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Jacksonville Air Show
The Sea & Sky Spectacular at Jax Beach

Thursday, November 01, 2007

click for video of the Blue Angels practice

A blustery day at the beach as the Blue Angels flew in about noon today. Flyovers by Fat Albert and others sporadically throughout the day shook the windows of Jax Beach residences as locals gathered on the walkovers in front of a beach spewn with foam and seaweed from this week’s nor’easter.

Tomorrow is the official opening of the Jacksonville Sea and Sky Spectacular, a annual event that alternates between downtown and the beach, and this year we got‘em.. Festivities officially begin at 6 pm at the Seawalk Pavilion, where you can mingle amongst the pilots and performers, get a bite to eat, join the military and get an earful of some piano music.

But the real show starts earlier at 3, when the Blue Angels take to the skies for a practice run. Throughout the afternoon you can expect to be shaked, rattled, and rolled as the military and civilian performers practice their stunts and acrobatics over the shoreline of Jax Beach. Expect to see aircraft ranging from WWII biplanes, to modern day fighter jets, transports, and helicopters from all branches of the military.

joining the Air Force wheres the sky? wwwoooaaaa gaurding the skies storming the beach

On Saturday the invasion begins at 10 am with a not so covert parachute drop by the Black Daggers and Red Devils coalition skydiving teams. The battle progresses as helicopters and fighter jets soften the enemy in preparation for an all out assault on the beach. Cannons from ships just hundreds of feet offshore pound the shoreline as amphibious vessels crawl onto the beach and up to the dunes.

Once the perimeter is secured, thousands of grateful civilians stampede the strand to greet their liberators and marvel at their ways and means. Navy, Air Force, Army and Marines sit behind the scenes enticing the native youth with simulators and paper pamphlets to join their ranks.

Cleaning up after the operation is the U.S. Coast Guard, manning the skies and seas in a skillful demonstration of their search and rescue technique.

Finally, at the last hour, the Navy’s celebrated Blue Angels head directly for the pier, seemingly from an aircraft carrier moored far offshore, only to disperse in a stunning feat of aerial acrobatics. An hour of flyovers, flips, and near misses, as they perform their antics in tightly formed wing to wing formations, at one point hovering seemingly motionless just above the pier.

Apparently, overnight a coup occurs, and they have to do it all over again on Sunday. Already on familiar ground, mission accomplished is an hour earlier, as the show ends at 3:00pm.

One thing to keep an eye out for. They will never tell you if, when or where, the military being a secretive bunch, but at some point, out of nowhere and gone in a flash, there very well could be an impressively silent fly over by the military’s proudest secret, the Stealth Bomber.

Show starts at 3:00 on Friday, 10:00 – 4:00 Saturday, and 10:00 – 3:00 Sunday. Weather is expected to be sunny and breezy, leave your bathing suit at home. No swimming allowed!

Stay tuned for some video!

Click here for an Air Show Photo Gallery