CALIFORNIA’S GOLD: Blue Angels
Airs Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
They're one of the most famous air squadrons in the world -- serving as positive role models and goodwill ambassadors not only for our Navy, but for our country. The Blue Angels, first formed in 1946, have been demonstrating their flying skills and maneuvers to literally millions of spectators each year.
And for over 30 years the Blue Angels have been a part of "California's Gold." Since 1967 the squadron has spent the winter at Naval Air Facility, El Centro, training pilots and new crew members. The good weather and open spaces make this a perfect place to practice and, over the years, squadron members have become a welcome part of the community in Imperial County during their three months of intensive preparation for the 70 air shows they fly each season.
In this episode of CALIFORNIA'S GOLD, host Huell Howser accepts an invitation to spend a couple of days with the Blue Angels and ends up not only watching them train, but actually gets to go up with them in an F/A18 Hornet for the ride of a lifetime. Huell also meets former Blue Angel pilots who talk about the "good old days," and visits with local citizens who talk about the pride the community of El Centro feels in having the squadron there each winter.
All in all, it's a fast-paced, high-powered, high altitude adventure in search of "California's Gold."