FARGO-- One of the Blue Angels aviators performing at the Fargo Airsho this weekend says he's from Houston, but he has some fans in Fargo.
Commander Eric Doyle is the flight leader of the squad of six planes and has been a part of the Blue Angels for about 8 months.
"My family's from here, " Doyle said. "Every airshow is unique, it has its own excitements and challenges. I'm excited to be here with so much family and Fargo is such a great community.
"It's a great air show location and the weather's going to be amazing. There's great people performing this weekend both on the ground and in the air so it's going to be a lot of fun."
Doyle has been in the Navy for 22 years, but his love for aviation started young. That adoration eventually led him into the cockpit of a Blue Angel F-18.
It was his dream come true.
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"I saw the Blue Angels flying when I was 5 years old. Growing up around aviation my dad was a pilot and whether it was his flying, the Blue Angels or even the Thunderbirds, they inspired me. It was a dream. It seemed almost unachievable at times, but I just kept leaning forward and moving forward and it eventually worked out," said Doyle.
When asked what it's like inside one of the jets during a performance, Doyle said "it's usually pretty calm, but focused. Incredibly focused. A lot of people think we are up there screaming and saying, 'yee-haw!', but it's really just concentrated on each maneuver. You get small moments to a peek out and see the crowd or terrain, but for the most part it's just one manuever one at a time. When you finally shut that jet down is when you can take a look around."
Even though he's been a part of this elite group of aviators, Doyle stays grateful for the opportunity to show the public a little bit of the Navy.
"We're just humbled and privileged to be here. We have 800,000 men and women in the Navy and Marine Corps across the world. I look at the Blue Angels as a small window in the Navy-Marine Corps where we can show the public a little glimpse of what we do. We're just glad to be here."
Video by Forum News Service digital reporter Austin Howard. Additional video footage provided by Frode Tilden.