A lot of work goes into putting on a Blue Angels performance. While the pilots get most of the credit, there’s a team on the ground working long hours behind the scenes to pull it off.
It was a silent morning aboard NAS Pensacola… that is, until after a quick check for debris, and an all clear, set off a radio call to the maintainers. The crew cheered with excitement as ‘Permission to light them up’ echoed across the runway.
It’s time for the real show to begin.
Everybody knows the 10 Blue Angel pilots, but it actually takes about 120 other personnel to do their jobs before the F/A-18’s can ever leave the ground.
Tuesday, for the first time ever, the crew let a TV reporter try their job for the day.
“You’re gonna see everybody going everywhere,” said Crew Coordinator AM1 Zachary Miller. “Servicing hydraulic fluid, doing final inspection on jets, making sure everything is good to go. Everybody’s got a job, everybody’s got a position to be in. It’s not one of those… You have to tell people where to be, everybody just knows where to be and they see something not being done and people just flock to whatever needs to be done to get it done.”
News 5’s Hayley Minogue jumped in to service the hydraulic fluid. After they finished servicing all the jets, it was time to fuel them all up.
“Here at the Blue Angels, especially the maintenance and support team, we take pride in knowing that for 71 years we’ve never had to cancel a show due to maintenance,” said AM1 Miller. “So, that’s something we have in our mind every time we’re working on a jet. We want to put it in the air safely but we want to uphold our reputation of not having to cancel.”
After a quick check for oil, and a check on the intake, the Blue Angel jets are all set and ready to take on the day.
The Blues will leave Thursday morning for the next air show, the Milwaukee Air and Water show.