Blue Angels arrive on Long Island ahead of air show

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are back on Long Island for the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach this weekend.

May 26, 2022, 11:26 AM

Updated 699 days ago


The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are back on Long Island for the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach this weekend.
They haven't performed at the air show in four years. Their performance back in 2020 was cancelled because of the pandemic, and their last performance before that was in 2018.
The Blue Angels landed at Republic Airport Thursday morning and are now getting ready for the big show this weekend.
"I've always dreamt of being a pilot, and everything after that has just been a cherry on top," Lt. Commander Julius Bratton of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels said.
Lt. Commander Bratton joined the Blue Angels in 2019 and flies number 6, working alongside his crew chief, Oyinda Michael. Both of them say being part of the team is something they never imagined.
"When they told me I was hired it was definitely surreal. I was having that feeling of, 'Am I really good enough for this?' I applied but I wasn't sure," Oyinda Michael, a U.S Navy Blue Angels crew chief said.
"It's very surreal when the team lets you know you've been selected, but it's a normal human reaction to wonder, 'Do I have what it takes?'" Lt. Commander Bratton said. "The answer is always yes if you're willing to work hard at what you want to accomplish."
That's the message the Blue Angels aim to send to everyone, but especially the younger generations, many of whom came out early to catch a glimpse of them landing Thursday.
For some people, this experience is even better than the air show.
"It's more exciting here, you see them come in and you get to meet the pilot sometimes if the mood strikes them," Stacy Peters of Massapequa said. "It's more intimate. It's not so crowded."
Community outreach is half of what the Blue Angels are all about. The other is showcasing the skilled flying our men and women serving overseas perform to protect our country.
"It's just a super rewarding and humbling experience sharing what we do with the nation. We work hard at our craft to make it the best as we possibly can to showcase the teamwork of the U.S. Navy and Madine Corps while we do it," Lt. Commander Bratton said.
Hundreds of thousands of spectators will witness their hard work this weekend at Jones Beach.
The air show runs Saturday and Sunday from 10:00a.m. to 3:00p.m.

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