The OBA Community Website

Covering the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast (AFGC)tm since 2006!


Fat Albert
by R. Ken Cooper
 
July 13, 2017 - Pensacola Beach, FL (OBA) - We on the coast certainly love our Blue Angels. And here at the Orange Beach Community Website we love to keep you informed of their comings and goings because, well, we’re really big fans of the Blues, too.
 
We’re treated to practices and flybys throughout the year and we like to keep you informed when they are returning from shows around the country. And tell you what time they are likely to Buzz the Beaches her on the Gulf Coast on the way home. Thank you to our Blue’s Prognosticator John Mason-Smith for his calculations on the timing! 
 
Those are just bonus times for us lucky coastal dwellers. Twice a year they are all ours with shows over Pensacola Beach in July and at the National Naval Aviation Museum in November.
 
The 2017 Blue Angels Pensacola Beach Air Show is in the history books. Storms threatened but held off just enough to get in both Friday and Saturday shows. As usual, tens of thousands on the beach, in the water and on boats were treated to a spectacular show.
 
Our OBA Community Website Fans captured some awesome photos and video of this year's show that we've included below. Enjoy!
 
This year was very special for us as I invited to fly in Friday's dress rehearsal air show with Fat Albert.
 
Three rules are stressed in preflight briefings.
• Buckle up. You’re going to be weightless twice during the flight and you don’t want to be bouncing around the inside of the massive C-130.
• Keep your sickness bag at the ready and please use it if your stomach contents get weightless and seek an escape route.
• And, if you do get sick, close that bag tight. While floating liquid during weightlessness may look cool, where it may land certainly is not.
 
That last rule drew the most nervous laughter from the media group. Of the 10 media people on the flight, only one lost their cookies and fortunately it wasn't me.
 
Trying to shoot photos and video during the flight was more difficult than I expected. Weighing 180 pounds, when we pulled the 2G's my weight went to 360 pounds. The pressure could be felt all over my body.
 
A couple of seconds later, I went from 360 pounds to weightlessness. That's the point where everything that's down wants to come up. It took a conscience effort to keep what was inside of me, inside of me. Luckily, rules two and three weren’t necessary.
 
In the video clip below you'll see what it looked like onboard Fat Albert as we cruised the beaches and then went into a rapid ascent. During this ascent is where we hit the 2 G's. At the top of the assent when we leveled off, we went to -1 G, or weightlessness. At the end of the clip, when the camera goes up to the clouds was when Fat Albert banked into a left turn.
 
 
 
Ken Grimes captured Fat Albert's rapid ascent over the pier from the beach...
 
 
We put together a 2 minute clip of the Blue Angels and Fat Albert fly bys... 
 
 
Benjamin Cash with Gulf Bay Photography captured these amazing shots at Friday's dress rehearsal air show...   
 
 
Pelican Drones captured some great footage of this weekend's air shows... 
 
 
Fan Photos from the 2017 Blue Angels Air Show over Pensacola Beach...
 
 
Here's WKRG's video of the air show on Saturday...