Classic and modern jets roared overhead as Thunder Over Utah took place at the St. George Municipal Airport.
St. George welcomed the most elite aviation acrobatic team, the Blue Angels, for their first performance in Utah last weekend. The team is known world wide for its crisp maneuvers, difficult flight patterns, and impressive aircraft.
Spectators at Thunder Over Utah not only got to witness the Blue Angels, but a particularly special demonstration of the most lethal jet in the world, the F22 Raptor that can go from 70 to 700 miles per hour in less than one minute.
“We are excited to have this and welcome people to our new facility and be able to see such good and great performances that you have to travel long distances to see,” St. George Mayor Dan McArthur exclaimed.
The Blue Angels were formed in 1946 to raise public interest in naval aviation. The original team, known as the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, discovered New York City’s Blue Angel Nightclub in The New Yorker. The team introduced themselves as the Blue Angels to the public for the first time on July 21, 1946. Based in Pensacola, Fla., the team routinely heads to El Centro, Calif., to undergo rigorous training six days a week, two times a day. The six pilots fly the prestigious F/A-18 Hornets painted in standard yellow and blue Navy colors.
One special angel got to fly with the Blue Angels. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took to the air once again. President Uchtdorf is a retired fighter pilot for West Germany so this flight brought back a lot of excitement.
“It is a marvelous day for us. Almost 50 years ago to the day I earned my wings for the Air Force,” President Uchtdorf said.
An estimated 30,000 people watched on the first day alone.
Honor, courage, and commitment is the motto for the Blue Angels. St. George was honored to see these attributes as the Blue Angels pierced the southern Utah skies.