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Best-case scenario: Budget cuts bring even more jets to Seafair

Federal budget cuts may mean no Blue Angels at Seafair, but the Patriots Jet Team may be brought in as backup. (Image courtesy Patriots Jet Team)

Federal budget cuts may mean no Blue Angels at Seafair, but a backup plan is coming together.

The Seattle Times reports Seafair is working on a contract with the Patriots Jet Team, a flight team based out of California. If the Blue Angels can’t perform, the Patriots would step in. But many wonder if they’ll be able to live up to Seafair standards.

“What I really want to know about these planes that the Patriot jet teams fly is are they loud?” says KIRO Radio’s Luke Burbank, who describes himself as a “huge, huge fan of the Blue Angels.” Burbank says the stunning noise adds to the thrill. “It’s the fact that they’re kind of terrifying, it’s the fact that you don’t know if they’re here to perform for us or bomb us.”

Guest host Andrew Walsh agrees, asking what NASCAR would be like if their sound was muffled.

“What if we all put mufflers on NASCAR and it became a very, very quiet event. It was still about speed and who crosses the line first, but it’s not the same thing, it’s the whole visceral experience of it.”

The Patriots have performed at past Seafairs, but essentially taking the place of the Blue Angels is a big task.

Luke and Andrew aren’t about to rain on the Patriots parade. Other flight crews that have filled in for the Blue Angels in the past reportedly won’t come back because they felt fans weren’t supportive. reports Canada’s Snowbirds refused to return to Seafair after media and fans complained their show wasn’t as fast or exciting as the Blue Angels.

“I want to say that if anybody from the Patriot jet team hears this, I am not in any way trying to besmirch what you do, and if you need a media fly-along, I’m your guy,” says Luke. “I don’t want to alienate them because they may be the air show we have.”

But there is another possibility. The Seattle Times says if the Blue Angels do come through, both teams might perform.

“We would have the Blue Angels and the Patriot jet team which to me would be the perfect solution to all this,” says Luke.

“It could be amazing if sequestration actually leads us to a better Seafair with twice as many fast planes,” says Andrew.

Here’s a glimpse at what the Patriots could offer to the show:

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