Blue Angels grounded for rest of 2013

Blue Angels

Lt. Cmdr. John Hiltz, right wing pilot for the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Blue Angels, flies over the Florida Keys during a March 21 practice flight. The Navy canceled the rest of the Blue Angels’ 2013 schedule, citing budget constraints. (Navy photo by MC1 Rachel McMarr)

The Blue Angels may be hiring, but for the rest of the year, they won’t be flying.

All remaining performances on the 2013 schedule have been canceled, according to a release posted Tuesday on the Flight Demonstration Squadron’s website. And while the release says the unit “will continue to train to maintain flying proficiency until further notice,” a report from citing an email from the group’s events coordinator says public practices at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., also have been called off.

Cuts to the team’s performance schedule have been part of the Navy’s budget-cut plans for months, triggering a lobbying effort by air shows to keep the planes flying and big turnouts at Pensacola practices, with fans fearing they wouldn’t have many more chances to see the aerial acrobatics.

Some shows had been canceled prior to Tuesday’s announcement.

“The Navy intends to continue aerial demonstrations in the future as the budget situation permits,” according to the release.

One early casualty: The Navy canceled the annual 2013 Naval Air Station Oceana (Va.) Air Show shortly after the Blue Angels announcement.


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  2. Robert Rodriguez on

    I guess if the 2013 season is being cancel due to budget how do you save money if your still practicing unit “will continue to train to maintain flying proficiency until further notice,” why not do show if that’s the case?

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