The US Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration team is welcoming back to service the famous “Fat Albert” C-130 Hercules as the logistics and transport aircraft for the unit. Fat Albert has always been a huge fan favorite at Blue Angels airshows featuring a Jet Assisted Takeoff (JATO).
Watch Fat Albert perform a Jet Assisted Takeoff
Fat Albert underwent a ten-month preplanned Periodic Maintenance Interval (PMI), which allowed for her to go through extensive maintenance checks and repairs that are required every five years.
“The support we received from the fleet was key in allowing us to conduct our mission every week. We would not have been able to get the required gear and personnel to each show site without their assistance,” said Blue Angels commanding officer, Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi. “Fat Albert and the Marines that operate her every day are instrumental to the overall success of our mission and we cannot express how thrilled we are that she is back to help the team and inspire fans.”
Because of the time away for maintenance, this was the first time some of the all-Marine crew have seen their aircraft since joining the team. “I was really eager to see it,” said Marine Corps Sgt. Anthony Black, a native of New Port Richey, Florida. “When I walked in and saw it for the first time, it was gorgeous. I spent half a year on the team before I was able to touch it.” – US Navy
Fat Albert has three United States Marine Corps (USMC) pilots assigned to the Blue Angels team to fly the aircraft. The C-130 has been performing in airshows with the Blue Angels since 1975.
Featured image of the U.S. Marine Corps C-130 Hercules, “Fat Albert,” assigned to the U.S. Navy “Blue Angels” flight demonstration team, performing a Jet Assisted Take Off (JATO) during the Arctic Thunder Air Show at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Ryan J. Courtade, US Navy