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Blue Angels, Thunderbirds to finish up air show season in Florida

Pilots of the U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, pilots perform a double farvel during a demonstration Oct. 21, 2018, at The Wings Over Houston Airshow at Ellington Airport.

TIMOTHY SCHUMAKER/U.S. NAVY

By RICHARD TRIBOU | Orlando Sentinel | Published: October 26, 2018

(Tribune News Service) — The Navy and the Air Force take to the Florida skies for the next two weeks as each finishes up its air show season for 2018.

First up is the Navy’s Blue Angels jet team, which will be flying over Jacksonville this weekend for two days of free air show performances at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

Dubbed the Birthplace of the Blue Angels Air Show, gates open Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. with a variety of civilian and military aircraft performing throughout the day starting at 10 a.m.

The Blue Angels will headline each day with two performances on Saturday, at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., and a 3 p.m. flight Sunday.

Unlike many other air shows in the state, because it’s on a military base, the show is free and it’s free to park.

In addition to the aerial performances, the base offers military and civilian aircraft displays and a free Kids Zone.

Bring cash for the food, beverage and gift vendors. For more information, go to nasjaxairshow.com.

It is the Blue Angels’ penultimate performance in Florida for 2018 with next weekend’s finale at their home base at Naval Air Station Pensacola from Nov. 2-3. (naspensacolaairshow.com)

Meanwhile, the Air Force Thunderbirds return to Florida for one last performance next week in South Florida, headlining the Wings Over Homestead at Homestead Air Reserve Base on Nov. 3-4. (wingsoverhomesteadarb.com)

The Thunderbirds made three earlier air show visits to the state as well as their annual flyover at the Daytona 500. The Blue Angels had five air shows in Florida on their 2018 plate, including the two to finish up the season.

For 2019, The Thunderbirds currently have only two Florida air show visits plus the Daytona 500 flyover slated, and the first air show is at Tyndall Air Force Base on March 30-31. Tyndall, though, was heavily damaged by Hurricane Michael. The only other air show slated for now is Nov. 2-3, 2019, in southwestern Florida for the annual Florida International Air Show in Punta Gorda.

The Blue Angels, though, have six Florida shows slated for 2019 starting with March 30-31 at Naval Air Station Key West for the Southernmost Air Show, followed by the Sun-n-Fun International Fly-In & Expo in Lakeland on April 6-7, the Fort Lauderdale Air Show on May 4-5, the Pensacola Beach Airshow on July 13, and finishing up 2019 once again at the Jacksonville Sea and Sky Spectacular on Nov. 2-3 and Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow at NAS Pensacola on Nov. 8-9.

©2018 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
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