Blue Angels Return To El Centro For 2018 Winter Training Period

posted in: Jet Teams, US Navy Blue Angels | 7

Blue Angels Return for Winter Training

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.

7 Responses

  1. Shari Drew

    Is there a fee for the March 10th air show in El Centro? I have recently moved to CA and would like to see the Blue Angels again. Prior, I have enjoyed the show on Pensacola Beach in Florida as well as show on the Navy base in Pensacola.

    • RyanS

      It should be free for general admission, that’s pretty much a rule at military base shows! Make sure to find the event web site for all of the relevant info though.

    • Charles

      It’s free!! You might need to show identification at the entrance of the base, unless you want to watch from the outskirts. Recommend inside the base, since there are lots of vendors and aircraft on display!

  2. Chris Meade

    Hi – do any arrangements need to be made in order to take pictures of the planes from the haystack? Is there a posted schedule, or standard times, for when they practice? I took pictures of the team a few years ago from the haystacks and would like to do it again.


  3. Bill D

    I am heading to Palm Springs this week and wanted to see the BA practice this Friday. Does anyone know what time they typically practice during the week so I can see them in their glory!

    It’s a two hour drive…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *