The Blue Angels, this year’s headlining act for the Owensboro Air Show, arrive in the Tri-State.
They started practicing and making final plans for this weekend’s event.
One by one, the 6 F-18 Hornets land at Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport.
“Each one is equally exciting,” says Lt. Commander Damon Kroes, who is flying over the Owensboro riverfront for the first time. It’s a lifelong passion he picked up from his family.
“My grandfather flew aircraft, flew for the Navy. From a very early age, I wanted to fly airplanes,” he recalled.
The Blue Angels practiced this afternoon, in the skies and on simulators, reviewing possible obstacles and the weather for any adjustments.
“What you’ll see this weekend in Owensboro is the result of a very long, but very deliberate process of self-critique, self analyzing our mistakes. Just try to get a little better tomorrow than we are today,” says Lt. Com. Kroes.
Preparing for a show like this is more than just practicing hours a day on maneuvers, it’s also about spending hours a day maintaining these planes for those maneuvers.
“It’s definitely very rewarding, especially since we do a job on them and get to see it work in action,” says Sarah Schenk, a Blue Angels crew chief. She does inspections and works on jet’s electronics before each performance. Schenk says the number of hours checking these F-18 hornets varies day to day.
“Some days we’ll be lucky and we won’t have any problems on any of the jets, and other days, we have airplanes will have tough jobs and avionics will have tough jobs, and it will take several hours,” Schenk says.
“A very common question we get is what’s different about the demo or do you guys ever get tired of flying the same demo? The answer to that is unequivocally no. The level of difficulty is so high that we always challenge ourselves to get a little better,” adds Lt. Com. Kroes.
The Owensboro Air Show runs Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 to 4:30 on the riverfront.
(This story was originally published on September 13, 2018)