Blue Angels bring the thunder to Ypsilanti air show

Lauren Abdel-Razzaq
The Detroit News

Thousands packed Willow Run Airport and the surrounding grounds Sunday for the rumble of the “Thunder Over Michigan” air show.

The highlight of the two-day show, which began Saturday, was a heart-pounding performance by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

“We saw them when they went over our house,” said Marquita Casey, who was parked by her car outside the airport. “We weren’t even fully dressed and ready and we ran out to see them.”

Casey of Ypsilanti, tried to capture the famous precision flying formations on camera while her two children, David and Alaina Oden, 9 and 3, sat on the hood of her car watching the show.

“We love the Blue Angels.”

The Blue Angels perform during the Thunder Over Michigan air show at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti on Sunday.

According to air show director Kevin Walsh, nearly 88,000 people attended over the two days.

This year marks the return since 2011 of the six trademark blue-and-gold F-18 Hornets team to the annual event. It also marked the final Michigan performance for Clinton Township native Tom Frosch, Blue Angel commander/flight leader.

“It was great to be able to host the Boss (Frosch) in his last home state show of his Blue Angels' career," said Walsh. "Captain Frosch was excited to be back home in the Motor City and he was incredibly generous of his time all week in engaging with the hometown fans."

The weekend kicked off with a mock World War II air and ground battle, featuring authentic vehicles and weaponry. World-renowned aerobatic champion Mike Goulian, who flew his famed Extra 330C, and a demonstration by the U.S. Air Force’s F-16 Fighting Falcon also were featured.

The Walters family from Ann Arbor came prepared. Parents Debby and Jim brought folding chair recliners and umbrellas to protect from the rain as they waited for a glimpse of the Blue Angels.

“My nephew flies an F-22 Air Force jet so we’re very interested in the Air Force,” said Debby Walters. Her daughter’s boyfriend is in flight school to learn to be a fighter pilot and might one day become a member of the Navy Blue Angels, so the family was glad to cheer for both branches of the military.

“We feel very patriotic and very proud,” said Walters.

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