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Blue Angels prepare to go up in the air at Jacksonville Beach to honor those who have served

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — The Blue Angels are back for another year of action in Jacksonville Beach this year, with shows Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., flying during the Jacksonville Sea and Sky Air Show.

With the famous blue jets set to take to the air over Jacksonville Beach for the second straight year, the prep is already underway at Naval Station Mayport, with pilots itching to take to the skies.

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“Every single flight is very exciting. It’s always a lot of fun and doing it in new places. You know, doing it over Jax Beach is going to be a blast,” said Blue Angels pilot Lt. Chris Kapuschansky on Thursday.

While the pilots prep for the excitement and g-forces on Saturday, crew chiefs like Chelsea Roberson are just making sure it all goes smoothly behind the scenes, with their jobs to keep their pilots safe and comfortable up in the air.

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“I think about my pilot. The last thing I want is to cause any trouble or anything to happen to her,” Roberson said. “So I make sure that I literally dot my I’s and cross my T’s and make sure that everything is good to go before she gets in that jet.”

Though the men and women who fly these planes are some of the most elite pilots in the entire world, they say the Blue Angels are bigger than just any one show or person and instead represent all of these who have served in the armed forces.

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“We embody the Navy and the Marine Corps,” added Lt. Kapuschansky. “We look to represent all 800,000 men and women, you know, at home and abroad, and we want to do them a service, we want to do them justice as to what they represent and what they’re doing actively.”

The shows will be from 1-4 on Saturday and Sunday with flight simulators, live entertainment, and some military vehicles displayed.

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One difference this year: in the past, the performers included civilian, private planes too. However, that’s not the case this year.

Action News Jax spoke with one civilian pilots who was scheduled to perform this year, but that pilot didn’t sign a contract with the city because of an increase in liability costs.

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