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Blue Angels showcase elite ability

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Blue Angels takeoff

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Their day job inspires dreams.

"Every time it feels like the first time, except not as scary because I know what I'm doing."

Lt. Julius Bratton serves as part of the Navy's elite flying force, The Blue Angels, returning to the Deke Slayton Airfest in their 75th year of creating that “wow” effect.

"Our enlisted sailors and Marines, they get these jets prepped week in and week out,” said Lt. Bratton. “Their hard work is what you're seeing when we go flying."

They’re flying, for the first time in more than three decades, in a new ride. This is the first year the team is using the F/A-18 Super Hornet.

With similar capabilities to its predecessor, the big difference is size. It’s about 20% bigger.

"We have more internal fuel capacity in the Super Hornet."

That’s critical for tactical missions but also useful taking a quick trip up to the Black River Falls area to put on a Wednesday afternoon show.

From loops and rolls to pulling 7.5 G’s, the pilots maintain not only consciousness, but also the ability to pilot a jet in close proximity – sometimes as close as 18 inches from plane to plane!

See the Blue Angels perform this Saturday and Sunday at the Deke Slayton Airfest. It’s a drive-in format, and tickets are purchased per car.

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Dustin Luecke

Dustin Luecke anchors the News 19 6 pm and 10 pm Reports.

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