Saturday afternoon at NAS Pensacola, the 2016 Blue Angels roared over a crowd of more than 100,000 fans for the annual Homecoming Show.
“When the loudness comes, it’s like ‘ahhh’. It’s as if you’re a part of it somehow because the noise is right there with you,” Beluah Sewell of Atlanta said.
“Your heart just kind of pounds, and the ground rumbles, and it’s just kind of an amazing feeling,” Joanna Roland of Pensacola said.
2016 marked the 70th anniversary for the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron that formed in 1946 as a way to raise the public’s interest in naval aviation and boost morale.
Former Blue Angels flight teams dating back to 1947 converged on Pensacola for the Homecoming, including 1997 Flight Leader and Commanding Officer George Dom, who traveled from California.
“It’s really great to hear the old stories and get back together again,” Dom said. “Those of us who used to fly, we’re just as excited about the shows as anybody is and when you watch the team fly you can’t help but think about what it was like flying with them. We’re just so proud of the 2016 team. They are doing an exceptional job.”
Saturday’s show marks the official end of the 2016 season.