ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJLA) — The first female pilot of the Navy’s reknowned “Blue Angels” will be part of the team performing at Annapolis next week.
Katie Higgins’ father and both her grandfathers were military pilots. She, too, was drawn to public service.
“The military was definitely the highest calling for me, or the loudest calling I would say,” Higgins said.
She flies a C-130 known as Fat Albert for the Blue Angels. She was attracted to the plane’s versatility when piloting combat missions in Afghanistan and humanitarian missions in Africa.
“I’ve been in love with it from the moment that I started flying it and I’m gonna fly it for the rest of my career,” she said.
Higgins says she’s most comfortable and most herself in the cockpit, even when feeling weightless.
“We go anywhere from 0 G’s to positive 2 G’s so the 0 G is where you are going to get that weightless feeling and you are floating around in your seat and then the two G’s you are going to feel about twice your body weight,” she said.
She rejects the notion that she was chosen for the elite group because she is a woman.
“I fly this plane as good as my male counterparts,” she said. “I have a great time doing it, and ya, know, I think my flying speaks for itself.”
She is excited to perform soon in front of the hometown crowd.
“It’s beyond words, you know, being able to come back and perform for the midshipmen, to perform for my parents, to perform for my family that is going to be there it’s definitely a surreal experience,” she said.
The Blue Angels demonstration at the Naval Academy is Wednesday, May 20, and is open to the public.