The annual “Seafair” event in Seattle Washington was held this past weekend. As usual, the Blue Angels were one of the most popular elements of the weekend.
The Blue Angels fly during the Seattle Seafair weekend every year. They fly their spectacular routines in the skies over Lake Washington during both weekend days that include the fast and furious hydroplane reaces on the lake. The combination of power, noise and speed, both on the water and in the air, makes this weekend one of the most popular events of the summer season in Seattle.
The sight and the sounds thrill the hundreds of thousands in attendance.
The Blue Angels were formed in 1946 and are the oldest formal aerobatic team (under the same name) in the world after the French Patrouille de France team formed in 1931. They fly the powerful and highly maneuverable McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets and each year they show off their piloting skills to the enjoyment of the crowds lining Lake Washington, or in hundreds of boats tied to the long log booms along the hydroplane race course in the lake.
My wife and daughters and I used to live not far from the Lake Washington site of the Seafair events and we would witness the Blue Angels on their practice days and on the days of the Seafair hydro races, flying low and fast over our house on several of their maneuvers. It was thrilling for the neighborhood, but it also reminded me of the times in Vietnam when at Khe Sanh, or later when on patrols with my Recon teams, we heard those sounds and saw those maneuvers by fighter bombers with another set of emotions.
This elite team of pilots and ground crew are ambassadors for the United States Navy and Marine Corps. They fly in events around the country throughout the year. The current team is made up of five Navy pilots and one Marine Corps pilot and they really are the best of the best.
This video was shot from the cockpit of one of the pilots during one of their shows in Seattle. You will see both the fun these pilots have and the strength they have to apply against the fierce G-forces that they undergo during some of the more dramatic maneuvers they make. If you can take your eyes off of the pilot’s view for a bit you can also see the terrain, the lake and the cityscape of Seattle beneath them.
Enjoy this pilot’s eye view. And be thankful that the Navy, the Marine Corps and the Air Force have pilots of this caliber.
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.