PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels will take to the skies over Westmoreland County this weekend as they perform high intensity aerobatic airshows over a crowd of thousands.
For one of the Navy's elite Flight Demonstration Squadron pilot's, the June 7 and 8 Pittsburgh airshow is more than just another routine performance, this will be over his hometown.
"I'm from the Pittsburgh area so I think all my family and friends will be there," states Angel 6 pilot Lt. Mark Tedrow. "I'm excited for this one."
Lt. Tedrow grew up in Charleroi, a small town located thirty-five miles west from the airshow's Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.
This year marks Lt. Tedrow's first full year as a Blue Angels pilot following last year's cancelled season due to government cutbacks. He serves as an opposing solo in the number 6 F/A-18C Hornet aircraft.
"It's always nice to go near your hometown to do an airshow so that your friends and family have easy access and can see what you've been doing, how hard you've been working, to achieve and be able to fly one of these air shows," Tedrow explained to this aerospace reporter.
The Naval pilot left his hometown in 2000 following graduation from high school to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Upon graduation, he attended several flight schools in Florida and Texas before receiving his wings of gold in 2006.
Lt. Tedrow, also known as IROC (for his love of the automobile) to his flight squadron, has acquired nearly 1,900 hours of jet aircraft time, including over 210 carrier landings.
"I'm really looking forward to (Westmoreland County) show," Tedrow added. "I'm really glad to be back in Pittsburgh and seeing everyone."
Tickets and parking passes are still available.
The Blues are scheduled to perform sixty-eight flight demonstrations at thirty-four locations across America this year.
(Charles Atkeison reports on aerospace, science and technology. Follow his updates via Twitter @AbsolutSpaceGuy.)