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Blue Angels To Perform This Weekend As Part Of Star-Spangled Sailabration

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Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The Blue Angels will be performing in Baltimore to celebrate the Star-Spangled Sailabration.

Alex DeMetrick has more.

Two hundred years ago, it was bombs bursting in the air, but this week, it’s going to be the roar of jets.

When the Blue Angels do a shakedown run, they tend to shake things up.

Getting a feel for the airspace over Fort McHenry on Thursday came as a surprise for local neighborhoods.

“So exciting! We’re loving it! We ran outside as soon as we heard everything, taking pictures, videos to send all of our friends,” Jocelyn Brooks, who lives on nearby Fort Avenue, said.

“I feel like we have an exclusive show just for us on a Thursday afternoon at work. It makes the day really exciting,” Molly Neifeld, also on Fort Avenue, said.

The Blue Angels are staging out of Martin State Airport. Their appearance for the Star-Spangled Sailabration is one of many airshows they’ll perform this summer.

Sounds pretty routine.

“Are you kidding me? We do the same demonstration week in and week out but every show location is unique, every show location has its very unique challenges,” Capt. Greg McWherther of the Blue Angels said.

Capt. McWherther is the Blue Angels’ commanding officer. Aerobatics like the ones performed over Annapolis take months of practice.

“I’m responsible for making all the calm calls. I make all the go, no-go decisions,” McWherther said. “And I make the adjustments for the weather. So ultimately, I’m responsible for leading the flight demonstration.”

More than pilots travel with the fighters. There are also 130 maintenance and support staff.

Maryland native Sammy Holmes’ job is to keep them flying.

“Sixty-six years of maintenance, we’ve never canceled an airshow for maintenance at all,” P.O. Holmes said. “When the jets take off, we know we did our job, and that we did it right and that’s really a thrill for the guys.”

This is only the second time the Blue Angels have performed in Baltimore. The last time was in 1959. They will be performing Saturday and Sunday starting at 1 p.m.

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