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Blue Angels arrive in East Tennessee for Smoky Mountain Air Show

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ALCOA (WATE) – The Blue Angels arrived Thursday in East Tennessee ahead of this weekend’s Smoky Mountain Air Show. The arrival, as expected was amazing.

Capt. Jeff Kuss, the pilot in the No. 6 F-18, remembers seeing the Blue Angels as a boy living in Colorado. Now he’s the one putting on the show.

“It’s an extreme honor. The handful of us that are on the team represent the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and really the military as a whole,” said Kuss.

Kuss had nine years of flying experience with the Marines before being selected to fly with the Blue Angels.

More information: Countdown to the Air Show

“We’re just pumped to interact with the community and tell them a little about what we do and give them that fire in their belly to help make them successful in life,” said Kuss.

This is his second year with the famous team. Last year he flew the No. 7 plane, taking civilians up and narrating the Blue Angels performance. This year he’s in the No. 6 plane, next year the No. 5 plane and after that back into combat flying.

“We’re just here temporarily and then we head back out to our fleet and back to our regular duties,” he said.

In order to have success in the air, each of the Blue Angels’ planes has a crew that maintains them. They show up a day before the F-18s land, arriving in their huge C-130 nicknamed Fat Albert.

AME 2 Alex Osbourne makes sure the life support system works. He’s from Bristol, so being in Knoxville for the Smoky Mountain Air Show is like coming back home.

“My wife is coming up from Pensacola, Florida. We have family here and we plan on spending some time with them. Should be nice,” said Osbourne.

The Smoky Mountain Air Show is Saturday and Sunday.