Miramar Air Show begins Friday

MIRAMAR (KUSI) — No question, the highlight of the three-day Miramar Air Show, which begins Friday, is the annual performance of the Blue Angels.

Lieutenant Tom Benson is an elite pilot who wears a blue and gold Blue Angels flight suit. 

He grew up in Kansas and standing in front of his F-18 Hornet Jet, he said he knew he wanted to fly jets before he was old enough for elementary school.

And he’s definitely flying them now as a member of the most recognized jet performance teams in the world.

"I’d say I was three or four and you can see it out here. Kids are watching jet performance teams, everybody is in awe and I think it just stuck with me," Lieutenant Benson said.

And that, he says, speaks to his fellow pilots ad the whole support crew.

"From the enlisted guys to officers, it’s a passion. "We’ve got six guys every week, but 
more than a hundred support and walk up to them. They love it and it’s an incredible opportunity," he said.

This extremely close knit group is also aware of the dangers of the profession. The Angels recently lost one of their own, Captain Jeff Kuss, who crashed while practicing for a show in Tennessee.

"It’s a rough thing to get through, but we’re back at it and that’s important and I think Jeff would be happy too," Lt. Benson said.

"Our goal is to instill a culture of excellence, what we do, what they can do. It doesn’t matter what they want to do. It doesn’t have to be aviation, or a doctor or stay at home mom, but take what we do and commit to it," Lt. Benson added.

So don’t miss a culture of excellence on display this weekend at Miramar.

Categories: Local San Diego News