SEATTLE – Daniel Young has already seen the world as part of a Navy expedition team, but his latest assignment brought the Leavenworth native back home for the week.
He’s part of one of the most coveted teams in the Navy on a two-year rotation with the Blue Angels.
“I never, ever thought I’d be in this capacity working for them,” Young said. “Flying with them.”
Young’s job is to promote the Blue Angels as a public affairs specialist. He showed KIRO 7 Morning Anchor John Knicely around the jet, and pointed out unique features. He explained something we have all wondered: How do they make smoke come from the jets?
Young showed the front side of the FA-18 Hornet, where the guns normally are placed. On the Blue Angels jets, the guns are replaced with an oil tank.
“And they run a line all the way back to engine number one,” he said. “So you can see right (above the engine is) where the oil comes down. And due to the afterburner of the jet, the oil is able to combust that smoke. That way, viewers can see it.”
He’ll know a lot of those viewers this year. He’s one of nine kids. So Knicely asked him how they’ve reacted to him being back home.
“My family is going nuts right now hitting me up on Facebook, texting, calling me,” Young said. “Saying, ‘I heard you’re in town with the Blue Angels. I want to see you. I want to see the jets, can’t wait to come out and see the show.’”
But it doesn’t take someone who grew up here to appreciate Seafair. The leader and head pilot, Commander Ryan Bernacchi, told KIRO 7 they all do.
“There’s no city that welcomes us like Seattle does,” Bernacchi said. “We feel almost like it’s a second home for us just with the welcome that we get.”