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

2017 US Navy F-18 Hornet And Super Hornet Demo Team Schedules Released

posted in: Military, Schedules | 1

US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet Demonstration Team

The United States Navy has released the 2017 schedule for the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet demonstration teams! Their schedule does not specify which airshows are getting which type of aircraft, but we will update this post with that information when we get it.

Will you see the Hornet/Super Hornet in 2017? Let us know! Post on our Facebook page and in our forums, and make sure you share pictures after the show!

2017 Appearance Schedule – US Navy F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet Demonstration Teams

VFA-106 “Gladiators”:

March 11-13 – Titusville, FL (F/A-18C Hornet)
March 18-19 – Waco, TX

April 22-23 – Louisville, KY
April 29-30 – Lake City, FL

May 6-7 – Fort Lauderdale, FL
May 7-8 – Lincoln, NE
May 20-21 – North Kingstown, RI
May 20-21 – Oklahoma City, OK
May 27-28 – Miami Beach, FL
May 27-28 – Wantagh, NY Canceled on 3/24/17

June 25-26 – Huntsville, AL

July 1-2 – Traverse City, MI (F/A-18F Super Hornet)
July 15-16 – Johnson City, NY

August 12-13 – Scranton, PA
August 12-13 – Barnes ANGB/Westfield, MA
August 19-20 – Selfridge ANGB/Chesterfield Township, MI
August 23 – Atlantic City, NJ

September 2-4 – Cleveland, OH (F/A-18F Super Hornet)
September 9-10 – Sacramento, CA
September 16-17 – Virginia Beach, VA (F/A-18C Hornet and F/A-18F Super Hornet)
September 23-24 – London, ON (F/A-18F Super Hornet)

October 14-15 – Atlanta, GA

November 3-5 – Stuart, FL

VFA-122 “Flying Eagles”:

March 17-18 – Yuma, AZ
March 24-26 – Lancaster, CA

April 1-2 – Melbourne, FL
April 8-9 – Columbus, GA
April 28-30 – Lake Charles, LA

May 6-7 – McEntire ANGB, SC
May 13-14 – Pittsburgh, PA
May 20-21 – Redlands, CA
May 27-28 – Columbia, MO

June 10-11 – Scott AFB, IL
June 17-18 – Gaylord, MI
June 24-25 – Dayton, OH

July 3 – Dubuque, IA
July 8-9 – Gary, IN
July 22-23 – Great Falls, MT
July 29-30 – Fairchild AFB, WA

August 11-13 – Abbotsford, BC

September 9-10 – Wendover, UT
September 16-17 – Midland, TX
September 30-October 1 – Grand Junction, CO

October 7-8 – Minden, NV
October 21-22 – Houston, TX

F/A-18C Hornet Demo Added To 2016 NAS Pax River Air Expo Lineup

posted in: Airshows | 0

US Navy F/A-18C Hornet demonstration team

The US Navy F/A-18C Hornet demonstration from VFA-106 “Gladiators” has been added to the lineup of the 2016 NAS Patuxent River Air Expo. The status of the show was called into question after the Blue Angels were forced to cancel their planned appearance at the show, but organizers decided to press on with the rest of the line up. This late addition will provide some extra jet noise on top of the already scheduled F-22 Raptor and Sea Harrier performances.

The Navy has used the single-ship Hornet demo teams to fill in for the Blue Angels several times already this year. They were called into action when the Blues canceled multiple appearances as part of their safety stand down following the June crash of Blue Angel #6, Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss. The report on that crash led to a mandate that the team take one weekend off at least every eight weeks, which led to their Pax River cancellation.

Blue Angels Cancel Performance After Pilot Falls Ill

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 0

Blue Angel #1 - Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi

The US Navy Blue Angels were forced to cancel their Saturday afternoon performance at the California Capital Airshow today after Blue Angel #1, Commander Ryan Bernacchi, contracted a food-borne illness. Boss remains under the medical supervision of the team’s flight surgeon.

In a statement published on Facebook, the Blue Angels said:

Sacramento airshow fans. We regret to inform everyone that we will not be performing today. Boss Bernacchi fell under the weather and the decision was made not to fly and to make sure he focuses on his health so he is ready for tomorrow. The team is still planning on performing for all airshow fans tomorrow at the California Capital Airshow on Oct. 2.

While the Blue Angels can perform with less than six pilots if necessary due to illness or mechanical issue, the stand down of the #1 jet forces the entire team to stand down in the interest of safety.

We wish Commander Bernacchi the best and hope he feels better tomorrow!

Navy Releases Report From Blue Angel 6 Crash Investigation

posted in: Jet Teams, Popular Posts | 3

Captain Jeff Kuss - Blue Angel 6

The United States Navy has concluded their investigation into the fatal crash of a Blue Angel F/A-18 Hornet earlier this year in June, which killed Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss.

The publicly released JAGMAN report lists “pilot error” as the primary cause, stating that Capt. Kuss was too low (3,196 feet) and was flying too fast (184 knots) before entering the Split-S maneuver after takeoff. The maneuver is supposed to be initiated at an altitude of no less than 3,500 feet above the ground and with an optimum airspeed of 125 to 135 knots. No mechanical or maintenance issues were discovered by the investigation.

The report also gives numerous recommendations for ways to learn from the crash and improve safety, such as reviewing and implementing changes to the Blue Angel’s Standard Operation Procedures. The Split-S maneuver will not be performed in 2016 and will be reviewed before the 2017 season to potentially add extra safeguards. More specific training is urged for team members as well, including reviews of when to abort a maneuver.

In the report, Capt. Kuss’ was rightfully recognized for his exceptional Navy career and his passion for showcasing Naval aviation. Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker, Commander of Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet said “Capt. Kuss represented the best and brightest of Naval Aviation. His loss is devastating and felt across the Naval Aviation Community.” The investigation determined that Capt. Kuss died in the line of duty and not due to misconduct.

In the hours and days following the crash, countless people expressed their sadness over the loss of Blue Angel 6 and shared their stories of how he touched their lives. Capt. Kuss memory will forever live in the lives of the children and people he connected with during his time with the Blue Angels.

Blue Angels To Fly Delta Formation This Weekend In Cleveland; First Six-Ship Performance Since Crash

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 0

Blue Angels Delta Returns for Cleveland Airshow

The US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, announced Thursday that the 6-ship delta formation, a signature formation of the Blue Angels since 1958, would return for this weekend’s Cleveland National Air Show in Ohio.

In July, AirshowStuff brought you the news that Cmdr. Frank Weisser, a Blue Angel during the 2008-2010 show seasons would return to the team to replace Captain Jeff Kuss, who was killed during a practice flight in June. Throughout the month of August, the squadron completed training with Cmdr. Weisser to integrate him back into the delta formation.

In a statement released by the Blue Angels, Cmdr. Weisser said “The transition has been a bit easier than I expected. I haven’t flown an airshow in six years, but I am pleased as to how fast it’s come back. I am really excited to get back and ultimately the crowd will be the best judge.”

Lead Solo Lt. Ryan Chamberlain, Blue Angel 5, played a large role in Cmdr. Weisser’s training. In order to get back to the full 6-ship performance, both solo pilots performed maneuvers together and with the other four diamond pilots to re-familiarize Weisser with the role Blue Angel 6 plays in the demonstration. In talking about the training, Lt. Chamberlain compared training Weisser to “taking a rusty bicycle, cleaning off that rust and getting him back up to speed.”

Like many Blue Angels fans, we are excited to see the full Blue Angels Delta and Cmdr. Weisser back in the skies over Cleveland this weekend. AirshowStuff will bring you coverage of the airshow on our Facebook page throughout the weekend.

While the jets will be back in full force, another familiar face of the Blue Angels will be missing in Cleveland. As previously reported, Fat Albert is not expected to fly for the remainder of 2016 as it undergoes maintenance which includes removing the famous blue and gold paint to check for corrosion.

Below, we’ve attached two videos from the 2009 Thunder Over Michigan airshow where Cmdr. Weisser flew with the Blue Angels.

Thunderbirds and Blue Angels Announce Show Cancellations

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams, Schedules | 2

US Navy Blue Angels

Following crashes at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO and in Smyrna, TN, the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels have officially announced cancellations of their performances in the coming weeks as both teams undergo a safety stand down.

We have already reported on the Syracuse International Air Show, which was scheduled to host the Blue Angels this weekend. They moved to secure the Sea Harrier, and also announced that all profits from the show will go to the family of fallen Blue Angel Capt Jeff Kuss. The show has also been granted a Super Hornet demonstration in lieu of the Blue Angels.

The Blue Angels were then scheduled to appear at the Vectren Dayton Airshow in Dayton, OH on June 18th and 19th. That show was notified Tuesday that the Blue Angels would not be attending. However, performers still scheduled for the Vectren Dayton Airshow include the USAF’s F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II and Heritage Flight, Tora Tora Tora Pearl Harbor re-enactment, the US Navy Leap Frogs and several other civilian performers. The show announced they will host the US Navy F-18 Hornet demonstration team as well.

Dayton released this statement following the Blue Angels announcement:
“We are saddened by the tragic loss of Marine Captain Jeff Kuss, Blue Angel # 6 in Tennessee last week,” stated Michael Emoff, United States Air and Trade Show Board of Trustees Chairman. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Captain Kuss’s family and the Blue Angel team members,” he added.

USAF Thunderbirds

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds also announced on Tuesday that the team would not be attending the 2016 Rhode Island International Airshow this upcoming June 11-12 weekend. A decision on the team’s performance at the Ocean City, MD airshow on June 17-18 has not been made at this time, according to the team. The Thunderbirds’ performance at the Kirtland Air Force Base Air Show was canceled last weekend immediately following the incident.

In a promising sign, the Thunderbirds returned to the skies on Tuesday for their first practice since the crash last Thursday. Hopefully they will be back to normal soon. The Blue Angels will obviously take more time to regroup and potentially retrain with a replacement solo pilot before resuming performances.

Canadian Wildfire Smoke Cancels Blue Angels Performance In Nebraska

posted in: Airshows, Jet Teams | 0
Blue Angels Grounded Due to Smoke
Note: This is a file photo, thankfully the smoke was not this bad!

Typically, when the Blue Angels are forced to cancel a demonstration, it’s due to rain or low clouds. However, on Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska, the cancellation was due to smoke.

To be able to perform, the Blue Angels must have at least three nautical miles of visibility horizontally from the designated show center point. Saturday afternoon, visibility in the Lincoln area was significantly reduced due to wildfires burning in Canada and Minnesota. More than 600 square miles have been burned in Fort McMurray, Canada. Winds from the northeast, helped by a frontal system, blew the smoke into the area and an air quality alert was in effect.

Smoke Cancels Blue Angels Show

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Smoke Analysis product showed heavy smoke in the Lincoln area Saturday afternoon. Each red dot indicates a hot spot or an active fire detected by satellites.

Although it is certainly frustrating for the spectators, this is probably the least important consequence of the devastating fires and our thoughts are with those affected. Luckily the team was able to perform a full demonstration on Sunday.

[Updated x3] 2015 US Navy F-18 Hornet Demo Team Schedules Released

posted in: Military, Schedules | 3

F-18 Hornet Demo Team Schedule

Updated (3/15/15): The US Navy Tac Demo Facebook page has released the break down of C, E, and F model demonstrations during the seaon. We have rearranged the schedule below to more clearly display the lineup for each model. NAS Oceana will of course feature both the F/A-18C and F/A-18F demos, as VFA-106 is based there.

Original post: A number of you fans out there have been anticipating the release of the US Navy’s F-18 Hornet Demo schedule for this year’s air show season. Today it was finally released, so without further adieu, here is where you can find your Hornet fix this year:

{Updated 5/21/15 to add Rome, GA and Mankato, MN; and to remove Jones Beach, NY}
{Updated 4/12/15 to remove Louisville, KY}

— VFA-106 – F/A-18C Hornet —

23-24 May – Jones Beach, NY
4-5 Jul – Traverse City, MI
25-26 Jul – Milwaukee, WI
12 Sept – Waukegan, IL
30 Oct – 1 Nov – Stuart, FL
3-4 Oct – Rome, GA
19-20 Sept – NAS Oceana, VA

— VFA-106 – F/A-18F Super Hornet —

14 Mar – El Centro, CA
18-19 Apr – Louisville, KY
9-10 May – Millville, NJ
20-21 Jun – Dayton, OH
27-28 Jun – Mankato, MN
10-12 Jul – Gary, IN
29-30 Aug – Brooklyn, NY
5-7 Sept – Cleveland, OH
19-20 Sept – NAS Oceana, VA

— VFA-122 – F/A-18E Super Hornet —

21-22 Mar – Lancaster, CA
24-25 May – Columbia, MO
20 Jun – Denton, TX
3 Jul – Dubuque, IA
7-9 Aug – Abbotsford, BC
26-27 Sept – Millington, TN
3-4 Oct – Mather, CA
16-18 Oct – Houston, TX
24-25 Oct – Santa Teresa, NM

One interesting note is that the schedule does not identify whether the shows listed will feature a Hornet or Super Hornet. We will look into it and update this post once we get the info.