blue angels

Sandra Averhart

 

The Blue Angels are presenting their annual air show over Pensacola Beach this weekend, part of Red, White and Blues Week.  The team is ready to go and looking forward to performing their first home town show since tragedy struck last month.

   In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the July tourism boom, the effect of Brexit on the U.S. housing market and the call to repeal the commercial real estate sales tax.

July means big business for tourism and leisure and hospitality industries in the Panhandle, and this year is no exception.

U.S. Navy Blue Angels

Navy Commander Frank Weisser has been tapped to return to the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, to serve as their new Blue Angel #6 Opposing Solo pilot for the remainder of the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Weisser previously served with the Blue Angels from 2008 to 2010 and performed duties including Narrator, Key Influencer and VIP Pilot, Opposing Solo and Lead Solo.

He replaces Captain Jeff Kuss, who passed away June 2nd during practice for an airshow in Smyrna, Tennessee.

U.S. Navy

  Almost a month after the fatal crash of their number-6 jet, the Blue Angels are gearing up to restart their 2016 performance schedule.

Practice resumed this week in the skies above NAS Pensacola in preparation for the National Cherry Festival Air Show this weekend in Traverse City, Michigan. Lt. Ryan Chamberlain, who files the Number-5 jet, calls it “rebuilding the demo.”

U.S. Navy Blue Angels

The Blue Angels have restarted training flights in preparation to resume their air show season schedule.

"We are back, Blue Angels Fans!" were the words beginning a Twitter post Thursday. "Today the team returns to the skies after our operational pause."

The U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration  Squadron flew its first training flight in a "Big V" formation, with five aircraft, over the Pensacola area Thursday Morning.  The flight took place at about 9:30 a.m. and was visible over downtown Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key.

IHMC

We were on the back deck of our house on Pensacola Beach last week when the Blue Angels brought Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss home for his last sunset pass over Santa Rosa Island, Perdido Key and downtown Pensacola.

It was a striking scene, a lone F/A-18 in the vivid colors of the Blue Angels, tight on the wing of Fat Albert, the C-130 support aircraft that is itself an iconic symbol of the team.

northescambia.com

Thursday was a day of honor and reflection in memory of Marine Corps Capt. Jeff Kuss -- who died when his Blue Angel number-6 jet crashed near Nashville, Tennessee last week.

A private memorial service for the 32-year-old Kuss was held aboard NAS Pensacola on Thursday morning. On Thursday evening, Veterans Memorial Park was filled for a public candlelight vigil sponsored by the City of Pensacola.

USN

    

Flags are at half-staff in and around Pensacola, as the city joins in the mourning for the first Blue Angel pilot to die in a crash in nine years. 

Marine Captain Jeff Kuss died Thursday when his Number-6 FA-18 Hornet crashed just after takeoff during an afternoon practice session from the Smyrna, Tennessee airport near Nashville.

The other five pilots landed safely, and returned to NAS Pensacola Friday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Great Tennessee Air Show will go on as scheduled on Saturday and Sunday.

USN

Update: 

The Associated Press says the Blue Angels pilot who died Thursday when his jet crashed near Nashville, Tennessee was Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss from Colorado.

A U.S. official, who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity, identified Capt. Kuss as the pilot who was killed in the crash. Kuss reportedly joined the Blue Angels in 2014, and had over 1,400 flight hours. 

The Navy’s flight demonstration team was practicing for the Great Tennessee Air Show, set for this weekend.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

Two performances into the 2016 season, the Blue Angels returned to Pensacola Monday, to celebrate the squadron’s 70th birthday.

The crowd gathered in the atrium at the Naval Aviation Museum welcoming the Blues, their wives, and their children back to Pensacola. There followed proclamations from the City of Pensacola, Escambia County, and base commander Capt. Keith Hoskins – himself a former Blue Angel.

Fresh off their season-ending performance over NAS Pensacola, the Blue Angels welcomed a new boss on Sunday at the National Museum of Naval Aviation.

The hour-long ceremony, filled with Navy traditions, said goodbye to Captain Tom Frosch and greeted Commander Ryan Bernacchi, who takes over for the next two seasons. Rear Admiral Michael White told the packed atrium that these days, there are a number of debates over the Blues’ return on investment, especially if recruiting is up after a show.

Photo via Flickr// John P.//onemansblog.com. / https://flic.kr/p/8QspvD

  Thousands of Blue Angels fans will crowd aboard NAS Pensacola on Friday and Saturday, for the flight demonstration team’s homecoming, and season-ending, performance.

2015 took the Blues across the United States, beginning in March above their winter home in El Centro, California; 68 performances at 38 venues later, the season closes at home.

Capt. Tom Frosch is also wrapping up his time as team commander. But his thoughts this weekend will be the same, as they were during his first show in 2013.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the importance of the Fourth of July holiday weekend to local beach tourism and his latest viewpoint on wage growth.

First, visitors and locals alike will be celebrating Independence Day across the gulf coast this weekend.

According to Harper, the forward looking indicators are very strong.

“We’re seeing low gas prices, lowest they’ve been really in about five years,” he said. “We’re also seeing job growth.”

U.S. Navy

The Blue Angels announced the commanding officer for the 2016 and 2017 seasons on Monday. And he’s coming to the team from both the cockpit and the classroom.

“I’m still very overwhelmed and humbled by the news I just received, and I’m absolutely thrilled by this opportunity,” said Commander Ryan Bernacchi.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses significant local happenings, including Pensacola’s new 12-day fall cultural event, the Foo Foo Festival.

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