Keep your eye on the sky: Blue Angels start arriving Monday

(Blue Angels fly over Boeing Field, photo shared by David DeSiga via Facebook)
If you have been a WSB’er for a year or more, you know that one of our summertime digressions from West Seattle-specific reporting involves the annual Seattle visit of the U.S. Navy’s aerial demonstration team, the Blue Angels. They even have their own WSB coverage archive. They start arriving tomorrow, so we’re publishing the schedule for starters (as distributed by their home base for the week, Boeing Field, though the Angels are here under the auspices of Seafair):

MONDAY: #1 Blue arrives at 9:30 a.m.
TUESDAY: Blues #1-6 arrive at 2 p.m.
THURSDAY: Blue Angels practice times: 10 am-12 pm, 1:30 pm-2:30 pm
FRIDAY: Blue Angels performance: 1:20 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
SATURDAY: Blue Angels performance: 1:20 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
SUNDAY: Blue Angels performance: 1:20 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
TUESDAY: Blues #1-6 and Fat Albert depart

“Fat Albert” is their support plane, which usually flies right before they do, for one last survey of the area:


While the Blue Angels are primarily here to perform over Lake Washington, we highly recommend the experience of watching them take off and land at Boeing Field – adjacent to the Museum of Flight, an attraction in its own right, with special Blue Angels-related activities all week. To see the choreography of the pilots’ “walkdown” (WSB video here) and the maintenance crew Friday-Sunday (Thursday is a little looser since they don’t do the official show), you need a spot along the fence south of the Museum – it’s something like a parade stakeout, so be there a couple hours in advance (here’s our “On the Fence” story from 2007; note there’s overflow parking at the Boeing facility across East Marginal Way from the MoF’s main driveway – map). Once they start taxiing, everyone bolts northeast toward the museum/runway; the takeoff shakes the ground like an earthquake. On Friday, you can see the show at Lake Washington for free (except for the grandstands, which charge admission all three days), since technically it’s “rehearsal” and the hydros are in time trials, not races. If you want to go to the lake Saturday/Sunday, here’s all the official ticket/schedule info. Last reminder: The I-90 bridge closes for a few days each day Thursday-Sunday because of the Blue Angels; here’s the schedule.

30 Replies to "Keep your eye on the sky: Blue Angels start arriving Monday"

  • Dreamland July 26, 2009 (7:48 pm)

    I don’t want to sound negative or anything, the Blue Angels can be fun to watch (unless you live on Lake WA and have sensitive pets), but I wonder how it’ll pan out this week with the air stagnation advisory and the Angels’ fumes….

  • Dreamland July 26, 2009 (7:49 pm)

    I mean, we’ll hopefully see them! Even though we might not see some other familiar features due to smog.

  • MargL July 26, 2009 (10:51 pm)

    I was wondering the same thing! How does an air stagnation advisory affect the smoke show that the Angels do? They’re probably exempt.

  • Dee July 26, 2009 (11:05 pm)

    It’s also fun to watch them take off at Boeing Field.

  • Living in West Seattle since 1985 July 26, 2009 (11:18 pm)

    The Blues are fun to watch, but they do scare my dogs when the jets fly over head! The noise is a bit much for them, even over here in West Seattle.

  • Courtney July 26, 2009 (11:33 pm)

    I lived in White Center/Top Hat last year on Occidental and got an amazing show from my front porch. The only thing missing was the zooming over Lake Washington. The Delta Formation was so close over the top of our house that you could clearly read the words painted on the planes.

    Also, I could see them taking off and landing at Boeing field.

    If you know anyone on the west side of occidental between 104th and 102nd you should camp on their front lawn for one of the shows.

  • RIH July 27, 2009 (3:33 am)

    This will be the first time since The Blues first performed at Seafair that I won’t see them and remember the year they were banned from Lake Washington and performed over Elliot Bay…I’ve seen them fly the F-4 Phantom, A-4 Skyhawk and the F-18 Hornet…

    No need to be concerned about their exhaust emissions.

    The smoke is produced by pumping biodegradable, paraffin-based oil directly into the exhaust nozzles of the aircraft where the oil is instantly vaporized into smoke. The smoke provides a traceable path for spectators to follow, so they can see the flight profile that has been flown. It also enhances safety of flight by providing a valuable means by which the solo pilots can see each other during opposing maneuvers and conditions of lowered visibility or haze. The smoke poses no hazard to the environment.

    ENJOY!!! Wish I could be there!

  • WSB July 27, 2009 (3:37 am)

    Thanks for sharing that info. We remember the Elliott Bay year very well … our son, now 13, was a baby and screamed through the whole thing, as we watched from Hamilton Viewpoint. Not that anyone could hear him … but maybe that’s why he is perennially grumpy about accompanying us to see them now! – TR

  • RIH July 27, 2009 (4:15 am)

    Haha… my Dad used to take me up to the Whidbey Island NAS “Open House” as he was retired Navy to see them perform. We would drive back down to Lake Washington to watch them once again perform. I honestly could watch them daily and never get bored!

  • mike green July 27, 2009 (7:58 am)

    I see it as more glorification of war and my cat doesnt like them !


  • Arlene July 27, 2009 (8:18 am)

    I first heard and then saw a Blue Angel probably taking off from Boeing Field yesterday (Sunday) afternoon so at least one of them has already visited briefly.

  • Patrick July 27, 2009 (8:51 am)

    Ugh. Here we go again. We close our major roadways and bridges (economic cost in the hundreds of thousands per hour) so that we can fly military WAR planes (which cost about $100,000 of taxpayer money per hour to fly – as we’re cutting school prgrams around the country) so that these incredibly noisy (have a dog? it’s torture to them), fume-spewing planes (during an air stagnation warning) over a heavily populated area (remember, they’ve now had 2 or 3 fatal accidents). Who are we going to hold responsible when they crash into a neighborhood one the these days? Can’t we think of a safer, better, more efficient source of entertainment???

  • Jackie July 27, 2009 (9:14 am)

    Ugh, they’re so noisy, and such a waste of money. :-(

  • DavidE July 27, 2009 (10:18 am)

    According to the king county website, it’s actually #7 who arrived at 9:30, then FA at 1 tomorrow and the rest at 2.

  • WSGuy July 27, 2009 (10:24 am)

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion on the Blue Angels, noise, smoke and the like. Yes it costs money to fly them, yes it is inconvienent sometimes due to road closures. If it wasn’t for those jets and the men and women who fly, maintain, design and build them you wouldn’t enjoy the freedom of posting to a comment section of a blog.

    There are things in life that we enjoy and others do not, sometimes it’s the other way around. I’m just glad we live somewhere where it’s all possible. Just remember those jets are the sound of freedom.

  • bolo July 27, 2009 (10:44 am)

    “The smoke is produced by pumping biodegradable, paraffin-based oil directly into the exhaust nozzles of the aircraft where the oil is instantly vaporized into smoke.”
    “No need to be concerned about their exhaust emissions.”
    (from the 7th comment)

    Hold on a second… Not so sure about this.

    Paraffin-based oil is a petroleum-based hydrocarbon, like the gasoline or diesel fuel you burn in your car. Biodegradable? Yes but that feel-good term does not mean it is not a pollutant or greenhouse gas generator. We SHOULD be concerned or at least acknowledge that this activity adds to the immediate pollution load of the region.


  • WSB July 27, 2009 (11:09 am)

    DavidE – you are correct, I think #1 meant first arrival but I should have caught it; David D, who took the top photo in this story, says #7 arrived before 9 am. So take note that the other times, especially tomorrow, are certainly approximate – better to be early than late if you want to and can stake out for viewing – TR

  • seafair-fan July 27, 2009 (1:00 pm)

    I’m so glad they are here, cant wait to see them! Honestly, this is the best part of SeaFair!!

  • casey July 27, 2009 (1:11 pm)

    Come on folks! Be positive! Lots of people love the blue angels and they bring happiness to folks around here! The kids love seeing them. The military is part of celebrating who we are as Americans.

    What is all with the negativity. Of course they add to the pollution, of course it takes money, of course it impacts traffic, so does all the folks not using mass transit, so on and so forth.

  • seafair-fan July 27, 2009 (1:13 pm)

    “Patrick said… We close our major roadways and bridges (economic cost in the hundreds of thousands per hour)”

    Is that really a legitimate dollar value for closing a road (its only I-90 isn’t it…) for a few hours each day? Seems a little extreme, just wondering.

  • Wednesday July 27, 2009 (4:14 pm)

    I wonder how many of the complainers are transplants???

  • RIH July 27, 2009 (5:18 pm)

    What damage to the environment is caused each year by the 4th of July fireworks show(s)? Ivars show is gone…what other Seattle traditions would you like to see gone? Those old floats used for the Torchlight Parade must put out some toxic emmissons whilst children grin ear to ear…it’s only a couple of days outta the year. Enjoy it while you can.

  • Lori W. July 27, 2009 (10:33 pm)

    I love the smell of jet fuel! Between the Blues, other airshow acts and the hydros (most of which now run on jet aircraft engines)I look forward to inhaling lots of it this week. Love it, love it, love it! Yes, its bad for the environment. I’ll make some trade-offs in other areas. Animals I’ve had in the past have been completely non-plussed by those beautiful blue jets. They don’t fly all day long so if your pet is bothered then keep him/her inside during their practices and shows. There are things that I really don’t like (hippy, dippy, trippy art shows or marathons), but I put up with the occasional traffic tie-ups and make sure I avoid those areas at that time. Now, if I could just convince the Blues to break the sound barrier one of these years. Man, that would be awesome!

  • mike green July 28, 2009 (8:09 am)

    yes—the military is protecting our wonderful way of life—
    SUV’s and hummers that get 12 miles to the gallon—–enjoy
    seattle !!


  • lavida July 28, 2009 (9:50 am)

    “Just remember those jets are the sound of freedom.”

    Or, in many places in the world, the last sound you will ever hear.

  • 37Ray July 28, 2009 (4:24 pm)

    Damn whiners get some earplugs for your dog!

  • 37Ray July 28, 2009 (9:34 pm)

    sorry, should have included (/sarcasm)

    no one should make their dog wear earplugs

    those bose over ear noise cancel headphones are a much more humane alternative! (rimshot)

    I’m from Gtwon and these guys take off feet off the deck over my former house, you want to talk about loud. Maybe I am just desensitized to it now..

  • SeafairNostalgia August 3, 2009 (6:07 pm)

    Is it possible that many of the folks here posting negative comments are not Seattle natives? SeaFair has been a family tradition since I can remember, without the Angels it would not be complete. To me, it defines this great city in a way.

    I’m sorry for your pets, but geez…isn’t the 4th of July just as bad, if not worse? As far a pollution, I’m quite certain it’s minimal compared to the collective exhaust of your SUV’s. Just a thought.

  • WSB August 3, 2009 (8:11 pm)

    Honestly, you can’t pin it on being a native or non-native. I am a huge fangirl when it comes to Blue Angels time and yet I’m one of those dreaded California transplants who were so reviled back in the early ’90s that we were advised to cover our CA plates the second we hit the city limits line! – TR

  • SeafairNostalgia August 4, 2009 (11:28 am)

    I’m not really trying to “pin” ALL of the complaining to non-natives, it’s just a trend that I have noticed on several websites in the past few days (concerning the hydros as well).

    I guess I’m saying, don’t go to India and complain because you can’t find any prime rib.

Sorry, comment time is over.