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Blue Angels pilots talk about the homecoming air show

Buddy is ever hopeful that his owners Gainer Comerford, from left, Sawyer Powell, 3, and Leane Comerford, of Cottondale, Florida, share some of their food during the Blue Angels Homecoming Show at NAS Pensacola on Friday, November 2, 2018.

Eric Doyle, the Commanding Officer and flight leader of the Blue Angels, started in Pensacola.

“At this time of year over 22 years ago I came to this Air Show as an Officer Candidate,” said Doyle.

Now he flies the number one jet.

“It’s a bit surreal to come all the way around full circle and get to be the one getting to stand here talking to you in this blue suit where I was just a few years… it feels like just days ago,” said Doyle.

Doyle said he will be completing his first year as the leading Blue Angel pilot with one last show this weekend.

“It’s a hard job honestly… we work really hard. But it’s a very rewarding job and it’s a humbling job,” said Doyle.

Also, performing at the show will be the iconic ‘Fat Albert.’

“One of the world’s most famous C-130’s… it was pretty exciting,” said Stephen Stewart.

Stephen Stewart said he works as the flight engineer for ‘Fat Albert.’

But Stewart says he doesn’t work alone.

“It takes at least five of us to fly that air plane. Two pilots, a engineer, a navigator and the loadmaster in the back. It is a crew. To be a part of that team is pretty humbling and exciting at the same time,” said Stewart.

Stewart says, many people don’t know there’s always a ‘dancing’ lady on board.

“We do have a hula girl… she’s our mascot. She sits in the front of the flight station right in the center window. When people walk in… that’s usually the first thing they see. They enjoy that quite a bit,” said Stewart.

The pilots and crew have fun, but they never forget why they do what they do.

“We have 800 thousand men and women in the Navy, Marine Corp doing the job, everywhere out there, day to day across the world on the other side of the world. We just want to do them proud.”

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