For the first since the 2007 Blue Angels jet crash that killed one pilot and damaged eight people in Beaufort, the Blue Angels are back in the South Carolina skies. It’s the Blues over Beaufort Air Show at the Marine Corps Air Station. Sergeant TJ Atwell of MCAS Beaufort says one of the features this year is a pyro-technics display.
“What they do is they basically blow up some gasoline and dynamite. It’s safe for the crowd but you’re definitely going to feel the wall of heat, it’s pretty awesome. It’s high flying explosives, there’s usually planes flying around with it, it’s a great time,” says Atwell.
The Blue Angels, also known as the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, are the goodwill abassadors for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. They are celebrating 20 years of flying the F/A- 18 Hornet, this year they fly 66 air shows in 35 different cities across the United States. Staff Sergeant Robert Sallee says the demonstration’s not the only entertainment.
“We have about 25 or 30 static displays, which means an aircraft that’s sitting on the ground that you can actually go up to, some of them you can sit in and get your picture taken with them. And one of the most amazing things is just being able to, as a civilian and even as a military member, just to go and put your hands on some of these machines,” says Sallee.
Weather could play a role in this weekend’s air show, but as long as there is no lightning, heavy rain or heavy wind, the show will go on.
(Thanks to Claire Beverly of Adventure Radio Group in Hilton Head/ Savannah for help on this story.)