Seattle this weekend. The team, which arrived in the area yesterday, announced that due to mechanical issues the aircraft will have to undergo maintenance instead of making the trip. Bert is operated by an all-Marine crew and serves to transport the team’s equipment and personnel to each show site. Traditionally when Fat Albert is down for any reason, the Angels’ transport needs are met with a standard fleet C-130 that is dubbed “Ernie”. The Seattle Seafair airshow will still showcase the five F/A-18 Hornets of the team, which performs at the event every year. Hopefully Fat Albert will be back soon!