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  • Blue Angels Dazzle at Thunder Over Utah Air Show
    by kcsg.com news
    Published - 07/28/14 - 04:13 PM | 5 5 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Blue Angels. HGA Photo
    Blue Angels. HGA Photo
    slideshow
    (ST. GEORGE, Utah) - An all-star lineup headlined by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels drew thousands of spectators to the 2014 Thunder Over Utah Air Show. Officials estimate approximately 32,000 people attended the show held at St. George Municipal Airport over three days this weekend.

    “We are happy that the community came out to support the show this year even with the show taking place in the middle of the July heat,” said Kevin Walsh, air show director. “Spectators, performers, community leaders, sponsors, media partners, and volunteers all came together to make the show a success.”

    Despite temperatures pushing 110 degrees at the airport throughout the weekend, threat of thunderstorms each day, and high winds at times, the show went on as scheduled each day. The show's traffic management plan worked well this year and show operations were reported to run smoothly throughout the weekend.

    “Our hats are off to the airport, safety forces and city officials for the updates they made to the traffic patterns and their work on site throughout the weekend,” said Walsh. “The traffic plan worked as expected getting people in and out. We were able to clear the parking lots on Saturday slightly more than 30 minutes from the time the Blue Angels stepped out of their planes and Sunday within twenty minutes. ”

    “We will do a full show debrief in the next few weeks and review what worked well and what we can improve,” said Walsh.

    While the Blue Angels indicated their support for a show in St. George, a determination of a future show date is pending.

    Ticket sales from the show benefited several community organizations including the United Way Dixie, Young Eagles, Dixie JROTC, Rotary, Western Sky Warbirds Museum and the Yankee Air Museum.

    Comments
    (5)
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    Robert in Las Vegas
    |
    July 28, 2014
    I attended the Sunday show and it was alot of fun! Thank you to everyone involved to organize the Air Show and bring the Blue Angels to Utah! Please bring them back!!!

    One question... Blue Angel 5 landed early in show and did not finish with the other Blues. Does anyone know what happened to Blue Angel 5?
    Michael Hollister
    |
    August 04, 2014
    If one of the six jets has an issue, usually mechanical in nature, the pilot will bring the aircraft in and the maintenace crew will usually have one of the two F/A-18D's (two-seat version of the usual single seat "C" models you see during the demo) fired up and ready to take back up to finish the rest of the show, if there is enough show left to make that process worth-while. However, during this particular weekend at Thunder Over Utah 2014, the Blues experienced several "machanicals" with several of their aircraft and were not able to have six Hornets flying the demo during any of the shows in Utah. Weather cancelled their performance/practice on Friday. Even "Fat Albert" (Lockheed C130T Hercules), the squadron's support aircraft was unable (again) to attend the Utah shows since it had suffered a birdstrike and subsequint damage several weeks ago. "Bert" is still being repaired. A run of bad luck that sometimes happens when operating machines that, even though very well maintained, have a bit of age on them. Hope that answers your question. :)
    Robert Steckel
    |
    July 28, 2014
    First and foremost, we paid $25 each for myself and my wife. My 10 year old daughter was free. Unfortunately, I felt I didn't even get $5 worth of entertainment.

    The show was abysmal at best!!! It drug on and on. Of course the highlight was the blue angels themselves, and they did a less than standard show(5 planes only)! This joke of an airshow was an absolute blunder from the beginning!!!

    The online program reflected numerous things that would not be allowed. My first concern was the no "coolers or drinks" allowed. And that free water was supplied. Are you kidding me, it was 107 degrees outside and the free water was close to 90 degrees in some sort of a military water tank. We aren't military, but paid ticket holders for an event that was a total flop!!!

    My second concern was the venders charging three dollars for a single bottle of water!!! Also, many people had brought in coolers and water from home.

    And lastly, the show was the most boring and disappointing event that I have ever attended. For your information, I am 57 years old and I really feel that I have been bamboozled out of at least $100 dollars!!!!!

    I would never attend another Blue Angel function!!!!

    I have been watching the thunderbirds almost annually ever since they flew in the f-4 phantom. And their shows are free and they keep your attention from the beginning!!!!! All of you who claim responsibility for this farce of an air show should go see the thunderbirds perform and see what can be a masterful performance.....for FREE!!!!!!! This was absolutely lame and without substance!!!!!!! My cell is 435-730-5155. Please contact me for my address to send me my refund check!!!!! It should include three tickets to this so-called air show, a rental car from West Haven, Utah, (and gas), a hotel in Mesquite, Nevada and eight overpriced waters at three dollars each!!!!! I also, took two days off from work for this blunder!!!!! I believe $500 should cover all my wasted expenses for this garbage!!!!! Sincerely, completely dissatisfied....Robert Steckel. Please call me anytime!!!!!

    Don L
    |
    July 31, 2014
    I was there,

    I agree the Blues were not at their best, #5 did land early, but please 107 lets keep it real it never got over 95 on Sunday, and the light breeze at the air show kept it within reason.

    My hats are off to the Blues and the new commander and completely new team, if your going to an airshow have a clue what to expect and from the performers if you had even done any research on the Blue Angels you would know they are rebuilding after something the NEW team had no relation too.

    I agree right now that the T-birds are better, but when this team has had more than 6 months together and they are not flying birds with sand clogged turbines they will be again the best in the world.

    As for Mr. Steckel feel free to go to Hill and watch the T-birds, and spend 4 hours getting off base after the show.
    Michael Hollister
    |
    August 04, 2014
    Mr. Steckel,

    I certainly understand your concerns . . . I was there too and spent a lot more than you did but I knew what to expect long before I attended on Saturday. For me, any chance to see the Blues is worth it, especially when they come to Utah, which in and of itself is a very rare event. Before their March 2012 appearance it had been almost 30 years since they last flew in Utah skies! Yes, I too was disappointed that there was not more to see, and quite frankly, if it doesn't have an afterburner, I will usual take that opportunity to go see the static displays. Having said that, I will have to give the promoters the benefit of the doubt as to why this show was 'lackluster' and can only assume military budgets, operational constraints or scheduling conflicts kept other military performers from attending. It would have been great to have another F-22 or an F-16 from "Viper West" (Hill AFB) attend, but apparently, that could not be arranged in time. I will certainly not spend as much money next time, at least until I know there will more substantial participation. :)

    Lastly, the issue of this air show costing you money, while the Thunderbirds show being free has nothing to do with the particular squadron/team you see, but who sponsors, or puts on the show. Any military sponsored show is "free," since the cost is already covered by your tax dollars (therefore, also not really free), while "civil" sponsored air shows do charge to recoup the costs of putting on the show. Having the Blues or T-birds perform at a civilian sponsored show costs tens of thousands of dollars and that is one reason why you were charged for Thunder Over Utah, a city of St. George sponsored show. Hopefully with time the Thunder Over Utah show will get better and mature with time, IF it has that chance. Southern Utah is a great place to have a show.

    -M.H.

    Commercial Pilot, CFII
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