IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) — The Blue Angels visited Idaho Falls this past weekend, planes are arriving, and everyone is getting excited for this weekend’s air show.
“To say it would ever get mundane or get old would definitely not be a true statement,” said Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi, commanding officer and flight leader for the Blue Angels
Bernacchi, an Iraq and Afghanistan war vet, has served in the U.S. Navy for 21 years, and he’s on his second year being the flight leader of the Blue Angels.
“We certainly never take for granted the opportunity to be a Blue Angel and to represent the Navy and Marine Corps,” Bernacchi said. “Bringing a little bit of the Navy and Marine Corps here to Idaho Falls is something that we take a great deal of pride in and are very humbled by.”
With 130 Blue Angels on the team, and 60 in Idaho Falls, every member is essential. Idaho-native Samuel Wiberg is a Blue Angels air framer.
“We work on flight controls. Anything that makes the jets go left, right, up or down,” Wiberg said. “What you see them doing all those crazy maneuvers, that’s what we work on to make sure everything works right. If we didn’t do our job they wouldn’t be able to hit those positions right.”
This team had a variety of jobs within the Navy before becoming Blue Angels, from pilots, to administrators, to the engineers who make sure all the parts are working just right.
“It’s a fly-by-wire system, so anytime the jet moves it’s all electronic,” Wiberg said.
Blue Angels serve for two years, then the sailors go back to the naval fleet to continue their service to the country.
“When we’re actually up flying, I would say my favorite part about it is the team work,” Bernacchi said. “When everybody is just really locked in and the cylinders are firing just right, that synchronicity is such a rewarding feeling — all that work coming together. But I would definitely say the biggest reward of the job is when we get out of the airplanes and we meet up with all the people that came out to watch and we see the reaction, you see the kids’ faces light up. There’s nothing better than that.”