PENSACOLA, Fla. — Pensacola Beach Airshow officials announced Friday they remain committed to hosting the four-day event in July and introduced a plan to allow guests to social distance.
The Blue Angels and top civilian aerobatic pilots will perform over the beaches of the Emerald Coast on July 8-11. This marks the Blue Angels first public air show of the year.
“The four-day event program has been designed around social distancing,” Robbie Schrock, Director of Administration with Santa Rosa Island Authority, said on Friday “To further comply with CDC recommendations, the air show has no center point, which allows the footprint to be expanded substantially.”
The Blue Angels aerobatic box extends 25-miles from Park East, Fla. west to Orange Beach, Ala. The lack of an air show center will allow guests to social distance.
Schrock notes the early air show times allows for cooler temperatures “and reduce the strain on available resources”. Guests are encouraged to arrive early each day.
Each day, the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron will begin a 45-minute performance at 10:00 a.m. Their six blue-and-gold jets will demonstrate their signature maneuvers both in close formation and high speed passes.
“The 2020 Blue Angels are extremely excited to have the opportunity to perform over Pensacola Beach,” Blue Angels Boss CDR Brian C. Kesselring said. “Our primary focus after months of preparation and training is to demonstrate the teamwork, professionalism, and precision of Navy and Marine Corps aviation to the members of (the) community.”
Pilots Gary Ward, Kevin Coleman, Skip Stewart, and Veterans Flight will perform only above Casino Beach on Friday and Saturday only. Their flights will begin at 11:30 a.m.
Pensacola Beach is the first of seven air shows remaining for the Blue Angels. The squadron’s 74th season is the last piloting the F/A-18 C/D Hornets. They will upgrade to the Super Hornets in November.
(Charles A. Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)