JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – The U.S. Navy Blue Angels roared across the sky in perfect formation Saturday and Sunday above Jacksonville Beach as the highlight of the Sea and Sky Air Show.
Thousands enjoyed seeing the slick maneuvers and precision of the elite flying team, along with other military and civilian aerobatic teams.
The elite flying squad thrilled the crowds amid some cloudy skies and light rain when they zoomed across the sky on the final day of the show around 3 p.m. on Sunday. However, the sun began to shine just as the Blue Angels soared into sight.
People along the beach knew they were coming because they heard the jet engines before seeing them zoom across the sky in perfect formation.
The Blue Angels fly at more than 400mph while performing jaw-dropping stunts.
For many people seeing the Blue Angels would be considered a tradition for them, one bystander at the show mentioned today would be his seventh time witnessing the Blue Angles fly, " the last time I saw them was 9/11."
While a few people may see the Blue Angels as just pilots, most think differently, "How they develop those skills to make a plane that can do that, to make pilots and a team that can work together, that is something that America should be proud of," one spectator said.
Although the Blue Angles concluded their last day of the show in Jacksonville, they surely left a memorable impression on the thousands of people who saw them.
"You know that these guys are putting their lives on the line every time. (I) love the sound, love the sound," said another bystander.
Some people at the beach saw the Blue Angels for the first time and said they did not disappoint.
"I've never seen it before, and I like the Blue Angels. I think they're cool. I hadn't seen them in person yet," spectator Will Halstead said. "It's probably pretty hard because they have to practice this a lot. Just to master it completely, and if you mess up, there's not a lot of room for mistakes."
Since 1946, the Blue Angels have flown for more than 505 million spectators. The Blue Angels perform from spring to fall, and the Navy estimates that 11 million people see the squadron's exhibitions during those eight months. They also visit more than 50,000 people in schools, hospitals and community functions.
The Geico Skytyper team's six World War II-era aircraft wowed crowds by performing a low-level, precision-flying demonstration featuring tactics and maneuvers designed by team members who served in the United States military. In addition to their air show performances, the team "skytypes" giant messages in the sky.