Blue Angels Tips, Tricks, Schedules and More

Published on Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Blue Angels Tips, Tricks, Schedules and More

Red, White and Blues Week is set!
Thursday, July 11, Blue Angels practice, 2 p.m. Casino Beach. 

Friday, July 12, Pensacola Beach Air Show Dress Rehearsal, where flight demonstrations and civilian aerobatic performances begin at noon, with the Blue Angels overhead at 2 p.m. Casino Beach
Saturday, July 13, Pensacola Beach Air Show, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Casino Beach

Come early to Casino Beach, parking lots fill up as early as 6 a.m. Bring water, snacks and sunscreen. Trolleys and buses will transport guests to the core area from outlying parking lots. 
 Casino Beach: Beachside Bazaar from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. plus interactive exhibits, military recruitment stations and all types of vendors on the ground.

No drones
No glass
No dogs (dogs are only allowed at the dog park on Ft. Pickens Rd and the dog park near Park East)

Prior to the official waivered air space closure signaling the start of the air show on Friday and Saturday, expect to see the following aircraft overhead, announced by radio personality Rob Williams:

  • Pilot Julian MacQueen flying his vintage 1943 Grumman Widgeon seaplane overhead.
  • Pilot Sheldon Heatherington will be flying his Zenith 75 STOL aircraft named Redbird.
  • Navy pilot Tanner Matheny will be flying over in his 1946 North American Navion airplane named Olivia.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue (SAR) demonstration from the back of a HH-60J Blackhawk helicopter.
  • Local wing of the Commemorative Air Force flying WWII and Korean War-era trainer and liaison aircraft.

Then, at 11:45 a.m., spectators will be cleared from the Gulf waters and the official air space waiver begins.

The show begins precisely at noon with presentation of the colors by the Red Bull Team parachutists jumping from Aaron Fitzgerald’s helicopter over show center, followed by a brief teaser of what’s to come from the Red Bull Air Force team and Kevin Coleman later in the show. The Red Bull Air Force team is assembled from the most accomplished aviation experts on the planet who continually push the limits of human flight.

The Veterans Flight team takes the stage at 12:13 p.m. in their bright yellow, vintage World War II-era biplanes and possibly other WWII vintage aircraft. Organized by Pensacola attorney and pilot Roy Kinsey, around a dozen Stearman pilots from all over the Southeast are flying in the show to pay tribute to all WWII and Korean War vets.

Next up at 12:28 p.m. is a newcomer to the air show, the incredible wingwalker Carol Pilon and the Third Strike Wingwalking team. Pilon is the first, and only, woman to walk on a jet-propelled aircraft. Expect to see Pilon traveling atop a bright red, vintage Stearman biplane with lots of billowing smoke.

At 12:39 p.m., keep your eyes peeled as Redline Aerobatic Team pilots Ken RiederAdam Baker, and making his inaugural debut at this air show, Austin Rieder, Ken’s son, perform some exceptional formation aerobatics.

Then, at 12:54 p.m., hang onto your hat as pilot Skip Stewart wows the crowds next with his high-skill passes and jaw-dropping maneuvers from his famous red, white and black-checkered bi-plane, Prometheus. Don’t miss his signature inverted ribbon-cutting pass over the Pensacola Beach Pier.

Next up, at 1:06 p.m., Patty Wagstaff, the first woman to win the title of U.S. National Aerobatic champion and a six-time member of the U.S. Aerobatic Team, will wow the crowds over Pensacola Beach in her Extra 330 aircraft. Her breathtaking performances give airshow spectators a front-row seat view of the precision and complexity of hard-core aerobatics.

The Red Bull Air Force Team with Kevin Coleman and Aaron Fitgerald are back with a full act at 1:21 p.m., creating a visual spectacle like no other. The trio will perform a joint aerial demonstration that will last 25 minutes.

As always, closing out the show at 2 p.m. will be YOUR U.S. Navy Flight Demonstrations Squadron, the Blue Angels. Look to the Gulf horizon as the famous C-130J aircraft, affectionately known as Fat Albert, followed by six signature blue and gold F-18 Super Hornets, make their way over Pensacola Beach.

For the next 45 minutes, spectators will get a glimpse of the Blues’ aeronautic maneuvers like the Diamond Dirty Loop, the Double Farvel, the Vertical Pitch, the Fleur-de-Lis, the Opposing Knife-Edge pass, and the crowd-favorite Sneak Pass. These are just a few of the mind-blowing displays of choreographed precision flying the Navy’s flight demonstration team has perfected over the past 78 years.

Pilot and Announcer Rob Reider will be the voice of the Pensacola Beach Air Show this year and Paul Entrekin, a retired Marine Corps aviator and former full-time air show pilot performer, will mark his 31st year as the Air Boss over the show.

After the conclusion of the air show, when it’s time to pack up and leave, the SRIA would like to remind the public: Please Leave Only Your Footprints Behind! For the safety and enjoyment of all Pensacola Beach visitors and the preservation of the island’s flora and fauna, please take all that you came with and help keep our beach clean.

_ _ GULF BREEZE Gulf Islands National Seashore Naval Live Oaks will allow guests to enter only until 11 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The gates will close at 11 a.m. Guests may stay until sundown. 

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