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Blue Angels Are Back In Jacksonville For This Weekend's NAS Jax Airshow

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Naval Air Station Jacksonville Air Show's Facebook page
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The Blue Angels will be performing at Naval Air Station Jacksonville this weekend.

The Blue Angels are back home in Jacksonville this weekend for the NAS Jax Air Show.

The Navy’s elite flying team got its start in Jacksonville at the end of World War II with its first aerial demonstration taking place on June 15, 1946, at Craig Field, according to the Jacksonville Historical Society.

Although Jacksonville was the Navy flight demonstration squadron’s birthplace, today the Blue Angels are based in Pensacola.

The gates open at 9 a.m. Saturday for the free airshow at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, with the show at 10 a.m. NAS Jax is located at 6801 Roosevelt Blvd.

Visitors will be entering the base at the Yorktown and Allegheny gates. They will not be allow in south of Yorktown Avenue.

The Blue Angels will perform at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Guests will be guided to available parking based on where they enter.

Base officials are expecting about 300,000 visitors during the weekend.  Guests and area residents should expect traffic delays. 

Fans attending Saturday's Florida-Georgia game at TIAA Bank are also in for a treat. During the 3 p.m. performance the Blue Angels will do a flyover ahead of the 3:3o p.m. kickoff before looping back to the base.

Boaters can also take advantage of watching the show from the St. Johns River or other tributaries. Restricted water zones will be clearly marked.

Although the Blue Angels are always the headliners, plenty of other flyers will be showing off for guests.

The "First Lady of Aerobatics," Patty Wagstaff of St. Augustine, will be performing. She's internationally known for what the Navy claims are the “most thrilling, low-level aerobatic routines in the world.”

A six-time member of the U.S. Aerobatic Team, Wagstaff has won the gold, silver and bronze medals in Olympic-level international aerobatic competition and is the first woman to win the title of U.S. National Aerobatic champion and one of the few people to win it three times, according to a news release from NAS Jacksonville.

Other performers at this year’s show include:

  • Mike Goulian in his Extra 330SC aerobatic aircraft.
  • The Geico Skytypers with their six vintage U.S. Navy SNJ trainers.
  • The Warrior Flight Team, a fast-paced, demonstration of air combat maneuvering.
  • Greg Shelton and Ashley The Wing Walker in the FM-2 Wildcat.
  • Rob Holland’s MXS-RH aerobatic aircraft.
  • Paul McCowan Airshows and Skydiving Team.
  • Skip Stewart’s Pitts S-2S Special.
  • Matt Younkin’s Super Decathlon.
  • Matt Chapman’s Viper Jet and a P-3C “Orion” and P-8A “Poseidon” flyover. 

Additional information, including a Q & A about the airshow, is available at this NAS Jax website.
 

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.