TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT)-If you live in Tuscaloosa and you have been hearing the roar of jet planes in the sky, don’t be alarmed its the Blue Angels. The elite pilots landed Thursday morning at the Tuscaloosa airport and spent the afternoon practicing for the Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show.
The air show is Saturday and Sunday but some folks did not wait for the weekend. Many parked their cars down the street the airport to catch a glimpse of the Blue Angels.
University of Alabama students McKenzie Elliott and Nicole Lefevre were part of that group. They saw the planes flying above campus and wanted to see the Blue Angels up close.
“Its so exciting to see in Tuscaloosa and the sound is super cool and they come so close and it is so cool to see them” Elliott said.
Nicole Lefevre agree’s with her friend.
“I like the acrobatics they do and its so cool to be so close to the planes and how close they are to the ground”.
Blue Angels commander Eric Doyle says the fans will enjoy what his team can do in the air.
“We put on a great demonstration we have been praticing for awhile. This will be our 5th show this season. We will showcase our six aircraft and team. Then we will go out and do solo’s and diamond displays. This will be a great show and its great to be in Alabama” Doyle said.
Tuscaloosa City leaders expect as many as one hundred thousand spectators to attend the event. Tuscaloosa City council woman Phyllis Odom says the air show is good for the economy.
“Its very exciting and I expect to see a tremendous amount of people show up for this Saturday and Sunday and I think it will do much for Tuscaloosa and Northport as well” Odom said.
Teena Richardson with Tuscaloosa Police says more officers will be a patrol at the airport. Richardson is also encouraging people to use the shuttle service provided by the City.
“Use the shuttles as much as possible to cut down as much foot traffic so you can get there safely and return to your cars and this will make things go a lot smoother and that is why we have the shuttles to get people there safely and back” Richardson said.
The free shuttle service will be located at: the former K-mart parking lot on Skyland Boulevard and at Tuscaloosa County High School. Another location where you catch a ride is the Tuscaloosa Intermodal Parking deck downtown.
The Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show is Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Gates open at 10 a.m. The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels performances are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. both days.
Ticket prices will cost $15 for adults and $8 for kids.