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A Look Inside US Navy Blue Angels Practice Aboard Fat Albert

People in Traverse City are getting a preview of this weekend’s air show as the crews and aircraft practice.
9&10’s Caroline Powers and photojournalist Jacob Johnson take us on the ride of a lifetime aboard Fat Albert.
This massive aircraft is the US Navy Blue Angels Fat Albert.
This C-130 will be performing in the air show this weekend, but first we’re taking you up for a ride.
This is what it looks like from the cockpit of US Navy Blue Angels C-130 Fat Albert.
“The Blue Angels is more than just the six jet pilots and even just the Fat
Albert crew,” says Major Mark Hamilton, C-130 Fat Albert pilot. “It’s
130 people. We don’t take everybody on the road, but we take what we
need.”
And transporting the crew members and equipment the Blue Angels need is where Fat Albert comes in.
“The job of Fat Albert is to get the show load and all the personnel that
work on the jets to and from the show. So we’ll carry six pallets, about
35,000 pounds of gear and about 40 people to and from each show,” Major Hamilton says.
As the Blue Angels prepare for their first air show Saturday, we had the chance to watch their practice from the inside.
“We did the exact profile that we’re going to do in the air show this
weekend and everything we did was a tactical maneuver that all C-130
crews know how to do,” says Major Hamilton. “The highest we went out to is about 1,500 feet and then we went as low as 50 feet. We went as fast
as 370 miles per hour and did some 2-G’s to 0-G turns.
And now it’s time to give thousands of people the performance they’ve been waiting for.
“Normally we don’t do three day air shows, but obviously you have to fly on the Fourth of July and have a great weekend for everybody. We’re looking forward to some great fireworks and just amazing barbecue’s and just whatever else we can get ourselves in to,” Major Hamilton says.
You can catch Fat Albert and the rest of the Blue Angels crew this weekend during the National Cherry Festival air show.
They are performing July 2-4 at 1:15pm.

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