Hang onto your hat and experience the magic of flight as half a dozen civilian stunt pilots and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels zip and zoom above the Pensacola Beach skies July 12-13 at the annual Pensacola Beach Air Show, hosted by the Santa Rosa Island Authority.
“Every year we look forward to hosting this world-famous air show along the shores of this world-class beach with our hometown heroes, the Blue Angels,” said Robbie Schrock, director of administration for the SRIA.
The U.S. Navy’s elite flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, is the highlight of the show. Look to the Gulf of Mexico horizon as six, signature blue-and-gold F-18 Hornets make their way over Pensacola Beach, wingtip-to-wingtip flying mere inches from one another. Spectators will get a glimpse of 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 Blue Angels have perfected over the past 70 years.
In addition to the Blue Angels, there also will be a host of death defying aerobatic and stunt plane performers — including solo pilots Gary Ward; Kevin Coleman; Skip Stewart; and Julian MacQueen; plus Ken Rieder and Shaun Roessner with Redline Aerobatic Team. In addition, the Veteran’s Flight team will be flying up to a dozen vintage World War II Stearmans; and the U.S. Coast Guard will perform a helicopter search and rescue demonstration next to the Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier. The air show also includes interactive exhibits, military recruitment stations and all types of vendors on the beach.
Kicking off the air show week is “Breakfast with the Blues,” on July 10 around 8 a.m. when the Blue Angels arrive and circle overhead to mark the show’s coordinates and center points along Pensacola Beach.
On July 11 at 2 p.m., the Blue Angels hold a full practice show over Pensacola Beach. For those wanting to see the Blue Angels performance without the massive weekend crowds, this is a perfect solution.
July 12 marks the Pensacola Beach Air Show full dress rehearsal, with the civilian aerobatic acts starting just before noon. The Blue Angels take to the skies at 2 p.m. when Fat Albert, the Blue Angels’ C-130, passes overhead to signal the start of the show.
July 13 marks the official Pensacola Beach Air Show and follows Friday’s dress rehearsal schedule exactly, weather depending.
“The Pensacola Beach Air Show is a fantastic spectacle and attraction for tourists and locals alike to be able to enjoy every summer,” said Ghio. “We welcome everyone to come experience the magic of flight along our pristine, sugar-white shores.”