Blue Angels visit Naval Air Weapons Station
Back in March of 2017, the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake, California, hosted an airshow featuring the world famous Blue Angels – the US Navy’s Flight Demonstration Team. According to local media, more than 50,000 people attended the two days of acrobatics and precision flying. It had been 34 years since the Blue Angels had appeared in the Indian Wells Valley. Here are some of my favorite images from the more than 200 I took. Most from the tarmac at China Lake, and some from my front yard some six miles away.
The event opened with a fly-by of a pair of ‘stock’ FA-18 Hornets stationed at Armitage Field on the NAWS followed by some civilian demonstration and acrobatic aircraft to warm up the crowd.
The British Spitfire on the top was one of many warbirds on display. The red aircraft is an Extra-300, similar to the ones flown in the Red Bull World Championships.
Then came the stars of the day:
For more than an hour the Flight Demonstration Team, led by Commander Ryan Bernacchi of Los Altos, California, showed the audience what makes the Hornet one of the finest combat aircraft in the world. The aircraft are essentially the same as the two ‘vanilla’ planes from China Lake that opended the show. The Navy claims that all the Blue Angels can be restored to combat readiness in 72 hours or less — I don’t suppose that includes stripping off the traditional Navy blue and gold paint job.
The rest of the pics speak for themselves