Blue Navy Angel planes landed in Lakeland on Thursday, but not before putting on a practice show for eager people crowded around Lakeland International’s landing strip.
“I like the way they sound,” said one group of kids. “It’s our first time coming.”
Several Blue Angel aircraft circled the airport before making their impressive landing. That included Capt. William Hukeba’s plane, nicknamed “Fat Albert.”
“We have our C-130J super Hercules; it’s a new aircraft for the Blue Angels. It replaced a C-130T model,” Huckeba said. “We picked it up last July in the UK.”
Huckeba is a Captain for the Marine Corps and a C-130J demonstration pilot. He said that he’s honored to suit up for work every day.
“Since a very young age, I kind of had that spark into aviation and then going to the Naval Academy - naval aviation was going to be my first option but I wanted to be a marine,” he said.
Pilots say some Blue Angel aircraft can burn up to 5,000 pounds of gas per hour; many of them can travel faster and higher than previous planes.
“It takes a special place in my heart to be a part of this organization,” said Huckeba. “It’s something we don’t take lightly. We stand by our teamwork and the trust we have in each other.”
Thursday was the first official Blue Angel civilian show. The planes landed in Lakeland around 1:30 pm.
Check out these planes in action this weekend at the Fly-In Expo hosted at the Lakeland International Airport.