The Navy’s Blue Angels’ squadron of F-18 fighter jets will pierce the skies above the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport at 650 mph this weekend, buzzing the airport at a mere 50 feet above the ground.
“You won’t hear me coming until I’m gone,” said Lt. C.J. Simonsen of Coon Rapids, Minn, one of six Blue Angels pilots who will perform Saturday and Sunday at the Westmoreland County Air Show.
Spectators will see the Navy jets fly so close together in a diamond formation that just 18 inches will separate the planes speeding at 460 mph, said Simonsen, the lead solo pilot in the No. 5 F-18.
“It’s very, very challenging flying, The amount of teamwork and trust we have between the six pilots is unlike any other I’ve been a part of. It’s a trust that we build in training ... from January to mid-March,” said Simonsen, who is in his third and final year with the Blue Angels. The team will perform in 35 cities and conduct 70 shows.
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