• New air show planned for 2013 Seafair Festival


    SEATTLE - It's still unclear if the Blue Angels will be flying at the 2013 Seafair Festival, but that doesn't mean the show will go without a jet team.

    The Patriots Jet Team, a California-based civilian group of pilots, will fly over the Space Needle in August.

    The team has six jets, just like the Blue Angels. They have flown over Joint Base Lewis-McChord and all around the country.

    "We have confirmed the Patriots, a fast-paced aerobatic performance team, will fly at Seafiar 2013," Seafair president Beth Knox told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter David Ham.

    Even though Seafair has the Blue Angels on the schedule for August, their show could be canceled if sequestration budget cuts aren't reversed.

    "We wanted to make sure that we had a performance jet team flying as part of the Boeing airshow," Knox said.

    The Patriots show is different from the Blue Angels' show in some ways. The Blues fly F/A 18 Hornets; the Patriots fly Czech-built L-39s. The Blues fly in formations of six, four and two; the Patriots break up even further into smaller formations such as two, two and two.

    Knox said that adding the Patriots to the festival does not mean that they are replacing the Blue Angels.

    "There is absolutely nothing that can replace the Blue Angels." Knox said. "They are a treasure. They are well-loved here in Seattle. We would never try to replace them, but we do have a very close second."

    If the government finds money to fund the Blues, Seafair will have two jet shows.

    And if the Patriots fly instead of the Blues, they will still fly low enough to force the closure of the I-90 Bridge.

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