(Via Star Advertiser)
The Navy’s Blue Angels demonstration squadron will add a twist to the corkscrewing, speeding and precision aerobatic flying performance they’ll put on in September in Hawaii: The show this year will be at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
In their 68th year of neck-snapping passes, the Blue Angels will be coming to the joint base Sept. 27-28.
On five occasions starting in 1995 — and continuing in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2012 — the famed Navy flight demonstration squadron visited Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay.
The reason for the base change-up wasn’t immediately clear.
The Air Force Thunderbirds last performed at the former Hickam Air Force Base in 2009, the Navy said.
“Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam looks forward to hosting the Navy’s world-famous Blue Angels on Sept. 27-28. We are excited to host professional military and civilian aerobatic demonstrations along with military static displays that will be sure to entertain the crowds,” said Grace Hew Len, a joint base spokeswoman. “The joint base team is busy at work preparing for a successful air show and a memorable event for our military personnel, visitors and kamaaina in Hawaii.”
The Blue Angels are expected to perform for nearly 15 million spectators in 2014.
Last April, both the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds had their flying seasons curtailed due to forced spending cuts.
In October, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel decided to resume the performances.
The activities “showcase our superior combat power, demonstrate readiness to defend the nation, and help preserve the all-volunteer force,” Hagel said in a memo to military service chiefs obtained by ABC News.
“Community and public outreach is a crucial department activity that reinforces trust and confidence in the United States military and in its most important asset — people,” Hagel also said.
The Blue Angels drew about 60,000 to 70,000 people on the first day of the two-day show at Kaneohe Bay in 2012.
The F/A-18 Hornets wowed the crowd with some low-level flying, including two high-speed “sneak passes.”
The closest the aircraft fly to each other is 18 inches during the “Diamond 360” maneuver, and as low as 50 feet at 700 mph.
“Fat Albert,” the Blue Angels C-130T, put on the lead-up show to the Blue Angels, swooping across the runway in a 370 mph flat pass.
The Blue Angels are scheduled for 38 shows this year, while the Thunderbirds are also slated for 38 demonstrations.