Following a fatal crash earlier this month, the US Navy's Blue Angels announced the unit will resume demonstration flights this weekend. Rather than a seven-jet formation, the appearance over the fourth of July weekend in Traverse City, MI, will feature five F/A-18 Hornets and the unit's C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft, Fat Albert.
"The team is proud to resume the Blue Angels mission, representing the pride and professionalism of the Navy and Marine Corps, and inspiring a culture of excellence," the squadron's commanding officer, Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi said in an official statement. "The Blue Angels are looking forward to flying in Traverse City, Michigan, Fourth of July weekend, and are also honored to have the opportunity to perform in celebration of our great nation's Independence Day."
"Our fans and the entire air show industry have been extremely patient as we have navigated through this very difficult loss of our teammate, and for that, we will always be grateful."
Following the show in Traverse City, the Blues will appear at two more air shows – in Gary, IN, and at their home base in Pensacola, FL – to close out their 2016 season. The team suspended its flight schedule after Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss was killed in a June 2 accident in Smyrna, TN, cancelling three appearances in total. According to The Washington Post, Navy officials are still investigating the crash.