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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tips for Attending the Blue Angels Practice Session behind the Naval Aviation Museum - Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola, Florida is the home of the United States Navy's Blue Angels. When they are at home, the Blue Angels hold practice sessions twice a week on most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings (and a few other days depending on the week!) at 8:30am. These practice sessions are located behind the National Naval Aviation Museum on NAS Pensacola. Two weeks ago, we took the kids to a Friday practice session. It was amazing! I grew up in a military household so I am used to seeing the Blues and other aircraft, but seeing the Blue Angels so close was unreal!

It is a short walk to the flight line for the show!

A front row seat on the flightline waiting for the show to start!

After going to our first practice session, I have a few tips for those attending for the first time!

1. Call the Blue Angels' office ahead of time on the morning that you go. According to the website, the schedule is subject to change because of weather or other unforeseen events. I was glad we called before we left because they had changed the start time from 8:30 to 8am.

2. Bring earplugs. If you are sensitive to noise you will want earplugs. My husband and I were fine, but our kids were happy to have their earplugs. They sometimes have vendors selling them for 75 cents, but if you have your own make sure you bring them.

3. If you are going with children, bring chairs or a blanket to sit on. There are bleachers but they fill up pretty quickly. There was still space in the bleachers but we decided to sit on a blanket so the kids could move around. Make sure you get there early so you can get a good spot.

4. If you can pick your day, head to the practice session on a Wednesday. On Wednesdays, after the practice session, the museum holds an autograph session with the pilots. What a great opportunity for your kids! I plan on doing this at least once this summer. My son will be ecstatic! After the autograph session, let your children sit in one of the Blue Angel cockpits in the museum!

5. Bring your own water. The Pensacola humidity is tough in the summertime!

6. If you get there early enough, get a seat near one of the volunteers. The volunteers have walkie talkies that you can hear the #1 pilot communicate through. The volunteers also keep the kids informed of what is going on.

Here are other pictures from the practice session.

Check out other travel photos at Photo Friday over at Delicious Baby!


familyadventureguidebooks said...

What a fun adventure. Some of these tips will be very useful if we decide to head out to the San Diego Air Show. Thanks!

The Q Family said...

That's so neat! What a great day out. Next time we head down to that area, I will make sure to put that on my things-to-do list. :) Thanks for sharing a great tips!

-Amy @ The Q Family

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

They are amazing, aren't they? You probably saw our friend flying. Another great way to prepare for an airshow or for a visit to the museum/ their practice is to watch this:


According to our friend, it's a very accurate and interesting peek into what it takes to be a Blue Angel pilot.

Marina K. Villatoro said...

My grandfather actually use to fly planes like this. I would love to go to one of these events and see it in person!
Photo Friday - Banana Plantations In Action

Lorraine said...

You bring back memories of when the Blue Angels flew in San Francisco. I'll never forget the fly-by they did at the Golden Gate Bridge. Breathtaking, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Amazing photos! I've never seen an air show like this around here in the Detroit area. Closest I've come is seeing one of the jets from the nearby Army base do a flyover of a local parade.