Blue Angels won’t take off; next month’s show at Pocono Raceway has been canceled

Christina Tatu Contact Reporter

LONG POND — The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron known as the Blue Angels will not be taking off at Pocono Raceway next month.

The show was first announced by the Angels in March, but details never followed about the exact time of the event or ticket prices. At the time, Pocono Raceway officials said it was too preliminary to announce further information.

The show was scheduled for the Aug. 27-28 race weekend and was meant to fill the void left by Lehigh Valley International Airport’s popular air show, which has been canceled for the second year in a row due to road construction related to a FedEx Ground facility being built near the airport.

Pocono Raceway spokesman Ryan Yanoshak confirmed on Thursday that the event would not be taking place, but he did not to respond to inquiries about why it was canceled.

A Navy representative affiliated with the Blue Angels said that questions should be directed to the event organizers, but she was unsure if that was Pocono Raceway or another group.

On June 2, Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, of the Blue Angels squadron, was killed when he crashed his F/A-18 aircraft during an afternoon practice in Smyrna, Tenn. Following the crash, the Blue Angels temporarily suspended their performances, canceling three weekend shows. The group resumed its performances at the end of June in Traverse City, Mich.

The squadron is performing this weekend at the Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. They have a dozen more shows scheduled through November, but none of them will be in Pennsylvania, according to the Angel’s website.

The mission of the Blue Angels is to showcase the pride and professionalism of the Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach, according to the Navy website.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Blue Angels.

At the end of World War II, Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, the chief of naval operations, ordered the formation of a flight demonstration team to keep the public interested in naval aviation. The Blue Angels performed their first flight demonstration in June 1946 at their home base, the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Fla.

The squadron is known for its signature, six-jet Delta formation. In February, the Blue Angels helped kick off the Super Bowl by flying over 70,000 spectators at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

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