Vero Beach takes flight with Blue Angels, aerobatic pilots
By Jessica Creagan
VERO BEACH -- Breathless, heart-stopping, thrilling air shows were the talk of the town last week as Vero Beach experienced two straight days of nonstop aircraft action for the 2014 Vero Beach Air Show.
It has been a long time since there has been a louder, more smoke-filled aerial ballet by the world's top-tier aircraft pilots in Vero Beach, and the crowds were loving every minute of the display.
Jasmine Davis of Vero Beach was celebrating her 13th birthday out at the airshow and was amazed at the aviation artist and wing-walker Teresa Stokes.
"She was out there and the plane was flying upside down," Jasmine said.
"That's something you don't see every day," she said.
This wasn't her first time at an airshow, but it was her first time to other highlights of the show, Shockwave, the jet-powered truck, and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels crew.
"I would describe this airshow as fierce and bold. It's been pretty cool," Jasmine said.
Watching a lineup of nationally-acclaimed and champion airshow pilots like Patty Wagstaff, Skip Stewart, Scott Yoak, Dave Folk and more, at an airshow is enough to get your blood pumping, but add in a semi-truck powered with jet engines approaching speeds of 400 miles per hour and the military-precision maneuvers of the Blue Angels, then you have a top-notch show that is imprinted on the minds and hearts of old and young alike.
Zackery Herlong, 7, and his Fort-Pierce based-Cub Scout Pack 473 were waiting on pins and needles to see the Blue Angels.
Not long ago, Zackery picked up a model Blue Angels aircraft and ever since he has wanted to see them fly in person.
"The Blue Angels are my favorite airplane," he said, making his toy zoom through the air.
When the Blue Angels took off, there was a loud cheer from the thousands of people gathered on the airport grounds. The six highly-trained pilots wowed the crowds with tight turns, incredible high speeds and beautiful formations.
At one point, the crowds gasped with surprise and delight as two of the aircraft unexpectedly flew directly overheard at perpendicular angles, crossing within seconds of each other.
"If that don't get your adrenaline going, nothing will," a crowd member said while applauding.
Claude and Phyllis Haynes of Vero Beach had never seen the Blue Angels, but have been to similar large airshows with other military demonstration teams.
"This was just as good, if not better than the ones we saw in Texas," said Mr. Haynes.
"I really appreciated that they started the day in prayer," said Mrs. Haynes.
Both of them thought the weather, though warm, was perfect for a day at the airfield and were very glad they came out to the show.
Proceeds from the Vero Beach Air Show benefit the Exchange Clubs of Indian River, Treasure Coast and Vero Beach for prevention of child abuse and the Veterans Council of Indian River County.
For more information about the Vero Beach Air Show, visit www.veroairshow.com.