News>Blue Angels to headline Robins Air Show April 28-29
Lt. Mark Tedrow and Lt. Cmdr. Todd Royles are greeted on Robins flight line by Clyde Byrd, airfield manager and Lt. Col. Dwayne Gray, air show director Nov 18. The Blue Angels representatives visited Robins for briefings and a tour of facilities in preparation for the air show here in April. (U. S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)
Blue Angel aircraft #7 taxies on the Robins flight line Nor 18. Lt. Mark Tedrow and Lt. Cmdr. Todd Royles visited Robins for briefing and a tour of facilities in preparation for the air show in April. (U. S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)
Lt. Col. Dan Badia talks with Lt. Mark Tedrow and Lt. Cmdr. Todd Royles in a hangar on Robins flightline about the requirements for housing the Blue Angels while they are here for the air show in April. (U. S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)
Lt. Cmdr. Todd Royles, Blue Angel event coordinator, climbs out of the #7 aircraft after landing at Robins for briefings and a tour of Robins facilities. The visit was for preparation for the April air show here. (U. S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)
by Jenny Gordon
78th Air Force Base Public Affairs
11/21/2011 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron, will headline the 2012 Robins Air Force Base Air Show, scheduled for April 28 and 29.
It has been more than 13 years since the demonstration team visited Middle Georgia back in 1998, but members are already traveling the continental U.S., visiting cities where shows will take place next year.
A team of two Naval officers conducted a site visit at the base Nov. 18. This time of year is pretty busy for visits, especially since the demo team just wrapped up its hometown show in Pensacola, Fla., during the Veteran's Day holiday weekend.
Lt. Cmdr. Todd Royles and Lt. Mark Tedrow arrived early Friday afternoon, taxiing onto the flightline on board the number seven Boeing F/A-18 Hornet - the Blue Angels' current demo aircraft.
Touring facilities with Lt. Col. Dan "Gus" Badia, 413th Flight Test Group chief of standardization and evaluations and F-15 test pilot, the visitors were able to assess hangar space for its fleet of seven aircraft and a C-130 Hercules, affectionately known as "Fat Albert."
They had requested 15,000 square feet of hangar space for aircraft and were impressed with the size of Robins as they were given a windshield tour Friday afternoon.
A requirements briefing was also conducted at the 78th Air Base Wing conference room, attended by base representatives, Robins' air show director, Federal Aviation Administration, hotel contacts, and recruiters who help with the Blue Angels' educational mission of visiting schools while in host cities.
"It's to get eyes on the show site, so when we start looking at imagery and charts we know what everything looks like. It's to introduce ourselves to you, since we'll be working hand-in-hand with folks during the next several months," said Lt. Cmdr. Royles, events coordinator.
"It's our job to come here and see what is unique to this show site," added Royles. "No two cities are identical.
"We want to do everything safely so we meet with the FAA to make sure our maneuvers, based on where the population is around this airfield, the obstructions, etc., can be conducted safely," he said.
When the Blue Angels travel from show to show, which equals 35 cities each year from March to November, their crew includes 14 officers, seven F-18 pilots, two C-130 pilots, an events coordinator, maintenance officer, flight surgeon, administrative officer and public affairs officer, and about 40 enlisted personnel and maintainers.
The team requests up to 15,000 feet above ground level clearance, which can include five variations of demonstrations based on the weather. With FAA concurrence, they can fly all the way down to 1,000 feet with an overcast ceiling and three miles of visibility with all six aircraft and still fly safely.
The demo team is in its 66th year of Blue Angel flight demonstration.
Pilots typically stay for a two to three-year rotation, which provides a unique stepping stone in their Naval careers before returning to flying 'gray' airplanes.
"We're training to be warfighters, and that's what we'll continue to do once we are done with this tour," said Tedrow, who completed deployments aboard the USS Ronald Reagan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
In the meantime, pilots conduct winter training, which began last week, at home base Naval Air Station Pensacola. They go through such things as taxi training, section takeoff maneuvers, smoke cadence training, and diamond flight and solo training.
Then in January the team heads to El Centro, Calif., where pilots fly 15 flights in six days, and begin to integrate all six aircraft, practicing in the desert and over a runway. Once there, an FAA air show coordinator and Navy admiral watch the demonstrations and certify them to take the show on the road.
One of the primary missions of the Blue Angels, an all volunteer force by the way, involves a recruitment as well as educational aspect. They visit schools during the year and summer camps to infuse themselves in local communities.
"We are here to represent the Navy and Marine Corps, so coming to a base like this is great," said Royles.
11/23/2011 9:19:04 AM ET I was wondering who the event coordinator is for the upcoming Blue Angels Air Show in April 2012