July 11th, 2010
01:16 PM ET

For one Gulf Coast town, Angels cure oil blues

Angels flying around Pensacola Beach, Florida, this weekend helped the locals forget about the problems created by the oil that is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. The Navy's aviation aerobatics team, the Blue Angels performed at their annual hometown air show.

Local resident James Woodson and his wife joined the large crowd that came to the beach to see the Blues perform. "With the crowds out here like this it kinda makes you forget about the oil for just this little time, " said Woodson adding, "We know it's a great problem but it kinda makes you forget about it for right now."

Forgetting about the oil spill is exactly what tourism officials hoped would happen. There were extra clean-up crews that worked throughout the night picking up tarballs that were washed on shore.

The extra effort paid off, even 9-year-old Bayleigh Critchfield noticed how white the sand looked. "I thought there was going to be like tons of oil because I thought they weren't going to do the air show but it's clean so far to me. And I believe they did a very good job cleaning it," she said.

Businesses in the area also cleaned up with revenues associated with the show, soaring to about $25 million, according to Ed Schroeder of the Pensacola Bay Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. When the Blues fly in their backyard it is the biggest tourism weekend of the year for this Gulf Coast beach town, which saw a 25% decline in business the weekend before, July 4th.

"If they fly the people will be here," says Schroeder. Here the crowds came and those that did will tell you that the Angels, at least for the day, took away their oil blues.

soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. illustrator5

    These guys/gals are wonderful....glad they helped lift spirits! I saw them at the Milwaukee Air show it just gives you goosebumps!

    July 11, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Its funny... cure pollution in the ocean with pollution in the air. Its amazing people don't realize the irony. The world is in trouble.

      July 11, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. danceonedge

    Wow! So burning massive amounts of fossil fuel makes people happy. There is no hope for the human race.

    July 11, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Erick

      Agreed. It's a glorified monster truck show.

      July 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • semper

      My goodness, what haters we have here.

      July 11, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • hmmsketch

      It's nice that so many American soldiers and Iraqi civilians died for all the fuel we're using to put on a redneck sky rodeo.

      July 11, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Educated

      Wow, we still have ignorant people awake on a Sunday morning!! I figured you would still be passed out next to your cousin...

      July 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kana

      Rather than complain about something possitive that oviously bring in tourism dollars and helps boost the economy. Why don't you get out from behind your keyboard and go volunteer to help clean up some of the oil washing ashore.
      Better yet just stay home and complain you'd probably be no use to those trying to do something to help.

      July 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Okay, perhaps "glorified monster truck show" is a little harsh, but honestly I agree on the concept... It's wasteful, no arguing that. Haters, yes, we HATE the fact that ignorant people continue to 'fuel' humanities demise.

      July 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff Josefsberg

      IDIOT!

      July 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Second. Flying aircraft does not help anything, even if it is pretty cool. Sitting at your computer 'complaining' is indeed better for everyone than sitting on your computer arguing with complainers while aircraft needlessly fly overhead.

      We all need to seriously adjust the way we think about the world.

      July 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • JK

      Your lack of understanding of just how and why you are even free to type your hateful comments about America is simply stunning. Do you know how your freedom was purchased? Go thank a veteran, because you clearly don't know!

      July 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doctor Dave

      Yeah, you're right. An inspirational and instructional display of aircraft capabilities by our combat aircraft pilots from the United States Navy, in an area which is the home base of many Navy squadrons (INCLUDING the Blue Angels) and is a significant contributor to the area's economy. How stupid.

      Apparently, since the Navy uses so much fossil fuel, and since the Blue Angels are a recruiting tool as much as they are a demonstration team, we should just disband the Navy. Heck, let's disband the Armed Forces altogether. Oh, and while we're at it, let's take away all the computers and television sets. They run on power, don't they? And power comes from fossil fuels.

      Okay, we've got that out of the way. Now, let's confiscate all the cars that don't get better than 50mpg. Can't afford a hybrid? Tough. Shoe-leather express for you, buddy boy. Oh, and if you don't turn your heater cown in the winter and your air conditioner down in the summer, we're gonna get those too. –Oh, and the whole paper/plastic thing? Not gonna be an issue for you anymore. Bring a bag from home, and it better be recyclable, or made from recycled materials.

      Y'see, I'm all for environmental conservation, but this is a drop in the bucket. The amount of fuel used by the F/A-18 Hornet in one airshow wouldn't power every car in Pensacola for more than a second. Instead of complaining about the Blue Angels, turn off your computer, get outside, and enjoy the sunshine. That doesn't cost anything in fossil fuels, and it'll make you feel better than griping about things that make a community proud.

      July 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • dfd

      Just because this gives a whole community a much needed moral and economic boost...it isn't worth the waste? I hope none of you drive to the beach, movie theater, or anywhere else for "entertainment" at the expense of burning fossil fuels. I mean, that's just a selfish waste.

      July 11, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • DBarak

      So tell me, how do you get to work? How do you get your groceries? How do you heat your home? How do you get to the doctor? Is your television solar-powered? Your lights? Your computer? Your phone?

      Maybe there's just no hope for you if you can't realize that entertainment, even at the cost of burning a little fuel, is as important as anything else. By the way, look up the Navy's "Green Hornet" program.

      You T...W...I...T

      July 11, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • greg

      ya, they do.

      July 12, 2010 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bobby

    "'With the crowds out here like this it kinda makes you forget about the oil for just this little time," said Woodson..."

    Sure, until you realize how much jet fuel they're burning.

    July 11, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • CTYank

      Aren't we being a little anal here? When you consider that the spectators' vehicles are likely using many times the amount of fuel that these planes do (and would probably do so even if there were no Blue Angels' show), well ...
      Very little of the Angels's show involves use of afterburner, and their turbofans aren't the thirstiest jets going.
      And ... besides, if these pilots were not flying in the show, they'd likely be flying training or operational missions elsewhere.

      July 11, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      If there was no air show there wouldn't be spectators with vehicles flocking to the show. Problem solved.

      July 11, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff Josefsberg

      To the IDIOTS who think this is a waste of tIme and resources-you obviously haven't been to an Angel's flying exhibition.
      These pilots are among the best we have. Air teams like this date back approximately 60 years. They showcase the skills that our pilots have. As for the redneck cracks-those of you who made them are total CRETINS. The Angels and the Thunderbirds (The Airforce demonstration team) have an International following. Folks come from all over the US to see these men fly. They are goodwill ambassadors and draw huge crowds all over the world when they put on a demonstration show.-As for you naysayers, get a life!!

      July 11, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      You guys realize super hornets hold about 15000 lbs of fuel, around 2000 gallons of jet fuel. If they are doing ACM, they burn quite a bit, lets say half the tank. Cars hold about 15 gallons of gas, not directly sent into the upper atmosphere. So assuming everyone drives 1/4 a tank to cheer and shoot guns in the air while planes fly by, thats around 266 cars per plane, just to equalize the fuel. Not too bad.

      Until you count the daily training required to operate an FA-18, then you'd realize the true cost of this.

      If freedom is the right to economic exploitation, and driving an SUV, yeah, our current military strategy keeps us free.

      July 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JK

      Seriously, where do people like you come from?! And why do you continue to live a life that you obviously despise? You're on a computer, you Luddite! Would you rather live in a cave and gather wood every day to build a fire? Would you enjoy hoping that the men in your tribe would catch something to eat that day? Or should we all just ride camels and make scratch marks on pieces of wood instead? Is that OK with you and your kind, as long as the women cover themselves from head to toe? Anything to reduce your so-called "carbon footprint", right? I look forward to never seeing you post on here again as soon as you burn all of your posessions. Oh, wait, that would contribute to "global warming", right?

      July 11, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • I_Was_a_Blue

      OK, thanks for the comments, folks. Looks like there are a few misconceptions about the demonstration team.

      1. Pensacola Beach is an annual air show. Just so happens the area really needed a boost this year.
      2. Show sites pay the Treasury Department for each day of the show in their city if they are charging for admission. Oh, and those profits can only go to charity.
      3. The carbon impact from one Blue Angel show does not equal the amount seeping daily from Mount Saint Helens. It's not completely green, but it's a point of comparison.
      4. I'd estimate the flight hour cost at $30,000. Small investment for a $25 Million dollar boost to the local area.
      5. We fly the oldest F-18s in the inventory. Nothing special, no extra planes built for the team. We use leftovers with a fresh coat of paint. Seriously.
      6. All the pilots are active duty Navy and Marine aviators that only fly the demonstration for two years, then return to the fleet to protect the freedoms we enjoy over here. Like internet blogs.
      7. The Blue Angels exist to recruit. It;s part of the recruiting budget, and dollar for dollar, the most effective contact for the Navy and Marine Corps. Take a look a the price of a 30 second commercial, and tell me that's money well spent.
      8. Ask the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and other children's hospitals across the country how they feel about the Blue Angels. We're more than just the vision you have stuck in your head from an 80's fighter pilot movie.

      Wanted to get a few facts out there.

      "Just glad to be here, Boss."

      July 11, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julia

      Thank you "I WAS A BLUE" – several years ago, I participated in a Mission Trip to Pensacola Beach to help after one of the MANY hurricanes which devastates the area annually. On one of our "days off", we visited the Pensacola Naval Base and immensly enjoyed the historical museum depicting the different years of history for the Navy. The Blue Angels happened to be flying that day and again, we felt HONORED to witness the amazing talent of these officers and what they do for our nation and communities. ***I AM ASHAMED AS TO WHAT MANY OF YOU MORONS SEEM TO THINK AND YOU ARE SO DEROGATORY IN YOUR COMMENTS – G R O W U P & G E T A L I F E!!!!!!

      July 11, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. aroth

    Bread and circuses...

    July 11, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. stopstopstop

    Blue Angels fighter jets = gas hogs and war mongers. It's the perfect image of the depravity of the human race: Bumbed out by the massive oil spill they seek the thrill of watching war jets suck up more oil than hundreds of cars and trucks ever could. Calling them angels is like christening a warship The Body of Christ (and they tried that once). It's all quite nauseating.

    July 11, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      If you were in a war zone, about to get your head blown off, and 2 F-18s flew by and decimated your enemy, I think that you might call them angels again. Think before you post. The US Gov flies the angels to demo our air superiority. This air superiority keeps you free, and the demo reassures Americans and lifts spirits. It is worth the $ and CO2.

      July 11, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Nick, if you don't know by now that the US Military is one of the strongest in the world then perhaps it makes a bit more sense on how you don't understand the results of recklessly wasting oil. Stop making up hypothetical situations to promote your lackluster positions on the subject.

      July 11, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Ryan, I still think that flying the Blue Angels is a good thing for the U.S.. It makes people feel safe, and it increases their pride in the U.S..

      July 11, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      To much of the rest of the world, an F-18 represents collateral damage. Airstrikes are a necessary evil in time of war, not something we should all be cheering on. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.

      July 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • DBarak

      I really think it's unfair for you to refer to the Blue Angels or anyone else in the military as a warmonger. I'm former Navy and flew as an aircrewman. I'm hardly a warmonger. I have liberal viewpoints, and heck, I'm even a vegetarian, but I'm proud of my military service and the service of the active duty and veterans I know (and I know well over a hundred veterans). Warmongers? Hardly.

      July 11, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doctor Dave

      Actually, there were two ships named for the city of Corpus Christi, TX: one, a patrol frigate that rescued 92 survivors from a submarine that was sunk in the Indian Ocean (doubtless polluting the ocean... damned warmongerers, anyway!), and one that was a nuclear (ooo! Nuclear waste! Damned warmongerers!) submarine of the Los Angeles class, although it was named the USS City of Corpus Christi after the Navy knuckled under and bowed to the pressure of a bunch of whiney protestors, who (a) had not read that the United States had ALREADY named a ship that; and, (b) failed to understand that the rest of the class was named after cities without having to say in the name that they were, as that was obvious...

      July 11, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doctor Dave

      Oh, and incidentally, the USS City of Corpus Christi was a sister ship to the submarine that I served upon, the USS Minneapolis-St. Paul. Note that it was named after a city (or, rather, two), and NOT a saint. By the way, nobody in the submarine fleet, not even those who served aboard her, called her the City of Corpus Christi. She was, and will always remain in our hearts, simply the Corpus Christi.

      July 11, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ScottND

    Very ironic, machines like these planes and all the cars people drove to the show are responsible for the demand that led to this mess. I guess it was an opportunity for people to forget their fate is literally in their own hands...

    July 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Unfortunately, pollution is democratic. We'll see what all these people think when China is dumping whatever they want into the air and water on a more massive scale than we are to 'raise spirits'.

      The whole world pays for these people's ignorance.

      July 11, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    This was once known as "Bread and Circuses", and its going to be a very hard fall....

    July 11, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • PWN

      Mike – a most appropriate reference.

      July 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Eric

    Can't wait to see them at the Dayton Air Show next weekend !!

    July 11, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Just to clarify, although compared to the Eric above it's pretty obvious, the "Eric" posts below are not from the same guy.

      To the other Eric: I'm glad for your excitement. Hopefully they won't write a story claiming we should forget about the crisis at hand again...

      July 11, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Amy

    What a bunch of haters we have here. The crowd for this year was bigger than last year. Having lived in Pensacola I know how important the Blue Angels are to the city. They put on an awesome show and the city loves them. Some of you people need to get a life and have some fun. Geesh.......

    July 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      And some people such as yourself need to get a clue. Go chug a cup of oil.

      July 11, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Ryan, from what I gather in your posts, you are one of those pathetic, smug, super liberal types who loves to pretend he knows what he's talking about jsut to boost self confidence. Do us all a favor and chug a cup of oil for yourself and rid us all from your pathetic existance. Really, do you have any friends that really like you, or is your life a complete joke? Oil is necessary to sustain our economy. Airshows increase pride in the U.S., and demo air superiority especially to younger generations. I agree that we need to dramatically reduce our oil use over time.

      July 11, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Nick do you just repeat the same thing over and over?.. I'm not even going to argue with you anymore. You seem so lost... I truly pity you.

      July 11, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chris

    To all you on here who think these guys are war mongers and their jets are gas hogs – these jets are much more efficient that Al Gores fleet of executive jets and Obama's AF1 and Pelosi's private 757 that's for sure. Talk about a waste of fuel – there you go.

    And a good show of military might is what keeps your azz safe every day from those who would love to harm you.

    Hats off to the expert flying military who keep us safe every day and America FREE. God Bless them all and burn all the fuel you guys want – we love seeing you in the sky. .

    July 11, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      So just because one plane burns more fuel than the other that makes it ok? I am amazed by the way people make excuses to fit their agenda. The fact is this article says in order to get peoples minds off the oil crisis (which for one – why in a crisis should you ever take your mind off of it???) they had some impressive jet acrobats fly around and burn tons of more oil products and pollute more into the air. Yes I know that planes are flown everyday and the "angels" will continue to do shows. But at the moment, this story is completely hypocritical and oxymoronic.

      As far as our freedoms go... I don't need to see some dudes flexing their "flying muscles" to know that we have great freedoms in this country. Not only that, me or anyone else watching them doesn't keep me free, it's what they would do in an actual war that does. A barrell roll will not stop a bomb from going off, keep a young kid from getting killed by a drive by shooting in America, or stop the taliban from shooting at our troops. I also DO know that just because we have great freedoms in this country, doesn't make us perfect, and we should be setting an example for the rest of the world. A good example in my eyes doesn't call for us, in the middle of a crisis that we caused, to strut around and flex our "military ego!"

      July 11, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jim

    As a society we are just too selfish and stuck on stupid to learn anything from our mistakes or from history. We have offshore, deep sea drilling to satisfy our desire to waste copious amounts of fuel for our entertainment. We have suffered a mega spill as a result. Then we try to make ourselves feel better by wasting more fuel. That's so stupid. It makes about as much sense as trying to get over a massive hangover by chugging a bottle of Jack Daniels. This type of behavior is why America's overall future is extremely bleak indeed. God help America because it appears that we are far too stubborn to help our greedy selfish selves.

    July 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack R

      You can sound your sanctimonious tripe when you stop driving a car; using anything with a petroleum derivitive. These aviators are doing something positive for the country. You are doing what, exactly, beside taking up space?

      July 11, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      @jack. I'm not taking about intelligent usage. I'm talking about waste of fuel. And, I choose not to own a car.

      July 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Jim, it's good for the spirit of American's. It is a demo of our air superiority, which keeps you and I free. CO2 and jet fuel well spent.

      July 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Nick, I have no issue with the Military. Been there, done that. This display sends the wrong message, that's all.

      July 11, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chris

    Air show fixes everything? CNN couldn't find a better story for this guy to cover?

    July 11, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      It's a good story. There are plenty of other things to read about if you want. You are not forced to read this or to do anything else. Welcome to America.

      July 11, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nick

    Buring jet fuel to let the Blue Angels fly along the coast is worth the expense and CO2 emissions. It's good for the spirit of Americans. It is not a "Redneck Roadshow". It is a demonstration or military power to the American People. Our military keeps you and I free. If you disagree then you are clearly a moron.

    July 11, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Nick, obviously anyone who has a different opinion to yours is a moron, right? Who gives you the right to claim that you know what would be good for the American spirit? Are you representing the collective conscience of all American people?
      And how is our military keep you and I free? By invading other countries and killing thousands? Wake up buddy and smell the oil.

      July 11, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Nick, go google Halliburton & Dick Cheney and learn a little about your so called freedom protecting military. The only thing they are protecting is the oil industries interest while trying to conceal it from the public eye. You are so flippin' ignorant on so many fronts it's down right pathetic.

      July 11, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Ryan, Americans need oil; we need it to sustain our economy. We need to slowly become less dependent on oil. I'm okay with that. Iraq and Afghanistan wars are necessary to protect US from sworn enemies.

      Since this is annonymous, I like to mess around with people a little. It's entertaining to see people freak out because I call them a moron. BTW, you're a moron too, and your post is stupid.

      July 11, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      What you think I care that someone on the internet calls me a moron? When you clearly demonstrate idiocy in your own posts?.. I'm surprised you don't take more pride in you commentary, whether it's the internet or not, your voice should be important to you where ever it's spent. But then again, given your amazing arguments... it makes plenty of sense.

      July 11, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Anni

    I have to agree. As much as I love seeing the Blue Angels, this is really so counterproductive. It just speaks volumes to how much we have NOT learned from the Gulf oil disaster. What brainiac thought that up?

    July 11, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Many people like the idea.

      July 11, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dick

      I don’t hear any of you idiots’ criticizing Obama for flying around the country raising money and votes for the Democrats. When he flies anywhere he take two, Air-force Ones
      and three C-17s that consume thousands of gallons of fuel.

      July 11, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Okay, yes, Obama sure does waste a lot of fuel flying about doing what he does, but that's not what this article is about.

      July 11, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Peter

    "Angels flying around Pensacola Beach, Florida, this weekend helped the locals forget about the problems created by the oil that is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico." Helped FORGET??? By the same logic, when our house is burning down, we should go visit a strip joint? This is just sick. Plain sick. The locals are faced with the greatest disaster known to human race and we, the taxpayers are giving them an air show to forget it? How in the hell this going to help? This country is seriously sick in the head. Hey, I guess we deserve it. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid! Just a suggestion, instead of spending the taxpayers money on this idiotic air show, how about we put it into hiring some smart scientists who do know how to deal with such disaster.

    July 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashley Thompson

      This is an annual air show. As a local living on Pensacola Beach for the last 22 years, I can say that the air show was a great diversion and gave my family back a sense of normalcy. Our beach needed the air show more than ever this year, we were just beginning to recover from hurricane Ivan. Who knows how bad it is going to get for the businesses out here, we rely on tourism and the Blue Angels draw major crowds.

      July 12, 2010 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
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