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Blue Angels to headline this weekend's Fort Lauderdale Air Show

Blue Angels headline this weekend's Fort Lauderdale Air Show
Blue Angels headline this weekend's Fort Lauderdale Air Show 03:01

FORT LAUDERDALE - The 2023 Fort Lauderdale Air Show will take to the skies this weekend over Fort Lauderdale Beach.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will headline the event. The pilots in their F-18 Super Hornets will perform a combination of formation and solo maneuvers in a showstopping demonstration.

"When you're flying this and you're doing all these maneuvers or you ever like scared anything?" Nicole Lauren asked the commanding officer and flight leader Alex Armatas.

"I don't know if I'd say that I'm scared. There's a lot of focus from all six pilots during this demonstration to make sure that we do things properly," he said.

Lauren also asked how it feels to be called some of the best pilots in the world.

"It's flattering and maybe a little too generous. But I do appreciate it. We work very hard to be good at this. It's our goal to put on a safe and enjoyable flight demonstration," said Armatas.

Armatas said they have a five month winter training process before they ever do an airshow and fly 15 times a week for most of the training.

There are also breathing exercises that help keep them safe.

"It does not take a while. It takes a while to learn it and be good at it, it's basically called the anti-G straining maneuver. It's a combination of taxing the muscles in the lower body. It's in breathing techniques, to help you keep the blood in your brain when you're under heavy G," he said. 

Also scheduled to perform are the U.S. Air Force's F-22 Raptor Demo Team, the U.S. Navy's F-35C Lightning II Demo Team, the Red Bull Helicopter and Red Bull Air Force, the SOCOM Para-Commandos, as well as aerobatic pilots Kirby Chambliss and Michael Goulian.

The show kicks off around 11:45 a.m. and ends around 3:00 p.m. on both days. The show center is at Birch State Park.

According to organizers, those watching the show are not allowed to set up chairs on A1A. There are free public locations north and south of the show center and tickets are still available for the premium Drop Zone and Flight Line Club areas.

The Drop Zone Beach opens at 9 a.m. and the Flight Line Club beach area will open at 10 a.m.

For those planning to watch the show from a boat, the U.S. Coast Guard has established a Safety Zone to both keep non-essential personnel clear of the aerobatic box and to keep boat anchors from damaging the coral reefs offshore. Viewing is permitted on the eastern side of the zone which extends for four miles.

If you are driving to the event, there are three public parking locations on the beach:

  • Fort Lauderdale Beach Park (700 Seabreeze Boulevard)
  • North Beach (east side of A1A from N.E. 13th Street to N.E. 18th Street)
  • North Beach (south end - east and west side from Sunrise Boulevard to N.E. 13th Street)

State Road A1A will be closed on Saturday and Sunday from north of the Sunrise Blvd. intersection to 19th Street from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Sunrise/A1A intersection will remain open but due to traffic congestion in that area it is recommended you avoid it.

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