Navy Blue Angel jet arrives ahead of Millville air show

MILLVILLE — The roar of a blue and yellow jet echoed from the airfield as an FA-18 Hornet passed by the Millville Airport Wednesday afternoon.

The jet was part of the Navy Blue Angels contingent that will be performing at the Millville Wheels Wings Airshow. The two-day event takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Millville Airport on Saturday and Sunday.

Navy Blue Angel pilot Lieutenant Brandon Hempler is the narrator for the squad that will be performing during the event.

“We are excited to be in Millville,” said Hempler. “We have a great show planned. The weather is going to be pretty good. We have six jets that are coming in. Five more will be coming tomorrow. People should be excited about the Millville air show. It’s going to be good,” he said.

The Kansas native is looking forward to performing in front this weekend.

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“Being in Millville is great,” said Hempler. “It’s great to be in the Northeast. We just came from down by Annapolis for the Naval Academy Air Show. We got to see a little bit of the Northeast, eat some seafood down there which was great.”

Hempler said he and his team enjoy their time serving as Blue Angels pilots and performing for crowds across the country.

“It truly is a humbling experience. We come from the fleet and we go back to the fleet. We are representatives of what the Navy and Marine Corp have to offer. We are excited and honored to be in the Navy and Marine Corps.”

Dave MacCarthy, who served in the Navy as a radarman, electronics warfare and air intercept control, was at the first air show that took place in Millville.

“It’s exciting,” said MacCarthy. “It’s the biggest thing to happen in Millville every few years. Thousands of people gather here to see some of the best flying acts you can see anywhere. The Blue Angels I think, since I was in the Navy, are the best demonstration team that there is on Earth.

“It’s just a good time all the way around. It brings back a lot of memories,” he said.

MacCarthy has seen his share of interesting acts perform over the years.

“One year I rode in one of the Japanese torpedo bombers,” added MacCarthy. “That was the year they set off the wall of fire and had a re-enactment of the Pearl Harbor attack. One year a guy set himself on fire and dived in a swimming pool. That was interesting. There also was a time where a B-22 bomber took off at 10 p.m. and people were still here. You could see the flames shooting out the exhaust.”

Advance tickets for the show are on sale. Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. For more information, visit www.millvilleairshow.com

Chris Franklin can be reached at cfranklin@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @cfranklinnews. Find NJ.com on Facebook.