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Monday, May 14, 2007

Blue Angels

posted by on May 14 at 9:16 AM

They’re back.

For weeks, area airplane aficionados have been awaiting word on whether the Blue Angels would perform this year at Seafair, an air show that has become a summer ritual for thousands. A crash last month had put the acrobatic group’s entire schedule in limbo.

On Sunday, Seafair officials announced that the Blue Angels would indeed be making the trip to Seattle, performing three shows in August. In addition, the Blue Angels recently added a local man to their group: Lt. Cmdr. Craig Olson, who is from Kirkland. Olson, 37, will replace Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Davis, 32, who died in an April 21 crash while the Blue Angels were performing in South Carolina. It was the first crash for the group since 1999. The cause is under investigation.

Luckily for us planes can’t crash in Seattle—just like rapid transit can’t work here and taking out an elevated freeway can’t work here and bike commuting can’t work here and urban density can’t work here. Seattle is exceptional in each and every respect.

The news was greeted with cheers this morning at my house—my son is ecstatic, as is my boyfriend. They like loud things, luckily for me.

And hey, Seattlest? We won’t have to stock up on adult-sized diapers. We keep a supply around the office at all times for the adult babies on staff.

RSS icon Comments


If it wasn't for the sound of fighter jets I would not even know Seafair was going on.

Posted by elswinger | May 14, 2007 9:27 AM

Should we only fly them 'over there' so we don't have to fly them over here?

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | May 14, 2007 9:31 AM

The Blue Angels in Seattle are forever. Wouldn't matter if one of them crashed into Disneyland a week before SeaFair. They'd be here.

And I'm cool with people who need that 'bombs bursting in air' shit in order to feel patriotic or butch or whatever it is?

But I will never understand the decision that it is OK to let navy bombers practice and perform risky stunts over a populated area.

Posted by Bauhaus | May 14, 2007 9:36 AM

What would happen if one of the planes hit the mayor? Would they stop then?

Posted by Andrew | May 14, 2007 9:42 AM

What would happen if they crashed INTO the viaduct....?

Posted by andy niable | May 14, 2007 9:43 AM

Into the viaduct? Then I'd be a fan.

Posted by Dan Savage | May 14, 2007 9:45 AM

I live in Georgetown, and they take off and land from the airfield there. They fly so low, that I've been able to recognize the individual pilots as they pass over my house. (Not recognize as in, "Oooh! There's Donny! He's the dreamy one!" but more of a "Oh, there's that fucker again who guns it right over my roof so that my cats goes apeshit and my baby freaks out.")

Posted by Durin | May 14, 2007 9:46 AM

a few years back, i was tending bar in belltown on the friday night before seafair weekend. one of my customers, there 'til last call, was a blue angel. i didn't believe him but, sure enough, dude had all the right i.d. and other crap on him.

he got absolutely hammered. i'm kinda surprised they don't crash more often.

Posted by kerri harrop | May 14, 2007 9:51 AM

The BA's have alternate pilots.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | May 14, 2007 10:06 AM

bitching about the BA isn't supposed to start until the week before they arrive.

i'm fucking paying 40% of my income taxes for this MIC crap, i BETTER be able to feel that shit rumble down in my bones.

Posted by maxsolomon | May 14, 2007 10:20 AM

What gets me is that people who otherwise wouldn't be in favor of a giant in your face 3 day military recruiting commercials and people who think driving to work is a waste of gas, and people who get annoyed about late night noise from bars, think the blue angles are just peachy keen.

Posted by mason | May 14, 2007 10:20 AM

Perhaps the experience of having a bunch of supersonic bomber jets buzzing our city will build some empathy for those living in certain middle eastern cities.

Posted by Sean | May 14, 2007 10:20 AM

Fuck that. I'm going to Portland for Seafair weekend.

Posted by Gitai | May 14, 2007 10:23 AM

If only the entire team of Blue Angels would crash into the viaduct entrance on 1st Ave., and take out Safeco Field while they're at it, while Paul Allen is watching a game, thereby simultaneously eliminating all the things that make Seattle less-than-perfect.

And while I'm dreaming...maybe, just maybe, a winning lottery ticket, owned by a Blue Angel, will survive the fiery crash and be carried by the winds into my hands. I promise, as God is my witness, to use my new fortune to make the world a better place.

Posted by Gurldoggie | May 14, 2007 11:44 AM

Dammit. 6 weeks on a canoe trip in Northwest Territories, and I'll get back just in time for this.

Posted by gfish | May 14, 2007 11:58 AM

Fucking obnoxious military propaganda. Maybe instead we should have soldiers marching down the street with tanks like they do in North Korea. At least that wouldn't be putting peoples lives in danger.

Posted by debunker | May 14, 2007 12:00 PM

I must be at a vino because this post is full of WHINE.

If anything, crashes happen in more sparsely populated areas because pilots aren't as careful as they are when performing in the big cities.

Posted by Gomez | May 14, 2007 12:12 PM

Yay! The Blue Angels. I love the Blue Angels, they're fast, they're loud and they piss off Seattle's whining liberal asshats. What more could you ask for? I'd put up with the three days of traffic congestion and increased noise in my neighborhood (SeaTac flights get re-routed while the Blue Angels are in town) for any *one* of these reasons, but all three of them? Man, just thinking about how much this pisses off dipshit Seattle leftists makes me want to go somewhere private and touch myself.

Oh, and for all of the whining leftist fucks who bitch about the military industrial complex and how horrible and awful it is I have one thing to say: leave Seattle. In case you morons hadn't noticed the MIC helped build this city. All of those Boeing jobs that paid all of those taxes weren't involved in making bio-diesel fueled 747s to ferry condoms and vegan meals to starving third world countries. Sorry, they were cranking out B-29s, cruise missiles, B-52s and all sorts of other cool stuff designed to rain down fire and destruction, break things and kill people. Anyone who lives in Seattle has benefited and is benefiting from this legacy.

Posted by wile_e_quixote | May 14, 2007 12:18 PM

has it occurred to anyone else to find a large open space and lay out a big banner, large enough to be read by turning aircraft that says "F*CK OFF BLUE ANGELS? LOVE, SEATTLE"?

that would be pretty great.

one up over the north end of town and one down near the south end would be awesome.

Posted by anonymous coward | May 14, 2007 12:23 PM

It's just about time for the dailies to start running pompous letters defending the Blue Angels and belittling anybody who doesn't appreciate them. Of course, every asshole defender of the Angels will be from out of town.

Posted by Smarm | May 14, 2007 12:31 PM

I consider myself a leftist and even despite being advanced in years (almost 40!) I just don't get the handwringing and moaning every year over the scary jets in the sky. Our skies here in the Seattle area are clogged full of jets, military and otherwise, 24/7 -- they're omnipresent. What is it about this one show that annoys people so much? Do you complain about the noisy, expensive Seafair jetboats, too? The oily, unsightly barges in Puget Sound? The scary loud booms of fireworks on the Fourth? The noise pollution of rock concerts on the waterfront?

The Blue Angels are loud, dumb fun, but it only happens on one weekend in the summer. And sometimes for a few ballgames here and there. What's the fuss?

And Dan, aren't you the guy who slogged here about flying on a commuter jet to BELLINGHAM FROM SEATTLE for some minor event?

Posted by Peter | May 14, 2007 1:05 PM

Well, at least we know first hand what the sounds of our military terrorizing cities around the world are like (except for the explosions).

Posted by Original Andrew | May 14, 2007 1:20 PM

Add to the region's economy: Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (Bremerton), Bangor Submarine Base (Silverdale), Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, US Naval Station (Everett), Fort Lewis (Tacoma), McChord AFB (Tacoma).

Here in Seattle, we live in the northernmost major coastal city/region. It is of military importance. And, as Peter rightly states, it is the birth place of Boeing. Part of the Blue Angels deal is a nod to this aspect of the place you've chosen to live.

What did you think Seafair was about? The pirates and clowns?

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | May 14, 2007 2:05 PM

The Blue Angels put all other air traffic for the rest of the year combined to shame. I live in the CD and I never hear normal passenger planes, but that fucking weekend, every hour, it's a huge fucking wave of sound that rattles my windows and freaks out my dog. The Army is poaching officers from the Navy and Air Force to make up for their own shortfall. I say we ship the Blue Angels over.

Posted by Gitai | May 14, 2007 2:28 PM

Commuter Airplanes don't make NEARLY the same kind of noise and aren't nearly as dangerous, the Blue Angels are flying around at much higher speeds doing tricks in the air. Also, commuter planes serve a reasonable purpose, but if you're opposed to the war then you need to recognize that the Blue Angels are a jingoistic military recruitment device to try to send more kids to Iraq.

Posted by debunker | May 14, 2007 4:35 PM

#23 Lloyd -

Rock solid argument, except does Boeing make the jets flown by the Blue Angels? Uh, I don't think so. Do the Blue Angels contribute anything to the Northwest economy at large? Uh, I don't think so.

Posted by Slip Mahoney | May 14, 2007 5:53 PM

Sorry, Slip @ 23:

Although, to be fair, the F-18 was orginally produced by McDonnell Douglas, which Boeing bought out.

That said, Lloyd's and wile_e_quixote's points are valid. Nobody seems to mind all that money coming in from all those military projects/facilities.

Posted by J. Whorfin | May 14, 2007 7:12 PM

Whoops, I meant Slip @ 26.

Posted by J. Whorfin | May 14, 2007 7:13 PM

I still think hydroplanes are kick-ass.

Posted by Dougsf | May 14, 2007 7:21 PM

Doesn't it seem like it would be a good idea to finish the investigation and figure out why the crash in SC happened before they start flying again?

Posted by pitchblende | May 14, 2007 8:10 PM

What did I think Seafair was about? A bunch of local merchants around 30 years ago wanting to come up with an event to pick up slack in the low-holiday season.

How do hydroplane races support the troops?

Posted by diggum | May 14, 2007 8:45 PM

31 - Well, the Navy fleet is tied up at the docks downtown. If any of them enjoy the hydros down at the lake for some r&r, I'd count that. At the very least, thousands of them will enjoy the hydros while at Safeco Field while the Red Sox are in town.

26 - Slip, The BA's are part of an overall show. Kind of a Military-Says-Hello-To-Seattle weekend. I'd personally rather get a chance to see who these people are. They're real kids.

And I'll go to the same trough as Whorfin @ 27 -- The Boeing website. Enjoy all they have to offer:

Love the BA's or hate them, but the reality is that in this country you're more enjoying the fruits of Spartan labor than you are any kind of proto-Utopian grand gestures of world-wide equality. Sweep the BA's under the rug if you want, but the dust don't go away.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | May 15, 2007 8:47 AM

24, 25:

I don't know about you, but in Juanita where I live, jet sound is constant, as planes come in over the Eastside as part of their flight plans. It's true that after awhile you adjust and don't notice it as much, but it's there. We get flown over by Navy jets from Whidbey all the time, too.

I've been to several Mariner playoff games where jets buzzed Safeco just after the National Anthem, too, pre and post 9/11.

I've been against the Iraq War and U.S. imperialism in general all along, but I also take my kids to tour the Navy ships in Puget Sound and to see the Blue Angels from the I-90 bridge after it's closed. My neighbor was a Seafair Pirate captain a few years ago, and thanks to him my son and I have been Seafair Clowns and Pirates in the parade over previous summers. We also take advantage of our unincorporated King County status to launch a ton of fireworks every fourth of July, turning our block into an explosive haze of smoke and spark-showers. I think Seafair is a blast, it's part of the fun of living around here and I seriously don't get all the obsessive hating going on here.

Full disclosure: my Dad was an Air Force jet pilot and I grew up idolizing the "Right Stuff" pilot-astronauts.

Posted by Peter | May 15, 2007 11:33 AM

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