Arriving in Delta formation, the Blue Angels are already putting on a show.
One by one, six F/A-18 Hornets line up on the tarmac at Lynchburg Regional Airport. They're the stars of this weekend's air show, along with the pilots in the cockpit.
"The Blue Angels are kind of the face of the Navy," said Lt. CJ Simonsen, a Blue Angel who's been with the group for two years.
"To bring the Navy and Marine Corp to small cities where there isn't a huge Navy influence and get the word out about this great force that we fly for, it's a huge honor for me to do that," said Simonsen.
The Blue Angels are a flying billboard for the military, with performances that act as a recruiting tool. From March to November every year, they do air shows under a grueling schedule.
"Once the air show season starts, we fly Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday we arrive at a show site," said Simonsen. "Thursday, Friday, Saturday we're flying at that show site as well."
They get one day off a week and rarely see family, but Simonsen says that comes with a big payoff.
"Getting out of it what we do, as far as getting the word out and getting kids excited about the Navy and Marine Corp is why I want to be a Blue Angel," said Simonsen.
Part of every Blue Angels visit includes a trip to nearby schools. They'll be making the rounds in Lynchburg Friday, with an important message.
"If you do well in school you can do anything you want in the world, provided that you stay out of trouble and you're working hard," said Simonsen.
Hard work is what it's all about. When they're not flying, the Blue Angels have an almost constant workout schedule along with those public appearances.
But you won't hear any gripes from Simonsen.
"There's definitely no complaints coming from me or anyone on this team for that matter," said Simonsen. "This is the best job in the world."
The Lynchburg Regional Air Show is this Saturday and Sunday. There will be no public parking at the airport. General Parking will be at Liberty University. Handicapped Parking will be at Central Virginia Community College. Shuttles will operate from both locations.