NAS PENSACOLA (WALA) – The Blue Angels flew back into Pensacola and back into their normal routine Monday, March 24.
The sequestration debacle of 2013 left Blue Angel fans high and dry as funding to fly in air shows was cut. That’s all over now and the Blues will be practicing this week as they prepare for a new season.
Blues Are Back
They’re back! Only the Blue Angels can pull off an entrance like this. The Blues are now back in business at NAS Pensacola ending a year of frustration after sequestration grounded the Blues in 2013.
Commander Tom Frosch told us, “It just really makes you realize it’s a special thing and you never know how long it will last.”
Frosch said the team is approaching this year with a new appreciation of what they get to do for a living.
“We had so much support this past year and I think it’s going to be a nice way to say thank you to the community to put on some good shows and some good practices and I can’t wait for the beach show. I don’t want it to come too quickly. I want to enjoy this,” Frosch said.
2013’s grounding not only hurt fans it hurt the economy. According to a University of West Florida study, The Blue Angels created a $2.4 million economic boost just for the beach show in 2012 along with another $620,000 in extra wages.
In 2014, though, sequestration is over and these guys are back in the air for all their shows. So what can we expect?
“We just want to put on a safe, sound demonstration and just try to inspire kids and help them pursue their goals and follow dreams,” Frosch said.
Modest words, but we know what to really expect. For Blue Angel fans the roar of their jets is the best way to say they’re back!
Practice Time Changed
Practices begin Wednesday, March 26. Starting times for the practices have been changed this year to 11:30 a.m.
The pilots say the later start time will give them more realistic air show conditions and hopefully help with traffic for those that come to watch.