Yes, the Blue Angels can fly despite haze

Smoky air in the Puget Sound region - from wildfires in Canada - has prompted worried Blue Angels fans to ask if the Navy jets will perform their shows for Seafair, this weekend.

"Yes," said Air Show Coordinator Frank Sebastian. The F/A-18 Hornets can fly even if the air is hazy.
But because the skilled pilots rely on sight to do their formation flying, they may adapt their altitude, depending on the pollution.

"The Blue Angels have three standard flight profiles they can fly," said Sebastian. Each profile is based on visibility standards. The profiles are High, Low, and Flat Show."

The Blue Angels will cancel their show for safety reasons if the pilots determine visibility is just too poor.

"The most frequent reason is low clouds," said Sebastian. "The last time this occurred at Seafair was over 15 years ago."

It seems unlikely this weekend's shows will be canceled. The Blue Angels have successfully practiced over Lake Washington this week.

Air pollution authorities don't expect the smoke to get worse over the weekend.

Sebastian noted that each Blue Angel pilot is an experienced combat aviator. They can probably handle a bit of haze.

© 2017 KING-TV


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