Behind the Blues: Getting the jets in the air

If the pilot's main role is to strictly focus on flight...who is working to get them off the ground?

Posted: Jul 23, 2018 11:26 PM

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WTHI) - The U.S. Navy Blue Angels represent sailors and marines.

They define military excellence.

When we talk about the blues, the first thing you probably think about is the flashy blue and yellow fighter jets.

There's a whole lot more that goes into getting those jets off the ground.

If the pilot's main role is to strictly focus on flight...who is working to get them in the air?

Before the pilots get in the jets, the final checks are all on the shoulders of the crew chiefs.

We talked with Petty Officer Brandon Bates.

He is the crew chief to jet number five.

"There's a lot of behind the scenes that a lot of people don't see," Petty Officer Bates told us. "Lots of long hours to make sure these jets are functioning the way they should."

The pilots and crew chiefs have a trust like no other.

LINK | PART ONE - BEHIND THE BLUES: THE FACES BEHIND THE JETS

"They are trusting us to turn these aircraft...making sure they are functioning properly. All they do is they walk up, up into the jet, and take off. It's up to the crew chiefs to make sure these jets are working flawlessly for them to perform at these airshows," Bates said.

That responsibility doesn't just fall on the crew chiefs...it's on the team as a whole.

"The blues are all about teamwork...everybody helps each other. Not this is your job...everybody comes together to get the job done...to make the air show happen," Bates told us.

Everyone in the squadron learns all of the jobs.

This is part of their training.

LINK | THE HISTORY OF THE BLUE ANGELS 

"It makes it to where it can flow faster. It's not like if we're shorthanded, how are we going to get this job done? Everyone jumps on it to get the job done, and get the jets in the air," Bates said.

The Blue Angels are unique in the fact that all 130-team members not only wanted to be part of this squadron...they were chosen.

Their travel itinerary is hectic...going from show to show around the country.

The team rotates who stays at home and who goes.

No matter who deploys to an air show site, it's all about showcasing the pride and professionalism of their squadron.

When Crew Chief Brandon Bates looks up to the sky and sees his jet soaring..."I know I did a good job. I made sure the jet is functioning properly and 'five' is going to go out there and thrill faces and do what he does."

The Terre Haute Air Show is August 18th and 19th at the Terre Haute Regional Airport.

To buy tickets, click here.

Terre Haute
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 63°
Robinson
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 59°
Indianapolis
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 65°
Rockville
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 62°
Casey
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 66°
Brazil
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 63°
Marshall
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 64°
Clear and cool evening.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Shakamak's Offense Propels the Lakers to the State Finals

Image

Aviators Sweep the Rex

Image

Domestic violence awareness

Image

Sunday Evening Forecast

Image

SCAM ALERT: Social media influencer ruse

Image

Business holds cooking class

Image

People gathered to protest circus

Image

The Storm Team explains hyperthermia and heat-related illnesses

Image

Railroad museum back on track

Image

Special Olympics wraps up

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1387217

Reported Deaths: 25469
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook55573410419
DuPage922971318
Will768611027
Lake682821009
Kane59372803
Winnebago34040500
Madison30888526
McHenry29160293
St. Clair28257519
Peoria23437339
Champaign21077153
Sangamon19066237
McLean18540187
Tazewell17207302
Rock Island15238328
Kankakee14529216
Kendall1327098
LaSalle12763249
Macon10980211
DeKalb10099121
Vermilion9988140
Adams8654126
Williamson7566134
Whiteside7195174
Boone682976
Ogle620483
Grundy598278
Clinton578791
Coles5759100
Knox5636152
Jackson509865
Henry507270
Livingston489591
Stephenson481385
Woodford481382
Macoupin478088
Effingham476372
Franklin454478
Marion4509117
Jefferson4417122
Monroe438094
Lee419453
Randolph416087
Fulton405159
Logan396063
Morgan392982
Christian383675
Montgomery379074
Bureau378183
Fayette321655
Perry319860
Iroquois313167
McDonough290051
Jersey271552
Douglas260536
Saline260157
Lawrence241127
Shelby232337
Union227140
Crawford214526
Bond208824
Cass203027
Ford188248
Clark183633
Warren183648
Jo Daviess182724
Pike181753
Wayne180653
Hancock179831
Carroll178037
Richland176740
Edgar176340
White170226
Washington164725
Moultrie162728
De Witt157129
Mason154145
Piatt152214
Clay149243
Mercer149234
Johnson147316
Greene145333
Massac135840
Wabash135512
Cumberland130019
Menard124812
Jasper116118
Marshall108219
Hamilton84215
Schuyler7797
Brown7266
Pulaski6997
Stark64824
Edwards57612
Henderson53014
Calhoun5282
Scott4881
Putnam4863
Alexander47311
Gallatin4684
Hardin39112
Pope3274
Out of IL40
Unassigned02419

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 749097

Reported Deaths: 13745
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030271775
Lake554211006
Allen41613691
St. Joseph36933564
Hamilton36505416
Elkhart29347459
Tippecanoe22849225
Vanderburgh22540400
Porter19313325
Johnson18386387
Hendricks17583317
Clark13190193
Madison13111344
Vigo12602253
LaPorte12385221
Monroe12152175
Delaware10947197
Howard10250225
Kosciusko9609119
Hancock8541144
Bartholomew8158157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7763180
Grant7227179
Wayne7154201
Boone6911103
Morgan6735141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6205116
Cass5989108
Henry5893108
Dearborn588878
Noble579786
Jackson508374
Shelby500697
Lawrence4727121
Gibson444093
Harrison440473
Clinton439855
DeKalb438585
Montgomery433890
Whitley405642
Huntington402181
Steuben398659
Miami392568
Jasper386254
Knox375690
Putnam371860
Wabash360583
Ripley346470
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White329753
Daviess3028100
Wells294881
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284664
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269855
Clay265448
Randolph244683
Washington244534
Jennings235149
Spencer234131
Starke227558
Fountain218347
Sullivan213943
Owen210858
Fulton201542
Jay200832
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175626
Vermillion173544
Franklin170135
Tipton165746
Parke148916
Pike137934
Blackford136032
Pulaski120047
Newton112636
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton100814
Martin91415
Warren83515
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0421