I have what it takes to be a Blue Angel…minus the ability to fly.
I love what those guys do. Take the most basic skills every pilot knows and combine them into a performance. Then take those basic skills and perform them closer and closer together until the planes are 18 inches apart. The Blue Angels, Thunderbirds and Canadian
Snowbirds are the best of the best. We pay lots of money to see them in airshows. We, “ohh and ahh”, over them. But, what they’re doing is the exact same thing every other pilot does…they just add the “wow” aspect to it.
The Blue Angels use the same skill set as their peers, but they perform it from a different perspective. It’s that perspective that attracts hundreds of thousands of fans. A fighter pilot flying a plane over my house makes me look up and say, “wow, that’s fast”, and I go about my day. A Blue Angel formation flying over my house practicing for the next day’s airshow, causes me to pull out my phone and take a video. It makes me yell to my wife to come outside and look in the sky. Seeing those planes for just a few seconds makes me tell my kids about it when I pick them up from school and has all the neighbors on the street sharing their memories of seeing the Blue Angels. It’s amazing the effect precision has on people’s perception.
“Present the topics of the day, that everyone is talking about, from a different angle and you’ll stand out.” That’s what Steve Reynolds, who is a coach of radio talent, preaches everyday. You could be the pilot of the plane, at the airshow, that flies over one at a time. As a spectator it’s neat to watch that for a moment or two, but that’s it. Or, you could be one of the Blue Angels. Everyone will make sure they’re in the viewing area early so as not to miss you. When you fly over in the diamond formation everyone will stop talking and stare with wide eyes dreaming they were up there with you. When you perform the exact same things every other Navy pilot does as part of his job, but perform it within such a tight space relying on the skill of your teammates as they rely on your skill, the spectators will think you’re amazing. The spectators will remember you and talk about you because what you did was different and stood out.
It’s not easy to be a Blue Angel…in the Navy or in civilian life. It takes time, practice, belief in yourself, trust in others and total focus. Is it worth it? I guess that comes down to do you want to fly the plane no one remembers or do you want people to anticipate your flyby…take pictures of it…talk about it? Do you want to be a Blue Angel?