World Air Blogs

A Day in the life of the US Navy Blue Angels

This year I went to the CCA, California Capital Airshow in Sacramento, CA, having broken my rule that you only go once to an event in order to see more, rather than the same every year. This is my third time there and the second time I have broken my “rule”.

The reason for this is that the show is a very good show and also the people that is on the “Photo Tour”. My last time was 2013 and I saw many of the people who were here again in 2016. I met some newcomers and one of them, Kevin is a VNG (very nice guy). Richard who has been my friend since 2012 and of course Bruce and Kellie Boehm organizing the tour as well as the other volunteers who looks after us.

Having access to a 50ft scissor lift on Sunday and shooting the USN Blue Angels show from that advantage point is the subject of this blog. I want to show you in pictures what a “Day in the life of the Blue Angels” looks like.

A bit of background information on the BA’s

The Blue Angels have flown over 10 different aircraft in the team’s 69 year history. Originally, the team flew four aircraft in the signature “Diamond” formation and expanded to six aircraft to showcase both the diamond and solos high performance capability as well as the precision formation flying taught to all Naval Aviators. Today, the squadron flies the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet and the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules. When the squadron receives a F/A-18 Hornet from the fleet, which are at the end of their carrier arrestment functionality, we make a variety of modifications, including removing the nose cannon to install a smoke-fluid system, inverting a fuel pump, installing a stop watch and adjustable constant-tension stick spring, as well as the world-wide recognizable paint scheme.

Fasten your seatbelt and get ready for take-off!.

BA Sunrise

Sunday October 2, 2016, early morning and a Blue Angel F-18 Hornet is getting a “wake up call” from the sun.

the 50ft scissorlift

At about 2pm me and 4 other “avgeeks” enter the scissor lift and is hoisted up to about 50ft.

start ba

The start of the Blue Angels display is done with military precision, Crew and Pilots do it very well.

"Gentlemen Start your Engines"

“Gentlemen Start your Engines”

Taxiing from the Ramp

Taxiing from the Ramp to the runway.

The "Comm Cart"

The “Comm Cart” has a DME and is positioned at Show Center so the pilots can see how far they are from it.

The Narrator

The Narrator: Flying Blue Angel No.7, Lieutenant Tyler Davies, USN (Advance Pilot/Narrator) is a native of Kennesaw, Georgia, and graduated from North Cobb High School in June 2000. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and completed basic training at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Illinois, in August 2000.

ba takeoff

Smoke on!, take off. The # 2 BA was having tech problem so they launched without it (3 instead of 4 aircraft). It joined the display 10 minutes later so the could do the Diamond formation etc.

Angels across

The Blue Angels streaking across the sky. The two opposing solos included.

Blue Angels formation

The Blue Angels has about 30 maneuvers they use during their show.
some of them
Diamond 360: Aircraft 1, 2, 3 and 4 are in their signature 18″ wingtip-to-canopy diamond formation.
Opposing Knife-Edge Pass
Diamond Roll: The whole diamond formation rolls as a single entity.
Opposing Inverted to Inverted Rolls
Diamond Aileron Roll: All 4 diamond jets perform simultaneous aileron rolls.
Fortus: Solos flying in carrier landing configuration with No.5 inverted, establishing a “mirror image” effect.
Diamond Dirty Loop: The diamond flies a loop with all 4 jets in the carrier landing configuration.

Blue Angels "Siamese Twins"

Blue Angels “Siamese Twins”. The Opposing Solos # 5-6

Taxiing in from the performance

Its all over for this time Taxiing in from the performance

 USN Blue Angels greeting the spectactors after the display

USN Blue Angels greeting the spectactor’s after the display

This was a snapshot of a USN Blue Angels display told with photos from one show. I managed to see the BA do two performances here in Sacramento. Will hopefully see them again soon. Could have shown another 20 photos or more, but chose to make it a “snapshot”. working on another blog about the CCA Airshow documenting all the other aircraft flying and on static display.

Do not forget the hundreds of CCA volunteers that makes an Airshow, I salute them all!.

All photos Copyright: Kai Hansen, Flyvertosset, World Air Photography

See Flickr Aviation Albums here:


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: