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Fleet Week air show with the Blue Angels

The Navy elite demonstration team, the Blue Angels, will conduct survey flights tomorrow afternoon and practice flights on Friday in preparation for their performances over San Francisco Bay on Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM. The 31st Annual Fleet Week celebrates the military sea services, and the six F/A-18 Hornets of the Blue Angels will be the star performers. The Blue Angels have been known to fly as close as 18 inches apart from wingtip to canopy! says:

The best place to watch the air show is from San Francisco’s Marina Green, Pier 39 or anywhere along the northern waterfront. City officials said they expect at least a million people to show up for Fleet Week and other weekend activities.

“We just expect an incredible turnout,” Fleet Week spokeswoman Mary Hickey said Wednesday. “The weather’s going to be perfect. It’s definitely worth coming out this year.”

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee agreed. “This is the beginning of a great number of events in our city,” he said. “It’s a weeklong recognition of our armed forces. I want to give a big shout-out and thanks to the men and women in uniforms who are protecting us.”

Other demonstrations will include flights by the Patriots Jet Team, a United Airlines Boeing 747, Oracle aerobatic pilot Sean D. Tucker, a U.S. Air Force F-22A Raptor, and a simulated Coast Guard rescue!

Today, two prominent Californians “got a ride” from the Blue Angels – retired airline Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot from Danville who safely ditched a US Airways plane in the Hudson River in New York, and Professor Alex Filippenko, a UC Berkeley astronomer, who won the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics!

“I feel 30 again!” Sullenberger, 61, wrote on his Twitter account after his flight.

Filippenko said, “Besides being a heck of a lot of fun, there were so many interesting physical principles to talk about before and during the flight.”

The commanding officer of the Blue Angels team, Captain Greg McWherter, is spending his final year with the team before he returns to the fleet. He is known simply as “Boss,” the traditional name for the team flight leader and will fly the Number 1 jet. Each Blue Angels show will begin with flyovers by the team’s C-130 Hercules transport plane, known as “Fat Albert.”

Today, “…a Navy hovercraft arrived at Ocean Beach as part of a disaster response training exercise. The craft was operating from the Makin Island, an 847-foot amphibious assault ship that can be toured at Piers 30/32 during Fleet Week.

Several other Navy, Coast Guard and Royal Canadian ships will enter the bay at 11 a.m. Saturday as part of the “Parade of Ships” before berthing at Pier 80, where they will also be open for tours.

Events from the SFGate article on Fleet Week follow:

  • Thursday
    1 to 5 p.m. – Blue Angels survey flights
  • Friday
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Ship tours, Pier 80
    12:30 p.m. – Practice air show begins
    3 p.m. – Blue Angels full practice show
    7:15 to 7:45 p.m. – Blue Angels “meet and greet,” Pier 39
  • Saturday
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Ship tours, Pier 80
    11 a.m. – Parade of Ships
    12:30 p.m. – Air show begins
    3 p.m. – Blue Angels perform
  • Sunday
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Ship tours, Pier 80
    12:30 p.m. – Air show begins
    3 p.m. – Blue Angels perform
  • Monday
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Ship tours, Pier 80
    America’s Cup races
    The America’s Cup Village will operate between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day.
  • Thursday
    12:25 p.m. & 5:10 p.m. – Championship Racing
  • Friday and Saturday
    4:05 p.m. – Championship Racing
  • Sunday
    2 p.m. – Super Sunday Racing
    Hardly Strictly Bluegrass concert
    Free event at Hellman Hollow and Marx and Lindley Meadows in Golden Gate Park.
  • Friday
    10 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday
    11 a.m.-7 p.m.

-Bill at

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