The Blue Angels are Navy and Marine pilots, crew and support staff. There are 16 officers and 110 enlisted crew who volunteer to accelerate their careers as pilots, maintenance and support in one of the most demanding and prestigious hi-tech teams around-the Blue Angels.
To become one of the ten Blue Angel pilots and one Naval flight officer, you must be highly skilled and willing to devote yourself to many hours of demanding practices so that you perform flawlessly at the more than 70 air shows where the Blue Angels appear every year. Above all, you must devote yourself to the team. Team work is essential to the Blue Angels.
The Chief of Naval Air Training selects the Blue Angels Commanding Officer (BOSS). The BOSS must have at least 3,000 tactical jet flight-hours and have commanded a tactical jet squadron. The Commanding Officer flies the Number 1 or lead jet.
The other six F/A-18 pilots each must have a minimum of 1,350 tactical jet hours, and aircraft carrier qualification to serve with the Blue Angels. Each year the Blue Angels choose three tactical (fighter or fighter/attack) jet pilots, two support officers and one Marine Corps C-130 pilot to take the place of departing members.The Marine Corps pilots (three) flying the Transport/Cargo-130G Hercules aircraft (Fat Albert) must be aircraft commander qualified with at least 1,200 flight hours. The Blue Angels maintenance and support crew travels aboard Fat Albert.
THE FAT ALBERT CREW: SUPPORT OFFICERS
The Blue Angels Support Officers are made up of five officers supervising different areas. The officers are chosen based upon their professional ability, military bearing and communication skills. They serve two or three years tour of duty, depending on their position. After their tours of duty are completed the officers return to the fleet.
Maintenance Officer, Flight Surgeon, Administrative Officer, Public Affairs Officer, Supply Officer
Command Master Chief, Maintenance Master Chief, Chief Petty Officers and Gunnery Sergeants, Fat Albert Airlines, Crew Coordinators, Administration, Airframes, Aviation Medicine, Avionics, Crew Chiefs, Events Coordination, Life Support, Maintenance Control, Paint Shop, Public Affairs, Power Plants, Quality Assurance, Supply, Video
FAT ALBERT AIRLINES
The squadron's Transport C-130 hercules aircraft, affectionately known as Fat Albert, is the only Marine Corps aircraft permanently assigned to support a Navy squadron. It is flown by an all-Marine Corps crew of three pilots and five enlisted personnel. Fat Albert flies more than 140,000 miles during the course of a show season.
The C-130 carries 25,000 pounds of cargo, 45,000 pounds of fuel, and transports the squadron's support and maintenance crew to each show site.
Fat Albert cruises at 320 knots (approximately 350 miles per hour) at 27,000 feet. Four Allison turboprop-engines producing more than 16,000-shaft horsepower provide the C-130 with the power to land and depart on runways as short as 2,500 feet.
At select show sites, Fat Albert demonstrates its Jet-Assisted Take-Off (JATO) capability. Eight solid-fuel rockets are attached to the sides of the aircraft, four on each side. The rockets allow Fat Albert to take off within 1,500 feet, climb at a 45-degree angle, and attain an altitude of 1,500 feet in seconds.
The following photographs and the captions were sent to me several years ago - Enjoy!
Niagara Falls - so beautiful!
I wonder who wins this battle? HA!!!
What a beauty - not many of these old vessels left.
Blue Angels over San Francisco Bay.
Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz and San Francisco Bay