Dessert gets served last in order to heighten the anticipation. Ditto for airshows.
Aircraft #1 through #6 normally perform the Blue Angels’ show. Aircraft #7 is ready to go as a spare if there’s a mechanical problem. I’ve seen a show where someone landed, got into #7, took off, and the show resumed in maybe five minutes. You think NASCAR can do a bitchin’ pit stop?
Aircraft #7 is also a two-seater, so when you see one of those excellent videos of some celebrity or newscaster blacking out in a 9G turn on a PR flight, this is where they’re sitting.
“Fat Albert” is the C-130 support aircraft that hauls around parts, team members, luggage, and so on. Remember, these women and men are on the road about 2/3 of every year bringing these shows to you. And Fat Albert does get to its part of the show as well.
The precision flying on display is almost beyond belief.
These pilots truly are the best of the best.
If you absolutely LOVE the loud noises these jets bring and the feeling of a wall of sound beating against you as sixteen tons of machine turn Jet A into megadecibels as it does a 200 knot, 9G, minimum radius turn in front of you, just wallow in it. (Two guesses which camp I’m in…)
The mountain to the east of Point Mugu is covered with radar and equipment that tracks ballistic launches out of Vandenberg AFB as well as the weapons test that Point Mugu has done for decades. I realized at one point that the whole team had joined up and would be flying right over it behind us.
For whatever reason, this is one of my favorite pictures from this airshow.
After landing, the team taxis back…
…to be met by a fleet of tankers full of the aforementioned Jet A.