The Blue Angels will fly over Beaufort soon, and you’ll have the chance to see them for free.
The MCAS Beaufort Air Show will be held at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort on April 29-30. Before heading out to the base, here are some important things to know.
Among the aircraft performing, the iconic Blue Angels are certainly the draw. The U.S. Navy demonstration team of F/A 18 Hornets delivers a 10-minute performance including maneuvers in a four-jet “diamond” formation and six-jet “delta” formation.
When to be there
Gates open at 9 a.m. each day, with opening ceremonies at 11:15 a.m. April 29. The show is expected to last until 4:30 p.m., and gates close at 5:30 p.m.
Cost and parking
Air Show general admission and parking are free. Spectators will watch from paved and grassy areas and can stand or sit on blankets or lawn chairs. Tickets are for sale at www.beaufortairshow.com for seats with better views and amenities.
Once cars enter the gates, they will be directed to general parking areas. Parking is first come, first served.
What to bring and what not to
Air show officials recommend hearing protection, especially for children.
Leave these things at home: Weapons, outside foods and drinks (yep, no alcohol); pets; glass containers; tents; tripods; coolers; bicycles, skates or scooters; and wagons, carts or buggies.
These are OK to bring: Small strollers and wheelchairs; lawn chairs and blankets; cellphones or radios; purses, fanny packs or baby bags; umbrellas or sun shades; and cameras, camcorders and their bags.
For kids, more than watching planes
Let’s face it, your children might not be transfixed by the zooming aircraft all day.
An area for kids will include more than 20 bounce houses. Those tall enough can try two inflatable obstacle courses and large slides. The area is open to children ages 3 to 12 and costs $10.
A mural will be set up near the kids’ zone for children to freely color.
There is also fun for adults with some extra cash to burn.
Rides will be offered in UH-1H Huey and AH-1F Cobra military helicopters. The Huey is $85 for 6-8 minutes. The Cobra is $350 for 8-10 minutes or $550 for 12-15 minutes.
MCAS Beaufort Air Show officials say the performances have been a “consistently and historically safe environment” for people to watch.
Performing is more dangerous for the pilots.
Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Davis was killed when his F/A 18 Hornet crashed after he attempted a sharp, low-altitude turn as part of a Blue Angels performance during the 2007 air show.
Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss died in June 2016 after his F/A 18 crashed while he was preparing for a Blue Angels performance in Tennessee. Kuss had been station in Beaufort before joining the Blue Angels.
South Carolina stunt pilot Greg Connell died when his plane crashed during an air show in Georgia last May. Connell had been scheduled to perform at the Beaufort Water Festival that July.