The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are giving thanks over Florida’s skies on Friday.
“We salute and thank all healthcare workers, first responders and other essential personnel serving on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19,” is the mantra of both the Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds as they travel throughout hard-hit areas of the country that began in late April with flights together over cities like New York and Washington.
The two teams were training last month at the Blue Angels’ home base in Pensacola, but have now split off with the Navy squadron tackling East Coast destinations and the Thunderbirds heading west.
Friday’s Florida stops began before noon in Jacksonville, and the afternoon slate takes them to South Florida with a flight pattern from West Palm Beach down to Miami and back. Earlier plans had the team making a flight over Tampa, but those were nixed ahead of today’s patterns.
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ travel plans mirrored those of the Blue Angels, speaking in Jacksonville after 11 a.m. and in West Palm at 1:30 p.m.
Onlookers took to social media to post images of the team in action.
The 2020 air show calendar saw the Thunderbirds do a flyover of the Daytona 500 in February, but planned spring stops at Lakeland’s Sun ‘n Fun Fly In & Expo, the Fort Lauderdale Air Show and Miami Beach Air & Sea Show have all been canceled. The Blue Angels were also slated to fly this spring at MacDill Air Fest at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base and the Vero Beach Air Show, also canceled.
Still on the calendar in 2020 for the Thunderbirds is the new Lockheed Martin Space and Air Show to be held at the Orlando Sanford International Airport on Oct. 31-Nov. 1.
And the Blue Angels have their traditional summer Pensacola Beach Air Show on July 11 and Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show at NAS Pensacola on Oct. 16-17.
The 2021 schedule has the Thunderbirds coming to Tyndall Air Force Base on April 10-11 and the Space Coast Warbird Airshow in Titusville on April 17-18. The Blue Angels have lined up five stops in 2021 at NAS Jacksonville on April 10-11, Lakeland’s Sun n’ Fun Expo on April 17-18, Fort Lauderdale Air Show on May 8-9, Pensacola Air Show on July 10-11 and the homecoming show at NAS Pensacola on Nov. 5-6.
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