The Patriots are not the Blue Angels, get over it

Apr 10, 2013, 5:51 AM | Updated: 7:24 am
The Patriots are an all-volunteer jet stunt team. Their pilots do this in their spare time, for fun...
The Patriots are an all-volunteer jet stunt team. Their pilots do this in their spare time, for fun, but they are former military guys, some who have flown with the Blue Angels, the Thunderbirds and the Snowbirds. (Image courtesy The Patriots Jet Team)
(Image courtesy The Patriots Jet Team)

Now that the sadness over the Blue Angels canceling their trip to Seafair is wearing off, it’s time to start thinking about who is coming to fly over Lake Washington.

What is the Patriots Jet Team, and what does it do?

The Patriots are an all-volunteer jet stunt team. Their pilots do this in their spare time, for fun, but they are former military guys, some who have flown with the Blue Angels, the Thunderbirds and the Snowbirds.

Their L-39’s are made in the Czech Republic. They are slower and smaller than the F/A 18 Super Hornets used by the Blues, with a top speed of about 450 miles an hour. “They’re a single-engine jet trainer,” lead pilot Dean Wright told KIRO Radio’s Andrew Walsh. “They don’t have all the avionics and weaponry that you’re going to find on an airplane like the F/A-18 with the Blue Angels.”

The jets don’t have an after-burner, which means they certainly don’t make as much noise, but Wright said they’re still pretty loud.

The Patriots flew over Seafair in 2007 and 2008 as the appetizer for the Blues. This year, they are the main course, and Wright knows that is a disappointment for many. “It sucks that this has happened,” he said. “It really does. The same thing has happened down here in the Bay Area with our own Fleet Week, but you know get out and enjoy the day, and we are going to do our best to entertain you and I guarantee you if you do come out you’ll go home satisfied. Don’t come expecting the Blue Angels or for us to try and mimic the Blue Angels because that’s not what we do.”

So what do the Patriots do?

They are a six plane team. They usually fly in three groups of two, and the L-39’s slower speed means the planes don’t need as much space to maneuver so they’ll always be visible to the crowd. “We never disappear for a few minutes and then reappear,” he said. “We’re always in front of the crowd. We have great music. We have great narration. We have red, white and blue smoke. It’s a very entertaining show.”

The planes can also fly lower than the Blues. Wright said some of the stunts can take the planes down to 15 or 20 feet.

And there is also a Boeing connection to the L-39’s the Patriots fly. The company provides support for the Czech manufacturer.

So Wright said there’s a lot to like about his team, even though he knows it isn’t Seafair’s top choice. “If it’s boo’s or the baby’s are crying or if people are loving us, it doesn’t matter,” Wright said. “We’re going to be there, and we’re going to fly the best show that we can, to be as entertaining as we possibly can. Our heart goes out to you because we know that it sucks to have the Blues taken away.”

Local News

SDOT Light Rail Ped...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Pedestrian struck, injured by Link light rail train in south Seattle

A pedestrian was struck and injured by a Link light rail train Wednesday afternoon in south Seattle.
1 day ago
(Photo courtesy of King County)...
Frank Sumrall

King County executive initiates plan to conserve and save the region’s wilderness

King County executive announced a plan to protect 65,000 acres of forests, farmland, and greenspace, raising property taxes in the process.
1 day ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Drought may impact most of Pacific Northwest this summer

Drought is expected to impact much of the Pacific Northwest this summer, impacting areas throughout eastern Washington, southern Oregon and southern Idaho.
1 day ago
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)...
Frank Sumrall

SPD report discovers 80% of 911 calls were for non-criminal events

After reviewing more than 1.2 million 911 calls from 2017 to 2019, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) found 79.7% of calls were for non-criminal events.
1 day ago
KIRO 7 News Staff

9-year-old boy shot by younger brother in Federal Way

A 9-year-old boy was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center after being shot by his younger brother in Federal Way.
1 day ago
The US government will fly in baby formula on commercial planes contracted by the military in an ai...
Heather Bosch

A guide to locate baby formula from Washington’s Department of Health

Washington's Department of Health has put together a list of resources to help find nutritious food to feed your newborn.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
The Patriots are not the Blue Angels, get over it