An Inside View With the Blue Angels

Many of you may have had the opportunity to watch the United States Navy’s air demonstration team, the Blue Angels, fly at some event in your area. If you have, you never forget the sounds, the skill, and the sheer beauty of those fighters, dressed up in their blue and gold colors, cutting through the skies overhead, performing their aerial ballets. It is always a stunning and exciting display of talent and power.

Photo: YouTube/m171562

The Blue Angels have come to Seattle every year for the Sea Fair for decades, with the exception of the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. We used to live in an area of Seattle called Beacon Hill, which is just south of downtown and sits just west of the 24-mile-long lake that forms the eastern border of Seattle, Lake Washington. The hydroplane races that are the centerpiece of the annual Seattle Sea Fair take place on the lake, and the Blue Angels arrive a few days earlier to practice their routines over that area of the lake in preparation for their shows over the two days of the hydroplane races.

Photo: YouTube/m171562

The lake is crowded with boats of every shape and size around the racecourse, and the shoreline is jammed with spectators in the tens of thousands.

During those practice days, and on the two days of the races, those thundering, sleek, F-18 Hornets would roar over the top of our house singly, or in pairs, or in groups of four, as they rolled out of their routines to regroup for others. They would come over us so low and so fast that you could feel their power in your chest. They would be so low that you could see the pilots clearly. Thrilling, to say the least.

Photo: YouTube/m171562

Well, this video will give you a view of their work from inside the cockpit of one of the Blue Angels’ planes as he videos and takes photos of his teammates practicing their routines.

Photo: YouTube/m171562

As much as I would love to have the opportunity to fly in the back seat of one of those F-18 Hornets and experience those rolls, turns, and high-speed climbs, it is never going to happen. But this video is as close as we dreamers can come to seeing, if not actually experiencing, the power of G-forces or hearing and feeling the power of those engines or having a sense of what it is like to be strapped inside the cockpit and flying inside the formations that the Blue Angels fly. The video is visually stunning in many ways.

Photo: YouTube/m171562

At times in the video, you can hear the still camera firing off in single shots, then sounding like an automatic weapon as it takes strings of stills with the long lens. At one point, the F-18 that is taking the pics is flying upside down, above the main formation. At another, you can see the fighter’s own shadow following swiftly along on the ground below you.

Photo: YouTube/m171562

You will get a clear visual sense of all of the maneuvers those Hornets make from the pilot’s perspective inside the cockpit of one of these fast-flying F-18s. It is a more intimate look at what these very skilled Blue Angel pilots do. It’s exciting, though from a distance still. Oh, for the chance!

Enjoy this video. We send our thanks to the Blue Angels for showing us all the quality and the skill of our U.S. Navy pilots. We salute all of Blue Angels’ team, pilots, and maintenance and support crews. Thanks for the thrills.

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