They are the demonstration squadron of the United States Navy who frequently impress large crowds with spectacular acrobatic displays. And hundreds of beach-goers got the thrust of what they can achieve when one of its daredevil pilots buzzed a beach and sent umbrellas and tents flying in their wake. Two of the six pilots were captured on a video filmed by a beachgoer as the planes raced over Pensacola Beach in Florida during a practice session. In the clip, the first F/A-18 Hornet passes high above the heads of the many people below and subsequently has very little impact on the beach. But as the man continues to track the flight of the aircraft a second plane comes into view and flies along the coastline, much closer to the ground.
It stirs the air as it passes and generates enough wind to cause the parasols and tents to fly up into the sky and down the beach.
Some people react by chasing after the numerous umbrellas hurtling through the air, but the majority laugh and applaud the display. The video maker, who later posted the clip to YouTube, noted that jet number five – flown by Lieutenant Mark Tedrow – was responsible for the chaos.
The Blue Angels formed in 1946 and are the second-oldest formal flight aerobatic team after the French Patrouille de France.
The pilots are known for flying in a tight diamond formation and partake in more than 70 shows in a number of locations around America each year. The job of piloting in the Blue Angels does not come without risk however, as throughout its 69-year history, 26 pilots have been killed in air show or training accidents.