The Blue Angels have returned to their winter home at Naval Air Facility El Centro in California!
The team flew into the base, located about 87 miles east of San Diego, on January 3rd. They’ll remain at El Centro throughout January, February, and early March, flying several flights a day to perfect the demonstration.
The 10 week, 120 flight period will begin over the desert adjacent to El Centro; once the team feels confident in the demonstration they will begin to fly over the airfield.
This year marks the 51st year the team will use El Centro as their winter training base. The usually calm and warm weather of the Imperial Valley makes southern CA the perfect place for the Blue Angel’s winter training.
The 2018 season will be the Blue Angels’ 72nd show season. We have a copy of their 2018 airshow season schedule here on the blog – see if they’ll be performing near you!
One important member of the team will not be joining the rest of the aircraft though; Fat Albert, the team’s C-130 Hercules transport, has been grounded during an investigation into the crash of a Marine Corps C-130 last summer. A post on Instagram shows her in the maintenance hangar for an inspection. Bert’s Marine pilots typically practice their routine during their own winter training period at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona.