OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) This year’s main attraction for the Owensboro Air Show landed earlier today.
The Blue Angels are back in western Kentucky, making their first appearance in three years.
This is the first year they’re using the new F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, replacing the F/A-18s they’ve used for 34 years. They’re part of the air show that’s back after taking a hiatus last year.
They were heard and seen around 10:30 A.M. as they landed by Mid-America Jet.
“For me, this is kind of like home,” said Crew Chief Jeremy Bluhm. For him, it’s a sort of homecoming. He’s originally from Nashville, but has family living in Newburgh.
“My mom lives in Newburgh in the Evansville area. So, every year, I try to come up and visit her, and it’s always a pleasure to be in this area,” he said.
The Blue Angels make their return for the first time since 2018. 2021 also marks the 75th anniversary for them, and their first year after the pandemic canceled most of their shows last year.
“We were able to at least do Operation America Strong to, at least, support the frontline workers, show solidarity for that. It is nice to get out there and have a sense of normalcy to be able to come out here,” said Maintenance Officer Lt. Brian Abe.
There was no air show in 2020, but it had nothing to do with the pandemic. City officials decided prior to the pandemic to take a year off from the air show in an attempt to host other types of events, but the sights and sounds of the air show are back. For crew members, shows like this keep bringing in something new and exciting, just like they first saw when they were growing up.
“It never gets old. Even when I was a little kid, like I said, I saw them then and everyday, seeing it now is still a thrill. You never know what they’re going to do next,” Bluhm said.
Air show organizers say the blue angels help bring more people to the show. The 2018 edition, where they last appeared, brought 50,000 to 60,000 spectators.
(This story was originally published on August 12, 2021)