GOLDSBORO, N.C. — Like a ballet in the sky, the Navy’s Blue Angels precision-flying team perform with style and grace. And despite a tragedy that claimed one of the group, they will be at the "Wings Over Wayne" air show this weekend at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
There had been some question after the April 21 crash in Beaufort, S.C., whether the Blue Angels – officially known as the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron — would be ready to perform this weekend. Lt. Cmdr Kevin J. Davis, 32, of Pittsfield, Mass., died in that accident.
Their practice Thursday eliminated that question though, of course, not their memory of Davis.
“I'm always going to carry that with me. He was a good, good friend of mine, a great pilot and a great friend, a great naval officer. So, we're always going to carry a little piece of him with us and I think about it a lot,” Lt. Cmdr. John Allison said.
In the cockpit, however, Allison said they stay focused on the flight.
“We have a job to do, and it’s busy up there,” Allison said.
Lt. Cmdr. Craig Olson is the newest member of the team. He served with the Blue Angels from 2003 to 2005 and just returned to fill the vacancy in the plane with the number 6 on its tail.
Since this is actually his first full practice with the Blue Angels, there will be only five of the F/A-18 Hornets in the performance this weekend.