Blue Angels Arrive At Tinker AFB Ahead Of Weekend Air Show
MIDWEST CITY – The Blue Angels touched down at Tinker Air Force Base Thursday morning ahead of the 2019 Star Spangled Salute Air and Space Show this weekend.
The group is one of many scheduled to perform.
It has been 12 years since the Blue Angels have performed at Tinker Air Force Base.
The Blue Angels are the second oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world.
It’s taken a lot of planning for Tinker officials to make the visit a possibility.
“We had to request them a long way out and we had to prepare the airfield,” said Colonel Kenyon Bell, 72nd Air Base Wing Commander. “ We had to do some other things on the air field that we wouldn't normally do, safety first. Of course they have some requirements so they have a safe and exciting show.”
Behind the controls of Blue Angels number six is Lieutenant Commander Andre Webb, a Lawton, Oklahoma native.
“It is one of the coolest and humbling things I could do in my life, flying these jets around the country,” said Webb. “I grew up watching the Thunderbirds as a kid so it is pretty cool to be Oklahoma City flying this weekend.”
Webb isn't alone, working mechanics is Clint Blakemore from the Tulsa area.
“I never thought I would be here in a million years, this is a dream come true,” said Blakemore. “And then to come back to my home state and show everyone what the Blue Angels can do, it's pretty awesome.”
This weekend's show will last 45 minutes.
The group spent January through March practicing three times a day. After all, it's practice that makes perfect.
“We know that in the next couple hours we’ll have an opportunity to do better at what we didn't do so well at,” said Webb. “The people on the ground know when we mess up but we take it pretty hard and try to hold ourselves to a standard every flight.”
From small town Oklahoma to the big times, Webb and Blakemore are living proof anything is possible.
“Follow your dreams and dream big, try to do the best you can at everything,” said Webb. “I think the sky is the limit, don't hold yourself back.”
Click here for more information on the 2019 Star Spangled Salute Air and Space Show.