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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cowboys of the Wild Blue Yonder

The Blue Angels rule the sky. They are the cowboys and cowgirls of the wild blue yonder. Yes, some of the pilots are female. They put on an amazing performance at the annual Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan over the Fourth of July. These pilots are extraordinary. Fearless. Gutsy. Nerves of steel. Daring. Brave. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound with brilliant precision control.

It was an absolutely gorgeous, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky kind of day. Perfect weather for these F/A-18 Hornets to roar across the skies at a speed of up to 700 mph over the calm, cobalt waters of Grand Traverse Bay on majestic Lake Michigan.

My husband was especially interested in the show because he shares a history with one of the aircraft. As a Navy man during the Viet Nam War, he flew reconnaissance missions in a giant, hulking monster of a plane called a C-130T Hercules. Today, over 40 years later, that very same C-130 airplane participates in all the Blue Angel shows. Fat Albert, as it's affectionately called, is used to transport personnel, gear, parts and communications equipment. Amazingly, it can carry 155,000 lbs. of weight and take off in 15 seconds like a rocket...full throttle, nearly straight up. My husband was thrilled to see his old sky ship again after all these years. I asked him if he had scrawled any graffitti in the cockpit all those many years ago. He smiled but didn't say a word.





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13 comments:

Coffeypot said...

I love me some Blue Angles and those C130's were a workhorse in Vietnam. Tell hubs thanks and welcome home for me.

ChrisJ said...

Aren't they wonderful? They come down here too -- maybe they are based here? We see Fat Albert too, lumbering along

Barb said...

Fantastic photo's. I remember going to the cherry festival as a kid. My grandma lived in TC.

Ridgely Johnson said...

The photos remind me of why I am so proud to be an American. Please thank your husband for serving our country in the Vietnam War.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

I've seen these guys in action. You got amazing photos...good job.

Cheeseboy said...

What a cool sight to behold. I have never been to one of these, but this makes me want to go.

Oklahoma Granny said...

I've always marveled at the expertise of the Blue Angels. So impressive!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Beautiful.

ReformingGeek said...

I love the Blue Angels and what an interesting connection with Fat Albert!

I love the photos.

J.P. Travis said...

Hey, I was up in the Leelanau Peninsula on the 4th, too. We saw A-10's come in over the treetops and wondered what the heck was happening. How do you like that? Maybe we ran into each other and didn't even know it. Were you the woman who cut in front of me at Mudick's Fudge in Sutton's Bay?

Elettra said...

I also know I had the opportunity to witness the spectacle of the tricolor Arrows aerobatic military in my country are more than extraordinary, many compliments for the Blue Angels

Wrexie said...

We were in Pensacola hanging out on the beach during a TDY and got a private airshow (they were practicing). OH MAN! Love the Angles!! I get goosebumps just looking at the pictures. I got to see them and the Thunderbirds a few times. always a rush.
...the sound of freedom!

Thanks for followin' my blog. Guess you're cooking American pie today. :)

Krystal said...

wow I took some really similar pics: http://likesuchfun.blogspot.com/2010/06/show.html if you fancy to see them!

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