The Blue Angels is the United States Navy's flight demonstration squadron.
Its Widget is 'to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach.'
After every flight the team goes through a critical debriefing process which they consider is as important as the actual flight itself. They talk about what worked, what didn't, and 'no punches are pulled'.
'We are as wide open as can possibly be to criticisms. We want to become our own worst critics.'
The debriefing process takes twice as long as the flight took. 'Rank doesn't come into play.'
'We have a term that we use: 'Glad to be here''. It's a way of reminding themselves of the privilege of flying with the Blue Angels while their fellow pilots are doing night carrier landings in the Mediterranean Sea.
'We have two 'critiquers' on the ground that look at the manoeuvres and tell us their impressions basically.'
'We make these mistakes and we 'fess up to them and we do it every time we fly. It's an extremely important aspect of what we do. What we do after we've said it is 'I've made this mistake. I'll fix it. You always say you're going to fix it It leaves the rest of us with the feeling that you've recognised your mistake and you're going to take corrective action not to let it happen again. So it doesn't drop our confidence level in another person in the formation.'
'You gotta be able to learn each and every time you go flying because there's never been the perfect flight demonstration yet.'