A jet flown by Lt. Cmdr. John Hiltz, Notre Dame Class of 2002, flies above Key West, Fla., in March during a Blue Angels practice. Hiltz will be airborne with the demonstration team over his alma mater Saturday before the Notre Dame-Navy football game. (MC1 Rachel McMarr / Navy)
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This weekend, the Blue Angels are back.
In the Navy flight demonstration squadron’s first public appearance since its funding was cut in April, the jets will perform a flyover before the Navy-Notre Dame football game Saturday afternoon in South Bend, Ind.
The flyover will air live on NBC before the network’s coverage of the game, Blue Angels public affairs officer Lt. Katie Kelly said Thursday. NBC’s coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. Eastern, with kickoff set for 3:42 p.m., according to Notre Dame’s athletics website.
It’ll be a homecoming for Blue Angels pilot Lt. Cmdr. John Hiltz, a 2002 graduate of Notre Dame. And it’ll be a road game for two pilots with Navy football experience — Cmdr. Tom Frosch, the group’s commanding officer and flight leader, was a punter for the Midshipmen before graduating in 1994, and Lt. Mark Tedrow played wide receiver prior to his 2004 graduation.
Lead solo pilot Lt. Cmdr. David Tickle graduated from Annapolis in 2002.
The team canceled what was left of its 2013 season April 9 after a Defense Department policy eliminating funds for community outreach programs took effect. DoD has turned funds for outreach programs back on for fiscal 2014, though at reduced levels. Still, the team released its 2014 schedule in late October, including 65 shows at 34 locations beginning March 15.