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:

10 Responses

  1. Stan

    Last time Fat Albert was down mechanical they replaced it with a fleet C-130 for demo purposes… Look up blue angels “ERNIE”

  2. stuart fairbairn


  3. Lisa

    That’s disappointing but safety is first and foremost! But I will still see my Blues for 2016 Homecoming

  4. Bradley Mickelson

    To bad but always safety first. Semper Fi to all my fellow Marines out there!

  5. John

    It is always better to be down here wishing you were up there flying around than it is to be up there flying around and wishing you were back down here.

  6. Mitch

    Was at both shows this weekend for the Blues Homecoming. Not trying to be a downer, but the shows over the last few years have gotten stale without the military jets doing the bulk of the show entertaining. This is the Navy end of the season Homecoming! An aging A-4, a MiG 17 and an Air Force F-16 is the only Warbird presence you can get? Come on, show organizers, the crowd wants to see muscle, not benchwarmers. The aerobatic performers are great, but when they fly two routines in one day show? Come on, Navy, let”s get in the game!
    (F-16 Demo is AWESOME, BTW!)

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