By Edward Cardenas
YPSILANTI (CBS Detroit) – Members of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels made an advance flight Monday to Willow Run Airport to prepare for the 2015 Thunder Over Michigan Air Show.READ MORE: Consumer Alert: How To Avoid Fake N95, KN95 Masks
The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron will be headlining the show Aug. 29-30, 2015.
“It’s the last major event in the city coming up this summer,” said Kevin Walsh, air show director, who added that the Blue Angels haven’t performed at Thunder Over Michigan since 2011.”This is (the Blue Angels) only appearance in Michigan this year … you are not going to get a chance to see them any other time.”
Two members of the Blue Angels flew into Willow Run to begin preparations for the team’s visit next year, including reviewing facilities and the airfield. Their visit coincided with the first day of ticket sales for the air show on the event’s website.
Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, who pilots Blue Angel #7, said the performance will give the public a chance to see their military in action.READ MORE: Flint Public Schools Staying Virtual Indefinitely Due To Large Amount Of Positive COVID-19 Cases
“It is a look behind the scenes to the precision with which they train, and practice to perform their combat mission everyday,” said Kuss, of the show which will include flight display with the F18s, C-130 and ground displays. “We are picked from the fleet to represent the fleet.”
Joining Kuss on the flight to Michigan Monday was Marine Capt. Katie Mayes, who is the first female Marine to serve as Blue Angel #8. The Marines also have another first on the 2015 team, Marine Capt. Katie Higgins is the first female Marine to fly the C-130 cargo plane known as “Fat Albert.”
“It is an extreme privilege and extreme honor,” said Mayes, who is carrying on a family tradition of flying. “My father is an aviator, so it has always been in my blood … I love being around it. It is thrilling.”
When they return next August, there will be local representation on the squadron. Blue Angel #1, Captain Thomas Frosch, is from Clinton Township and a graduate of Fraser High School.
In addition to the Blue Angels, Walsh said there will be a number attractions and displays including “one of the largest bomber gatherings in the entire world of World War II bombers.”MORE NEWS: State Fears Confusion After Michigan Restaurant Wins In Dining Ban Case
“It’s a show that is not going to want to be missed, and it’s a show that won’t be repeated,” Walsh said.