More Seafair air-and-sea details: Blue Angels in Seattle tomorrow, Parade of Ships (and aircraft) Wednesday

July 27, 2014 at 7:44 pm | In Blue Angels, Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Earlier today, we mentioned military aircraft sightings linked to Marine Week, which is part of Seafair this year. But the big show is yet to come – the return of the Blue Angels. Love them or hate them, you might want to know when they’re coming in, in addition to when they’re practicing and performing. So we’ve just confirmed that six Blue Angels arrive at Boeing Field tomorrow (Monday) by 1 pm. (One arrived unannounced today – see Twitter photo above.) A downtown flyby is expected around 12:30 pm. Wednesday, #7 goes up for demonstration flights with one “influencer” and one media person. Then Thursday (9:45-noon and 1:15-2:40 I-90 bridge closures) and Friday are practices, Saturday-Sunday are the official shows (12:15 pm-2:40 pm I-90 closures the latter 3 days). More as the week goes on. Also:

PARADE OF SHIPS/FLIGHT: We’ve already mentioned this feature returns this year too, and the ships will be visible from West Seattle shores on Wednesday afternoon – you might glimpse the aircraft from here too, though in the past we’ve noticed the flybys were closer to downtown. Here’s the list of participating vessels and aircraft expected along the downtown waterfront around 1:45 (so, obviously, passing West Seattle earlier):

Parade of Ships
USS Essex
USS Chancellorsville
USS Howard
CGC Mellon
HMCS Edmonton
HMCS Brandon

Parade of Flight
MV-22B
AH-1Z
UH-1Y
CH-53E
CH-46E
Coast Guard Search & Rescue Demonstration – MH-54D

Navy says Blue Angels, ‘Fleet Week’ ships returning to Seattle in 2014

October 21, 2013 at 4:28 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

(Blue Angels fly over Boeing Field, 2009 photo by David DeSiga)
An announcement by the Navy last Friday was so quiet, they’re shouting it a bit louder today – they’ve figured out how to resume “community outreach” and that means, among other things, that the Blue Angels are back in the air next year, and that some festivals will see Fleet Week ships again, including Seafair here in Seattle.

(USS Bunker Hill passing Alki Point during Seafair 2012; photo by Gary Jones)
Here’s the Navy’s announcement. You’ll recall that this year’s Seafair went without Blue Angels and a visiting fleet because of federal belt-tightening.

Seafair says it’s official: No Blue Angels in Seattle this year

April 9, 2013 at 7:52 am | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 110 Comments

(August 2012 Blue Angels view from Alki, photographed by Les Crimmins)
This morning, Seafair says it’s official – no Blue Angels this year, because of federal budget cuts. Here’s the announcement the festival posted minutes ago on Facebook:

Today we were officially informed by the US Navy Blue Angels that their season has been cancelled, including the Seafair performance, due to Federal Budget Cuts resulting from sequestration. The Blue Angels have flown at Seafair for over 40 years and are an important part of our history. The team will be deeply missed by Seattleites, however Seafair will continue in its traditional fashion. The Patriots Jet Team, which we previously announced, will now assume the lead spot in our world-class air show. The six-ship aerobatic team electrifies spectators with fast-paced formation flying, choreographed four-ship diamond formation aerobatic maneuvers and are highlighted by a computerized red, white and blue smoke system. Many of the pilots include past experience with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds and Royal Canadian Air Force.

Click to read the rest of Seafair says it’s official: No Blue Angels in Seattle this year…

Early alert: U.S. Navy Blue Angels jet over Seattle tomorrow

January 8, 2013 at 11:13 am | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Seafair just announced that U.S. Navy Blue Angels jet #7 will fly in tomorrow (Wednesday, January 9) for the festival’s winter planning meetings. It’s scheduled to arrive on the east side of Boeing Field around 12:30 pm tomorrow, bringing #7 Lt. Ryan Chamberlain and #8 Lt. Commander Michael Cheng. (If you’re counting the days – this year’s Seafair Air Show is scheduled for August 2nd-4th.)

Never a sure thing, but … Blue Angels back for 2013, 2014

December 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(August 2012 photo by Nick Adams for WSB)
Since their Seafair home, the Museum of Flight, is not far away, we consider the Blue Angels a local story when they’re here – and Seafair says they’ll be back at least two more years:

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels announced the Demonstration Squadron will return to the skies above Lake Washington as a featured performer at the Boeing Air Show at Seafair Weekend in 2013 and 2014. The announcement was made today at the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) convention in Las Vegas, Nev. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels make two-year performance commitments and previously announced their return to Seattle for 2013.

The air show is part of the eight-week summer schedule of events that culminates with Seafair Weekend featuring the Boeing Air Show and the Albert Lee Cup Hydroplane Races.

Seafair Weekend Dates
2013: Fri. Aug. 2 – Sun., Aug 4
2014: Fri., Aug. 1 – Sun., Aug. 3 – The 65th Anniversary of Seafair

Seafair Saturday update: Watching the Blue Angels, again!

August 4, 2012 at 1:47 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 13 Comments

(Photo by Les Crimmins, added Saturday evening)
1:47 PM: We are at Lake Washington today, and the Blue Angels’ performance has just begun. We’ll update when it’s over.

2:29 PM: Show’s over for today. Photos later!

ADDED SATURDAY NIGHT: Photos! Thanks to Les for the top view, from West Seattle. Next, Alki photographer David Hutchinson caught the Blues as seen over the earlier-generation Blue Angels Skyhawk jet in the Museum of Flight parking lot:

The next five are from WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams:

Listening to the narrative at the lake, we were reminded that these maneuvers are called “breaks”:

Gotta love “Fat Albert”:

In the background, the Cascades:

And another high-speed pass:

One more show to go – Sunday, same time, 1:30-ish takeoff.

Seafair update: Blue Angels’ Friday show, in the bluest of skies

August 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(Photo by Nick Adams for WSB)
1:37 PM: As of 1:35 pm, the Blue Angels are finally in the air – a jet similar to theirs, an FA-18 Super Hornet, performed in the Seafair airshow at 1 pm, so if you thought you heard them earlier, that’s what it was. Updates to come.

2:25 PM UPDATE: They landed a few minutes ago. Great viewing today from Boeing Field – the full “high show,” which includes more than a few maneuvers you can see from this side of the ridge.

(Photo by Nick Adams for WSB)
(Added) Here’s video of the takeoff view, from the mid-crowd perspective)

The shows tomorrow and Sunday should be around the same time – 1:30-ish takeoff. Almost anyplace you plan to view, though, get there early. Even here in the parking lot, most spaces were full by 12:30 pm.

Video: Blue Angels pilot, crew member visit South Seattle Community College

August 3, 2012 at 10:41 am | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 10 Comments

What do the Blue Angels do before their afternoon airshows on Seafair Weekend? Here’s one answer: Community visits for Q/A and military-recruiting outreach (which after all is the team’s stated purpose). This morning, South Seattle Community College got a visit from the officer who flies Blue Angels jet #3 this year, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Brandon Cordill, and an airframer from the enlisted support team, Sgt. Doug Green. Among the college delegation there to greet and hear from them, in a presentation that was open only to students and staff, was SSCC math teacher Heidi Lyman, who flew a ridealong during Seafair Week last year:

Cockpit video of Lyman’s flight was shown during this morning’s presentation. That’s part of the video we’re adding shortly – including Capt. Cordill’s humorous-at-times story of how he got to be a Blue Angel, as well as Sgt. Green’s story, potential inspiration for the aviation students at SSCC.

ADDED 11:20 AM: Capt. Cordill’s recounting of how he went from a not-exceptional high-school student (“I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life”) with a low SAT school, to elite Blue Angels aviator inspired by 9/11 to join the military:

Capt. Cordill, by the way, is one of two Marine Corps pilots flying the Blue Angels demonstrations this year, which is rare – they usually have one. (Plus the team that flies the support C-130 “Fat Albert” is USMC, too.) Meantime, here’s the video of Heidi Lyman’s 2011 flight, as shown today:

We’ll add video of Sgt. Green’s story and the Q/A later this afternoon – heading out to Boeing Field now to see the Blue Angels take off. (Capt. Cordill says takeoff is scheduled for 1:30 pm, just in case you were wondering.)

West Seattle Friday: Blue Angels, ballots, indoor/outdoor music & theater …

August 3, 2012 at 8:34 am | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Seafair weekend means more Blue Angels (and hydros and ship tours) in the city today – and much more you can check out without even leaving West Seattle tonight, including outdoor music and indoor theater. All that and a few more news notes:

TRAFFIC ADVISORIES: From the day-by-day/night-by-night closure list here: I-90 is closed for the Blue Angels’ practice show 12:45 pm-2:40 pm. Tonight, the Spokane Street Viaduct is closed EASTBOUND east of the 1st Avenue South exit, 10 pm, continuing till 5 tomorrow morning.

WASTE MANAGEMENT STRIKE AFTERMATH: No “recovery” pickups are scheduled in our area today, according to WM (but watch for possible word of some in the days ahead); those who have Friday pickup are asked to have everything out today, including extra for what was missed. And the city says it’ll be free to drop off up to six bags of trash/yard waste at transfer stations through Sunday (recycling is always free).

BALLOT DROPOFF VAN: Look for it in the southwest corner of the West Seattle Stadium parking lot, 10 am-5 pm today (and tomorrow and Monday, as well as 7 am-8 pm Tuesday), if you’d like to drop off your ballot for Tuesday’s primary election rather than pay for postage.

SEAFAIR – BLUE ANGELS, NAVY SHIP TOURS, HYDROS: All the schedule info is linked in our preview from last night, and we’ll be covering events throughout the day. (Toplines: The Blue Angels go up for one “practice show” today, with takeoff scheduled from Boeing Field (we say it all the time – go watch from the Museum of Flight, which has special programs throughout the weekend too!) after 1 pm. But there’s a full schedule of hydro testing and other aerial demonstrations today. And along the Seattle waterfront from Pier 46 in the south to Pier 90 in the north, you can tour any of the three ships that sailed past West Seattle on Wednesday.

SUMMER CONCERT SERIES AT THE MOUNT: First of four free Friday night concerts! Elvis stylist Danny Vernon performs tonight at 6. Dinner and drinks are available for purchase starting at 5:30. Just bring your chair/blanket to the south side of The Mount (4831 35th SW).

THE REPTILE MAN @ ALKI CC: You never know what will happen – or who will appear – at one of his shows, and tonight, he’s in West Seattle to amaze an all-ages crowd at Alki Community Center (5817 SW Stevens). 6:15 pm; details here.

SECOND ‘CORNER BAR’ AT HPIC: The Highland Park Improvement Club‘s new once-a-month incarnation happens at 6:30 tonight for the second time:

Draft beer, wine and non-alcoholic refreshments will be available at our pop-up neighborhood bar. A casual and friendly way to meet new friends and hang out with people you know. $3 gets you a beer or glass of wine, $1 for non-alcoholic beverages. We will have snacks like peanuts and pretzels – if you want more, bring your own or something to share. Special this month: Sangria. Also special: live music from the Drew Medak Trio. Classic jazz standards, fusion, modern jazz and originals on piano, bass and drums. Free admission – donations for the musicians accepted!

FREE SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK: The Bard among the trees! GreenStage‘s “Henry VIII” is at Lincoln Park tonight, 7 pm.

OPENING NIGHT FOR ‘ANYTHING GOES’: Twelfth Night Productions (WSB sponsor) presents its summer production at West Seattle High School Theater (3000 California SW), Cole Porter‘s classic musical, 7:30 pm tonight and tomorrow, then running Fridays-Sundays the next two weekends. Tickets are available online; also, bring a nonperishable-food donation for the West Seattle Food Bank!

‘SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE JR.’ CONTINUES: Tonight at 7:30 pm at ArtsWest (4711 California SW).

FERRIS WHEEL’S LIGHT SHOW: If you want to see the Seattle Great Wheel‘s flashy colored lights (first shown here when they were tested in June), you have another chance each remaining night of Seafair, at 10 pm.

Even more on the calendar!

Seafair Weekend eve: Blue Angels today; the schedule ahead

August 2, 2012 at 9:56 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Some West Seattleites saw them … some just heard them … no mistaking the sounds and sights of the Blue Angels practicing for Seafair Weekend today. Doug B (a frequent Flickr contributor, including the WSB group pool) shared a few of his photos – including this low pass over Lake Washington:

If tomorrow is like most Seafair Fridays, they will go up after 1 pm (leaving Boeing Field, where Museum of Flight viewing of the takeoff/landing is a don’t-miss experience too) to go through the same show they will officially perform on Saturday and Sunday.

You can see the full airshow and hydroplane schedule for all three days of Seafair Weekend by going here. (Remember that you can watch from Seafair HQ on Lake Washington for free tomorrow, but Saturday and Sunday, admission is charged.) Tours of the visiting U.S. Navy ships are scheduled to continue all three days too – that schedule is here. (Tip – if you’re going to visit the USS Bunker Hill, the West Seattle Water Taxi dock is a short walk away.)

P.S. The scheduled I-90 bridge closure times are the same each of the next three days – 12:45-2:40 pm.

Video: Blue Angels have arrived for Seafair 2012!

July 31, 2012 at 11:09 am | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 25 Comments

11:09 AM: Just touching down now at Boeing Field, after a flyby. More shortly.

11:28 AM: Our Blue Angels flyby video is up, shot from the parking lot north of the Boeing Field tower starting as soon as one of the handful of others watching from here shouted “OVER THERE!” They subsequently landed and taxied two by two to the Museum of Flight, where a ceremonial Seafair welcome awaited. Their official practicing doesn’t start until Thursday morning; we always recommend coming to the MoF at least once during Seafair weekend to watch the takeoff – optimal for the full practice show Friday afternoon, or the official performances Saturday and Sunday. The MoF itself offers special events Friday-Sunday (read about them here) and it’s not far from West Seattle – take the 1st Avenue South Bridge north to the Michigan exit, turn right on East Marginal, head south past Boeing Field to the museum. Our other favorite Seafair Blue Angels-viewing tip is to go to Lake Washington on Friday, when admission is free, to see both the airshow and the early hydroplane action.

2:15 PM P.S. – Some of the Seafair Navy fleet ships are coming in this afternoon too, prior to tomorrow’s official “Parade of Ships/Flight” starting in the 1 pm hour. We’ll have a separate story with photos a bit later.

Highway closures ahead: 5 southbound 99 closures EVERY week till fall; northbound closure ahead too; plus, Blue Angels dates

July 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 1 Comment

Just in case you weren’t clear from yesterday’s WSDOT announcement, we doublechecked today – the Sunday-through-Thursday-night overnight closures of the southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct/99 stretch between downtown and the West Seattle Bridge are planned EVERY week from now till fall weather arrives.

Also just announced, in this week’s edition of the Construction Lookahead update, there will be a weekend NORTHBOUND closure at the end of this month (this time frame includes the Seafair Torchlight Run closure):

July 28-30, northbound lanes of the Alaskan Way Viaduct will be closed between the West Seattle Bridge and S Royal Brougham Way on-ramp from 5:30 PM Saturday through 5 AM Monday. The northbound lanes will be open north of Royal Brougham after the completion of the Torchlight Run the evening of July 28th.

And if you’re planning even further ahead, the Construction Lookahead also includes the I-90 bridge closure times/dates for Blue Angels practices and airshows in early August: Thursday, August 2, 9:45 am to noon AND 1:15-2:30 pm, plus Friday-Sunday, August 3rd-5th, 12:45 pm-2:40 pm each day.

P.S. A few minutes after we published this, SDOT came out with its list of what’s ahead for next week for the Spokane Street Viaduct. As previously mentioned, NO full closures, in either direction, but some overnight lane closures are in store – read on: Click to read the rest of Highway closures ahead: 5 southbound 99 closures EVERY week till fall; northbound closure ahead too; plus, Blue Angels dates…

Heads up: Blue Angels jet arriving at Boeing Field tomorrow

January 3, 2012 at 10:11 am | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

A West Seattle fan of the Blue Angels just asked us the other day if one of the jets would be here again this year for the Seafair winter planning meetings – and indeed, word just arrived, Blue Angels jet #7 is expected around 1:15 tomorrow afternoon at Boeing Field, with an 11 am Thursday departure planned. Seafair says Blue Angels #7 Lieutenant Mark Tedrow and #8 Lieutenant Todd Royles will be on board. This year’s airshow is set for August 3rd-5th. (Our coverage of last year’s winter visit is here.)

Seafair says the Blue Angels will be back at least two more years

December 5, 2011 at 10:51 am | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 27 Comments

(August 2011 photo by David Hutchinson)
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can see/hear them from here – and they’re not going away. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are coming back to Seafair for at least two more summers. Just announced: Click to read the rest of Seafair says the Blue Angels will be back at least two more years…

Seafair Sunday: Blue Angels fly, but without ‘Fat Albert’

August 7, 2011 at 2:30 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

After that Museum of Flight flyby, the Blue Angels landed at Boeing Field about 15 minutes ago, concluding their Seafair 2011 performances. No “Fat Albert” today, though – the C-130 always goes up before the six F/A-18′s, but that didn’t happen today because of what official Seafair station KIRO reported via Twitter was a “maintenance issue.” (Good thing WSB’s Christopher Boffoli chose Saturday for his flight – see his story here with video and photos, if you haven’t already.) We watched today’s pre-takeoff events from the fence facing the six jets’ parking area – a closer view than the media zone:

For our fellow aviation fans, we’ll be in touch with Seafair to find out when they’re flying out; next weekend, they’re scheduled to perform in Fargo, North Dakota.

ADDED: Seafair says they’re expected to leave Tuesday morning, but will doublecheck the time on Monday. Meantime, one more great photo, from David Hutchinson:

As he captioned it … “show’s over.”

Video/photos: Go sky-high with the Blue Angels’ ‘Fat Albert’

August 7, 2011 at 2:26 am | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 25 Comments

(Watch for the view of West Seattle – and the SBX – through the open cargo door!)
Story, photos, and video by Christopher Boffoli
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

At the age of 10, I was delighted to be just tall enough to ride the infamous Rebel Yell roller coaster at Kings Dominion in Virginia. A big part of the victory was that my super-competitive but shorter younger brother wasn’t. He had to cool his jets with the parents while I happily went through the turnstile to ride with my pretty teenage cousin.

However, the victory of my foray into big-kid territory was short-lived once we were strapped in and began to ascend the coaster’s towering first hill. With the ominous sound of clicking, we lurched ever closer to the top – and the inevitable drop on the other side. It was one of the first times I remember experiencing what it was like to suffer the consequences of a choice (not to mention to know how it felt to set a land-speed record for regret).

Of course I immediately jumped at the chance to fly aboard the Blue Angels’ C-130 support aircraft that they call “Fat Albert.”

But it wasn’t until after I enthusiastically said “yes” that I did a bit of research on what the flight would entail. Compared with the Blue Angels’ famous sleek F/A-18 Hornets, the 150,000-pound Fat Albert looked like a chunky, lumbering cargo plane.

I hadn’t seen it fly before but figured it might do a few low passes, wave its wings around, and we’d be back on terra firma for a photo op. I figured wrong. With an exhilarating, stomach-churning flight, I was reminded again of just how deceiving looks can be.

Click to read the rest of Video/photos: Go sky-high with the Blue Angels’ ‘Fat Albert’…

Seafair Saturday 2011, first report: Blue Angels’ hybrid show

August 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Though much of the cloudiness was gone by their Seafair showtime, the Blue Angels did what looked mostly like the “low show” today, with a few straight-up-into-the-blue-sky maneuvers rendering it somewhat of a hybrid. These first two photos are courtesy of JayDee, who watched from the 4th Avenue Costco parking lot, another great spot if you can’t make it to Boeing Field/Museum of Flight or Lake Washington.

Your co-publishers watched from the hydro pits at Lake Washington, and we’ll have some pix/video of both Angels and hydros (the classics were going into the water while we were there) to add later. And we photographed the Blue Angels’ “Fat Albert” flying over the lake with the knowledge that longtime WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli was on board – Seafair PR offered media flights in the crowd-pleaser C-130 this year, and we’ll have something from Christopher for a separate report later. (added – here’s Fat Albert over the log boom:)

Meantime, tomorrow’s the grand finale – one more round of Blue Angels, the rest of the air show, hydros, and fleet tours on the downtown waterfront. (If you go to Lake Washington, here’s the Seafair site map.)

ADDED 9:16 PM: A few more photos from Lake Washington:

The rejuvenated Moby Duck – with a Seafair Pirate or two – is on hand near the hydro pits, where you can watch the boats getting lifted into the water. We were there for the classics, and admired the reflective underside:

That’s the Miss Thriftway. Nearby, the Miss Wahoo:

And the sights included an unusual Seattle Fire Department vehicle:

Blue Angels watch: Today, from the Museum of Flight media zone

August 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

12:27 PM: After years of watching/covering the Blue Angels from “the fence” just north of where they park at the Museum of Flight, this year we’re in the official media zone for the first time, so we can bring you a slightly different view (no chain link or barbed wire in the way this time). For everyone waiting to find out when they’re going up – if it’s the usual timetable, it’s still a half-hour or so away. We’ll have updates here, plus video of the pilots’ “walkdown” once they’re up. More to come!

12:56 PM: The support crew’s checking out the Angels’ jets now. Showtime nears. Watch the WSB Twitter account for further pre-takeoff updates.

2 PM: Airshow in progress, as you’ve probably heard or seen unless you’re nowhere near the metro area. Here’s our video of the “walkdown” as the pilots head to their jets, in formation:

Still cloudy out here, so they’re doing the “low show,” but Museum of Flight visitors are still glimpsing plenty of flybys. For those who follow the granular details, #7 is flying in place of #5, which landed yesterday shortly after going up for practice. There also was a brief flutter of activity with #6, just before they taxiied for takeoff (we’ll add the taxiing video later, that’s an interesting perspective too). And remember the I-90 bridge is closed until they’re done – the closure’s scheduled till 2:45 though they’ll be done sooner – we’ll make a note here when they are.

ADDED FRIDAY EVENING: Adding photos from David Hutchinson (thank you!) – above and below this line – if you look closely at this next one, you’ll see one of the spots (there are at least two) where something’s been added to the Blue Angels’ paint job this year, a tribute to the Centennial of Naval Aviation:

And last but not least, one more bit of our video. Once the jets were up, we left the “media zone” and went over to the Museum of Flight lawn, where you can catch sight of the planes now and then, most spectacularly just before they land, with the flyby in honor of everyone watching from Boeing Field:

Tomorrow, should be the same timeframe – performance after 1 pm.

Blue Angels at Seafair: Practice day done; now it’s showtime

August 4, 2011 at 10:53 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

We were at Boeing Field, north of the tower this time, to watch the Blue Angels‘ takeoffs/landings (and occasional other glimpses) for today’s afternoon practices; this morning, we could hear them from WSB HQ in Upper Fauntleroy, and WSB’ers reported some peninsula flyovers.

(#5 and #6, photographed Thursday by WSB Flickr group member LikeOnATree – click for large version)
There were some anomalies to today’s practice – in the afternoon, only four went up, #1 and #4, followed by #5 and #6, and #5 wasn’t up long before returning; officials changed the story about why two didn’t fly, according to this report on KIRO (which is the “official Seafair station,” by contract).

(Thursday practice photo by Tracy White)
Here’s what to expect the next three days: The full airshow. Technically, Friday is a practice, and it’s free to watch from Lake Washington (while Saturday/Sunday, you’ll be charged admission), but every year we’ve been covering/watching it, Friday also brings the full-on show, from the ceremonial “walkdown” at the Museum of Flight before they board the jets, through the aerial maneuvers, to the walkdown in reverse when the pilots return.

If you decide to go to the Museum of Flight for the bone-rattling takeoff experience, go early; the takeoff will be somewhere in the 12:30-1 pm vicinity, but viewing points along the fences fill up hours in advance, as does the MoF parking lot (and there’s less overflow parking on Friday). So much to see before and after, though! You can also check out areas along Boeing Field; we are partial to the lots north and south of the tower off East Marginal, though the south was roped off today, and it has less space than previous years because of construction. Our preferred way to get there (since the South Park Bridge closed more than a year ago) is Highland Park Way to 1st Avenue South Bridge north, get off at Michigan, turn right on East Marginal, head south (here’s a map of that route).

West Seattle Thursday: Massy Ferguson, Blue Angels, more…

August 4, 2011 at 8:54 am | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 11 Comments

(WSB photo from first Summer Concerts at Hiawatha last Thursday)
More music in the park, one of the highlights from the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:

PUMP STATION PROJECT: Seattle Design Commission looks at the Barton Street Pump Station expansion (south of the Fauntleroy ferry dock), 9:30 am at City Hall (agenda and more info here).

BACK IN TIME: Noon-4 pm, tour the Log House Museum (61st/Stevens, Alki) and learn about West Seattle-area history!

BLUE ANGELS’ FIRST PRACTICE DAY, AND TRAFFIC ALERTS: This is the first of four days that the U.S. Navy’s visiting aerial demonstration team goes airborne for Seafair in a big way, with two rounds of practice maneuvers that also result in two rounds of I-90 bridge closures, and you know how any closure tends to have a domino effect. The traffic alerts are part of the citywide four-day advisory published here last night; for Blue Angels viewing, the Museum of Flight is the best place to be – they take off from and land at adjacent Boeing Field, and park in a fenced-off (but you can see through the fence) area south of the museum.

SHOP LATE THURSDAYS: Shop Late Thursdays in The Junction, till 9 pm; participants’ list here, including WSB sponsor Click! Design That Fits, which (as mentioned here yesterday) is hosting a meatless-recipes tasting with cookbook author Kim O’Donnel starting at 6 pm.

WINE AND CHOCOLATE FUNDRAISER: First-ever Rotary Club of West Seattle Washington Premium Wine/Chocolate Tasting, at Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor Avenue SW), 5:30-8:30 pm. Profit from the event will support local youth scholarships, 38th annual children’s shopping spree, and other Rotary Club of West Seattle community and international humanitarianism outreach efforts. Event will include: local Washington premium wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres, live and silent auction, fellowship, and jazz and blues with local musician Randall O’Dowd. Check to see if tickets are still available.
Info here.

ARE YOU A MS. OR MR. FIX-IT? The Fixers’ Collective @ The West Seattle Tool Library (Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW), 6 – 8 pm. A Fixers’ Collective is a group of folks who love to fix and mend things, which could be any old thing from broken blenders to ripped sweaters to antique dentist drills. Take it apart, put it back together, figure out how it works, refuse to throw it away, and get to know others who do the same! Join us if you are interested in prolonging the life of the things you own, learning how things work, saving a few resources, or if you just love to tinker. All are welcome and encouraged to develop an addiction to creative fixing and mending!

MASSY FERGUSON PLAYS HIAWATHA: Second week tonight for the Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series, 6:30 pm, east lawn of Hiawatha Community Center, free, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, with co-sponsors (all listed on the right side of this page). Haven’t seen Massy Ferguson before? Find out more about their music here. Also at Hiawatha for the occasion: The Beloved Mexico food truck (cancelled), the PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) Kid Picks truck, and Full Tilt Ice Cream.

DANCE, DANCE, DANCE: Dance Time with Lauren Petrie (at Bridge Park, 3204 SW Morgan St), 7 pm – 9 pm. Theme: Tropical, Hot, Hot, Hot. Reservations Requested: 206.932.4044, seating after 6:30 pm. $5-$7 donation.

SUNRISE HEIGHTS, UNITE: The Sunrise Heights Neighborhood Association Summer Quarterly Meeting! 7 pm, Southwest Precinct on Webster (next to Home Depot).
Agenda:
1) Emergency Preparedness Grant Project
2) Fall yard sale/harvest swap?
3) What is SHNA about? What are our goals and priorities?
4) Your questions and suggestions.

More Seafair Navy sights: South Seattle Community College instructor’s Blue Angels ridealong; USS Bonhomme Richard arrives

August 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm | In Blue Angels, Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

(Photo by Glenn Gauthier)
One more Blue Angels note, besides today’s team arrival: South Seattle Community College math instructor Heidi Lyman has taken that Blue Angels ridealong we previewed here last week – and SSCC’s Candace Oehler says Heidi reported shouting at 17,000 feet, “START HERE, GO ANYWHERE!” (That would be the SSCC motto.) She also reported pulling 7.4 g’s in one maneuver with U.S. Navy Lt. Dave Tickle in #7, says Candace, who accompanied Heidi to Boeing Field/Museum of Flight.

And as also previewed here, we’ve had the first Seafair Navy fleet sightings off West Seattle shores:

Via the WSB Facebook page, Russ Walker shared that photo of the USS Bonhomme Richard arriving in Elliott Bay this afternoon. No, it’s not an aircraft carrier, as some have called it – it’s an amphibious-assault ship. The guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson is here too. You’ll see them, and the other visiting ships – plus aircraft flyovers – in the Parade of Ships tomorrow afternoon, starting around 1:45; tours are Thursday-Sunday.

Video: The rest of the Blue Angels arrive for Seafair 2011

August 2, 2011 at 11:15 am | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

(Top photo by Ilona Berzups, added 3:06 pm; WSB video below, added 11:23 am)

11:15 AM: The unmistakable roar you might have heard was indeed that of the Blue Angels, who are now all here for Seafair 2011 – just landed, right on schedule. We’re at Boeing Field and will add visuals shortly.

ADDED 11:23 AM: Our video of the Boeing Field flyby is up – we’re just south of the tower, along East Marginal Way, one of the places to watch them take off (and land) if you can’t make it to the Museum of Flight – which for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is THE place to be. Here are some of the gotta-see-it people who came to watch the arrival:

(WSB photo above, added 11:48 am; photo below by David DeSiga, added 3:11 pm)

ADDED 11:48 AM: Half an hour after the rest of the team, Fat Albert – the Blue Angels’ beloved support plane – just arrived. The official Blue Angels shows are Friday-Sunday (Friday, you can get to the shores of Lake Washington by the hydro pits to watch for free; Saturday-Sunday, admission is charged) but you’ll also see them practicing Thursday, and more ridealongs tomorrow. When they’re not in the air, you can see them parked on the south side of the Museum of Flight (which offers special activities/hours for Blue Angels Week this time each year).

Seafair: 1st Blue Angels jet arrives in Seattle; traffic note

August 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(UPDATE: Tuesday arrival of other Blue Angels expected around 11:15 am)

(The Museum of Flight tweeted this photo of #7′s arrival just after 8 am)
The first Blue Angels jet to arrive in Seattle got here just after 8 am, but will be back in the air this afternoon, giving rides to pre-selected “community influencers.” The other Blue Angels are due to arrive at the Museum of Flight adjacent to Boeing Field around 11 am tomorrow.

If you’re a longtime WSB’er, you know we recommend watching at least one of their Seafair takeoffs from the MoF, for an experience beyond just the airshow (here’s one of our previous reports that should explain why). But we just found out firsthand this morning about a *traffic challenge* you’ll want to be aware of if you go to MoF: Last year, after the South Park Bridge (which had been a good shortcut from West Seattle) closed, it was easy enough to take Highland Park Way to the 1st Avenue South Bridge, then the Michigan exit to East Marginal Way, turn right, drive a few miles, voila, you’re there. Right now, though, there’s a stretch of East Marginal where road work is under way, and that took it down to one lane each way this morning:

This morning, the work covered a stretch north of 14th South (the old SP Bridge turn from East Marginal), and it took quite some time to get through. We turned onto 4th, headed north to downtown, and encountered more slowdowns. We’ll work to get more specifics before the big days Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and to recommend alternative routes if needed, but in the short run, just be aware. Also on the traffic alert front, the I-90 bridge closes those days too – the specific times are here. And you can find all of this week’s airshow info on the Seafair website. (Looking for info on when you’ll see the Seafair fleet off West Seattle shores? Here’s our story from last week.)

South Seattle Community College instructor to fly with Angels

July 28, 2011 at 4:08 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 8 Comments

The first Blue Angels plane to arrive in Seattle will get here Monday morning (with the rest arriving Tuesday), as reported here earlier this week; Monday’s the day they take selected media and community leaders up for a ride. And South Seattle Community College just sent word that SSCC instructor Heidi Lyman is one of those community leaders. She’s a former aerospace engineer described as “exuberantly passionate about math” and expecting she can incorporate that into what she takes away from the flight – SSCC’s announcement quotes Lyman as saying, “I often talk about the equations of motion in space as position, velocity and acceleration, using examples such as bike riding, skiing, sky diving and bungee jumping,” explained the former aerospace engineer. “A flight with the Blue Angels will be an incredible example to use!” She’s set to go up at 11 am Monday.

Seafair updates: Parade-day transit; Blue Angels @ MoF

July 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Various updates this afternoon as the biggest Seafair events get closer – for one, Metro has issued a transit advisory for Saturday, including some West Seattle bus routes- plus, the Museum of Flight is out with more details of its “Blue Angels Week” activities while the Navy flyers are based there next week (just over the ridge from West Seattle) – and more – click ahead! Click to read the rest of Seafair updates: Parade-day transit; Blue Angels @ MoF…

Seafair update: Blue Angels to arrive one week from tomorrow

July 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 32 Comments

Handy info whether you love them or you hate them: Seafair says U.S. Navy Blue Angels pilots 1-6 are scheduled to arrive at Boeing Field next Tuesday (August 2nd), likely between 11 am and noon. (#7 will be here sooner, as it’s doing media flights on Monday, though its arrival date has not yet been announced.) As always, while here, the Blue Angels are based at the Museum of Flight, just over the ridge from West Seattle, and they always offer special activities during the Angels’ visit. (2010 photo courtesy David DeSiga)

Video: Blue Angels’ wintertime Seattle visit to prep for Seafair

January 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm | In Blue Angels, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels have one jet and two pilots here tonight, as part of Seafair‘s two-day winter meetings, looking ahead to summertime. For WSB, photojournalist Cliff DesPeaux covered the pilots’ arrival today, as well as their media briefing immediately afterward, as you’ll see in his video above. Blue Angels jet #7 is at Clay Lacy Aviation tonight and expected to leave noontime tomorrow. This year’s Seafair air show, featuring the Blue Angels, is exactly seven months away – August 5-7.

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