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Blue Angels fly over Meridian

By Staff
TIGHT FORMATION The Blue Angels fly in "V" formation Thursday during a practice run at Naval Air Station Meridian. The flight team is in town for the Wings Over Meridian 2004 air show Saturday and Sunday. PHOTO BY ANNA WRIGHT / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
April 16, 2004
Maj. Chandler Seagraves, a former Meridianite and member of the Blue Angels, said Thursday he is excited to be back in Meridian and can't wait for this weekend's air show.
Seagraves, a Marine who attended Southeast Lauderdale High School, is one 16 officers and 110 maintenance personnel that make up the Blue Angels. Most of the Angels arrived in Meridian Thursday to get ready for the Wings Over Meridian 2004 air show at Naval Air Station Meridian Saturday and Sunday.
On Thursday, the Blue Angels performed a demonstration flight and answered questions from local media. The Blue Angels public affairs officer, Navy Lt. Mike Blankenship, said the flight team was here to get in a little practice before the show begins on Saturday.
Blankenship said that although the Blue Angels usually perform with six F/A-18 Hornets, this weekend only five will fly because one pilot is sick.
Maj. Len Anderson, who flies lead solo, said traveling with the Blue Angels is great because he gets the chance to go home for a couple of days each week.
Anderson also said that being a Blue Angels pilot is a lot of work.
He said the Angels do most of their training during the winter months, sometimes flying as many as six times a day.
Seagraves said the physical demands of flying F/A-18s require that the pilots stay in great shape and that they practice, practice, practice.
Seagraves plans to visit Southeast High School today, visit with students and answer questions.