Blue Angels at Seafair 2010: Saturday sights, Sunday preview

August 8, 2010 at 3:01 am | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 24 Comments

Darren in High Point caught a Blue Angels jet on video over his home in the 34th/Findlay area on Saturday, and tipped us via Twitter. For a while in the murky midday, many of us Blue Angels-watchers wondered if they would be able to go up at all, even for the so-called “low show,” but at 1:31 pm, off they went for 40 minutes of flight. This time, we watched from the lot just north of the Boeing Field tower, after two days in the lot to its south; this quick clip shows part of the crowd and also the folks who had the real front-row seat, on the balcony outside (and atop!) the tower itself:

That lot and the one south of the tower are both reachable from turnoffs along East Marginal Way; if you don’t want to watch through chain link and barbed wire, bring a ladder or prepare to sit atop your vehicle! But neither compares to watching from the Museum of Flight itself, where you can snag a spot along the southern fence to watch the pageantry from the maintenance crews prepping the F/A-18s to the pilots’ “walkdown” (check the WSB video by Cliff DesPeaux from Friday for a taste of what it’s like.) As for the performance over Lake Washington – David DeSiga shared this Saturday photo:

If you watch from the lake shore in the official Seafair zone – where you also can see the hydro races and other airshow acts – you’ll need tickets (info online). And one last traffic reminder, the I-90 bridge will again be closed approximately 12:45 pm-2:40 pm, and that invariably slows things up on feeder freeways, particularly northbound I-5 (and in turn, the West Seattle Bridge’s east end getting to I-5). On the downtown waterfront, this is the final day for fleet tours, which are free – the Seafair website has details on those. P.S. One last note – a source who wanted to be anonymous said, “Watch for a BIG airshow surprise between 2-3 pm Sunday.” That would be AFTER the Blue Angels. We’ll see! (8:33 AM: Looks like it’s the 787 … or maybe not a surprise? Seafair’s FB page lists airshow order as “Today’s Boeing Air Show Schedule: 10:00 Opening Ceremony – Sean Tucker, 10:10 USCG H65 SAR, 10:20 Sean Tucker – Challenger, 11:20 HFF – F7 and F8, 11:35 USAF C-17, 11:50 Boeing 787, 12:40 John Klatt, 1:00 USN – F/A 18F, 1:15 Clay Lacy – Lear 24, 1:25 Fat Albert – C130, 1:35 U.S. Navy Blue Angels, 4:15 E/A 18 Fly-Over, …4:20 Sean Tucker – Challenger, 4:35 Tim Weber — Extra 300, 4:50 John Klatt – Staudacher!“)

24 Comments

  1. Never mind that the ‘flat show’ is SO loud, it literally shatters peoples’ windows and terrifies senior citizens, children and pets. At a time when we’re closing state parks and libraries and cutting all sort of services due to budget shortages (and can’t even give our citizens the most basic services of health care and a roof over their head), our military spends millions of dollars not only flying bombers (built to kill people, by the way) for entertainment, but spending the time and money creating and practicing THREE different shows?? All so we can ‘ooh and aah’ over their skills (except when they have fatal accidents, which has happened a number of times). Oh, did I mention that the entire city is in gridlock for hours because the bridges are closed on and off for 4 days? That’s another waste of fuel (as our cars sit there spewing out CO2) and millions of $ in lost time and economic activity. And all so we can feel warm and fuzzy about our military might. That’s the only reason our armed forces do anything social and entertaining. Simple PR. Talk about a huge waste of money and resources.

    Comment by Meghan — 8:59 am August 8, 2010 #

  2. Yes, very well, I’m a total geek. NEVERTHELESS, monitoring the Blue Angels cockpit frequencies is cool! Here’s a link to my write-up

    Comment by Tim Flanagan — 9:18 am August 8, 2010 #

  3. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are annoyed by Seafair…
    .
    I adore seeing those jets buzz over Seattle & totally geek out over just about anything military, fire or police. From the Color Guard marching in the Torchlight parade, or my neighbors flags flying on national holidays, firetrucks (& swoon, firemen!) showing up for the kids @ our Night Out BBQ, or chatting with the “beat” officers on CA Ave., to those bright blue jets screaming past a euphoric crowd of onlookers… It’s ALL good in my opinion.
    .
    When did words such as “patriotic, proud, America, summer, fun, happy, excited, parade” etc. become DIRTY words?
    .
    Sigh. Politcal correctness at its “finest”. (gag)
    .
    I know there will always be people who will complain about Seafair, but I’m choosing to tune them out with the sounds of those glorious jet engines. Lalalala I can’t hear you! Bring on the Blue Angels!!

    Comment by Cheryl — 9:42 am August 8, 2010 #

  4. 5th generation West Seattlite-Seafair started soon after I was born. I love it all-Parades, Hydros & the Blue Angels-loud noise and all.
    Hope to be oohing & aahing for many years to come!

    Comment by Anne — 10:06 am August 8, 2010 #

  5. I happen to love the Blue Angels. The men and women who risk their lives to pilot these machines and others like them are owed our unending gratitude for ensuring that this great nation endures.

    Comment by Chris — 10:07 am August 8, 2010 #

  6. The people who pick up your/my/our garbage are also owed our unending gratitude for ensuring that this great nation is not overrun with vermin. Or maybe it is.

    Comment by Jack — 10:48 am August 8, 2010 #

  7. I think Meghan has the most accurate perspective. While the planes are exciting to watch, it is not a testament to Seattlites’ wisdom and perception that they ignore that the Blue Angels are a P.R. show by a very damaging part of America — the military.

    To think that the Blue Angels are defending our freedom is like saying that the local con artist is helping the economy.

    If you REALLY support our military, have the cost of the Blue Angels go directly to the paychecks of the active duty soldier.

    Comment by Rich — 11:18 am August 8, 2010 #

  8. I could not agree more with Meghan and Rich, well said. Found this entry yesterday and had not thought of this perspective before.
    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/08/07/working-inpatient-psych-at-the-va-with-the-blue-angels

    I added it to my list of reasons why I feel jets swooping around a major metropolitan region (especially after the imagery of 9/11) is totally inappropriate this day and age. I do love my country and consider myself a proud american, true patriotism would mean directing all of the sponsorship dollars towards programs to support active duty soldiers, vets and their families-not an entertainment spectacle.

    Comment by lina rose — 1:37 pm August 8, 2010 #

  9. People will complain about anything.

    Comment by austin — 2:55 pm August 8, 2010 #

  10. Meghan – get a grip on reality. Not a single window was shattered, the city was not in “gridlock” (look it up). Take a chill pill.

    Comment by Eddie — 5:19 pm August 8, 2010 #

  11. Meghan – 4 words: The Sound Of Freedom.

    Comment by wagga — 5:38 pm August 8, 2010 #

  12. as a person in the military I have to say that I LOVE the blue angels. I like airshows, I like watching the planes fly, I like checking them out when they are static displays. What I don’t love are the people who b*tch and complain about everything using the “oh give the money to the active duty military” guise.

    Stop your complaining, if you are really concerned about military members, go volunteer at the VA, volunteer with the USO or send a care package, complaining about an airshow is not a good way of showing your support for the military!

    Comment by B — 5:54 pm August 8, 2010 #

  13. To the incessant complainers – get over it (and yourselves) or get out of the area…at least for a few days during. You have either been here long enough to know that this happens annually, or should’ve checked into the traditions of the area that your whining won’t change, prior to moving here. Like it or not, SeaFair is a tradition that many enjoy , and it has been around for decades, and will hopefully be around for many more. The money string logic doesn’t work (if it weren’t wasted on this, then it could be spent on that) – and if did, could be applied to so many things that groups are unenthused about (money going towards arts, sports, social programs, etc. that should instead go towards whatever someone deems worthy/their cup of tea, nevermind anyone else). Simply because it doesn’t float your boat doesn’t mean it doesn’t someone else’s. Being so self-absorbed to the point of thinking your tastes should trump seems snotty and is contagious. If that’s the case, let’s all pick something we are not ‘into’, deem that any money spent on this, nevermind the return profits, should be stopped – but let’s start with the 8 vacations in 18 months, including a lavish trip to promote tourism abroad, not here, in Spain by the spoiled residents of the White House. The SeaFair foundation is tied to numerous charities in the region, one in particular, the Ronald McDonald House, and SeaFair generates revenue during it’s numerous events. Not to mention the intangible things – community spirit and cohesiveness, crucial at a time when each community needs something positive to latch onto. And why shouldn’t the military toot their own horn? They’re the best in the world, called on first when disaster strikes and put their lives on the line so that citizens can make comments freely, about why this should all stop in your eyes.

    Comment by Lisa S — 6:10 pm August 8, 2010 #

  14. I heart Blue Angels!

    Comment by AJP — 6:26 pm August 8, 2010 #

  15. The sound of freedom. That’s a laugh. No wonder the Nazis were so successful. The sound of imperialism is more like it.

    Yes, windows were shattered. Yes, the city was in gridlock. It took 2.5 hours to get to Woodinville on Friday. The 520 bridge was a nightmare. Yes, it IS torture for pets, senior citizens, and virtually anyone with a mental disability (including patients at the VA). Yes, it does cost millions of taxpayer dollars to fund these shows. Yes, the Blue Angels have had several fatal accidents.

    No, thousands of citizens shouldn’t be driven out of the city they own homes and pay property taxes in just because of a ‘tradition’. Minstral shows were a ‘tradition’ in the south for years. So were slave auctions and the stonings of women accused of adultery. But societies sometimes progress.

    But as long as you have your entertainment (and can feel good about your country’s military might), that’s all that matters. Until they crash into your neighborhood some day. Maybe they’ll wipe out your house or hit an entire building. All that would take is ONE mistake (or suicidal thought) by ONE flyer. Then you’ll be saying (along with everyone else), “Gee, how could we have EVER allowed all those planes to do aerial tricks right over the middle of our city???!” I hope I’m wrong, but it is most definitely a possibility.

    Comment by Meghan — 7:31 am August 9, 2010 #

  16. Megan that could all be said for the planes that fly out if sea-tac. Do we shut down our airports too? Because a pilot could be suicidal? Or there could be engine malfunction . The bridge closures were no secret , planning a trip to woodinville using 520 at that time probably wasn’t the best idea.

    Comment by Cclarue — 8:16 am August 9, 2010 #

  17. Might as well shut down all freeways as well, because they’re noisy and dangerous- a danger that actually exists and is proven over and over again by car crash statistics, as opposed to a phantom made up “maybe one day” danger of airplanes flying overhead.

    Comment by austin — 8:52 am August 9, 2010 #

  18. Although I’m not a big rah-rah fan of large and expensive militaries, I do love the Blue Angels and their show, for aesthetic reasons.

    About 34,000 people died in road deaths in the US last year–about 4 every hour. I can find 6 people killed in airshow accidents in the world last year, although I may not have them all. I don’t have a total number of airshow hours, either, so I can’t calculate the risk. But it does seem pretty clear that if you want to reduce risk, focusing on road accidents might be more efficient. If you want to eliminate airshows in Seattle, it’s probably better to focus on other issues. (I do think the noise is a legitimate complaint, as is the use of lots and lots of fuel. But I still say I love them.)

    Comment by J — 10:39 am August 9, 2010 #

  19. “Aesthetic reasons” is an interesting way to put it. While appreciating these debates, I’ve been trying to analyze why I am so riveted by the spectacle – and while I deeply respect the courage of those who go into service to defend our country, I don’t think it’s the military aspect; for me, it’s the aviation aspect. If those were six Boeing test pilots going up in small, fast jets doing precision maneuvers, it would be just as interesting. (Of course, I’m fairly easily amazed. The Internet itself – a world of knowledge and communication at our fingertips, anytime, anywhere, and yes, it too has risks – still amazes me.) – TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:45 am August 9, 2010 #

  20. I love a good exchange of opinions on a topic-but for heavens sake-how can you bring the word Nazi into this discussion??! Ridiculous.

    Comment by Anne — 11:28 am August 9, 2010 #

  21. For me a big draw to the blues is what it takes for them to be able to do what they do. Starting and not ending with talent skill discipline precision…. It’s nothing short of amazing! Personally I’m afraid to fly, to be in a parking garage etc but with the blue angels I go straight to the north end of Boeing field and get as close as possible for them to roar right over my head because I believe they know what they are doing and don’t feel scared for a second. Just complete awe!!!

    Comment by Cclarue — 3:11 pm August 9, 2010 #

  22. Bringing up the Nazis and making comparisons to Nazis is a long standing act of desperation in online discussion known as invoking Godwin’s Law.


    As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

    The Nazis were a German political party led by Adolf Hitler that slaughtered upwards of ten million people that didn’t meet their standards of “ethnic purity” and set off to conquer Europe and the world in World War II. They are generally considered the most evil group of people to live in modern times, and to compare something or someone to them is usually considered the gravest insult imaginable.

    As a Usenet discussion gets longer it tends to get more heated; as more heat enters the discussion, tensions get higher and people start to insult each other over anything they can think of. Godwin’s Law merely notes that, eventually, those tensions eventually cause someone to find the worst insults that come to mind – which will almost always include a Nazi comparison.

    http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/legends/godwin/

    Comment by austin — 3:21 pm August 9, 2010 #

  23. Faaaantastic. We got “Nazis”, “9/11 imagery” and supposed broken windows somewhere in the city (proof please)… Now all that’s missing from this thread is “think of the children!” and the cycle will be complete.

    For the love of pete, Seattle has gone ultra-soft.

    Comment by Mr Matt — 8:11 pm August 9, 2010 #

  24. All it is – is just PROPAGANDA, it’s stated clearly on the Blue Angels web site that their main goal is to recruit young men and women into US military service.
    http://www.blueangels.navy.mil/index.htm

    Comment by Baba — 9:39 pm August 9, 2010 #

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