Cue Kelly McGillis’s wild, curly hair, Tom Cruise in a sweaty white t-shirt, adorable Meg Ryan and Anthony Edwards…..and I’ll be playin’ playin’ with the boys!
That’s right, we went to see the US Navy’s Blue Angels after all! After getting married, I had to give up my plush cottage on Lake Washington in Madison Park (I guess that was a good sacrifice ;)), which meant I no longer had my own private viewing of the Blue Angels. So we have to get creative! This year, we drove around Madrona & Leschi neighborhoods until we found a parking spot on the street (thanks Mom for your Googling assistance on parking laws in Seattle) so we could walk to Interstate 90 for the show.
Every year, for four days in August, the state shuts down Interstate 90 between Seattle and Bellevue and they allow people to walk out onto the bridge for the view. Despite the fact that you can’t jump off the bridge to cool off, my kitchen is not readily available for summertime snack making, and there is no private restroom, the view hands down beats my dock showing! The planes buzz us non stop and you get a close up view of their insanely fast precision flying. Sooooo cool.
Every year, the show starts off with “Fat Albert” buzzing the crowds around the lake. Fat Albert is a C-130 (aka Beluga Plane, named by me 15-20 years ago). It is the Blue Angel support plane, but is operated by the US Marine Corps.
Before you know it, the planes are heading straight for you on the bridge!!!
And within seconds they blow right PAST you! I think they blew that 60 MPH speed limit sign right out of the water.
They get really close to the boats and bridge, to the point where you can see the pilot’s helmets.
Their trademark formation is the pyramid of six pilots. In 2007 after a tragic accident, a pilot was missing and they flew in the “missing man formation” where one plane was not present for the rest of the year. 😦
They perform many acrobatics where they fly so very close to each other, it’s just hard to believe it’s possible. It’s true precision.
They also always have perfect angles. Perfect.
In the picture below, I think they were about 1-200 feet overhead? So insanely close it makes your body shake. The noise is awesome (please bring ear plugs or protective ear cover if you have a baby).
They also do a lot of group acrobatics where they will fly literally from every edge of the lake (12 miles long) and meet in the middle to do a formation like the one below where they looped all the way around.
Scott caught this picture of me catching a final glimpse of the show for 2009. Maybe it’s because I’m a pilot’s daughter, but I don’t think I could ever miss this show.
It’s extremely controversial in this town …the traffic, the wasted fuel, disturbing the flora and fauna, etc etc… (but really, what isn’t?), when it comes down to it, it’s an amazing spectacle and shouldn’t be missed.