We lived in Brunswick, Maine for 8 years (1986 – 1994). Our house was located 2 miles from the Brunswick Naval Air Station (BNAS) which was the home base for several squadrons of Lockheed P-3 Orion anti-submarine planes. Every other summer, the United States Navy’s Blue Angels would pay a visit to BNAS and put on a great airshow. During the days before the airshow, they would practice their flight routines at treetop levels over Brunswick. It was not unusual to look up from our driveway and see the pilots flying inverted over our house! It was awesome!
And that is one of the reasons this video really caught my eye.
USA TODAY caught up with the Blue Angels at the Great Georgia Airshow in late-October. The Blue Angels agreed to mount one of USA TODAY’s specialized camera rigs, designed to capture video in 360 degrees, inside the cockpit of one of their jets. The Blue Angels released the video exclusively to USA TODAY after it was reviewed by the pilots and team.
Climb aboard a Blue Angels jet in the “slot” position. Situated at the back corner of the Angels’ signature diamond formation, you’ll see the F/A-18 Hornets flying inches from each other as they execute breathtaking maneuvers.
“It’s a tremendous thing to see up close,” said Blue Angels Commanding Officer Captain Tom Frosch, who pilots the lead jet in the diamond formation.
“One of our signature maneuvers is our first maneuver,” Frosch said. “It’s called the ‘Diamond 360.’ It’s essentially a parade pass when we come around in front of the crowd and demonstrate how close we can fly.”
Precision, teamwork and trust are three words often used to describe the Blue Angels demonstrations. Blue Angels pilots are renowned for their flying skills and physical fitness. Their bodies endure as many as 8 g’s during the demonstration. “It’s very hard forces on your body,” Frosch said.
The Blue Angels’ 2016 season kicks off on March 12 in El Centro, California.
FlyBoyz thanks USA TODAY and the United States Navy’s Blue Angels for the video!