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.