PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are getting ready for the Pensacola Beach Airshow this Saturday.

The airshow starts at 11 a.m. The Blue Angels hosted members of the media on Thursday.

“There’s so much hometown pride for the Blue Angels around Pensacola. We feel the very same way,” said Lt. Cmdr. Cary Rickoff, the No. 5 pilot and lead solo pilot for the Blues. “For us to go out there and see the beautiful water of the Emerald Coast and fly up and down, it’s equally as fun for us as it is for everyone on the ground I think.”

The Blues are in their 76th year and Year 2 of their new, FA/18 Superhornets.

“The super hornet is bigger, larger engines, so as far as maneuverability and the show sequence, we’re able to do the same maneuvers — sometimes a little bit slower so you may see the jets hanging up there a little slower and louder,” Rickoff said.

The flight Thursday for Tate High School guidance counselor Ashley Turner wasn’t slow at all. Turner was nominated to fly with the Blues because of her positive impact on her community.

“Today has been the trip of a lifetime. It is like no rollercoaster or plane I’ve ever been on before,” Turner said. “My pilot just did such a good job with me. He takes it easy at first and I was really shocked. I pulled 7.4 Gs today. I probably screamed about 10 times today. Every time we went upside down I screamed.”

Blue Angels pilots say they’re ready to put on a great show for their hometown community. Crew members were working on the jets Thursday afternoon to prepare them for Saturday’s airshow.

Rickoff said the airshow is something you don’t want to miss.

“We like to show off the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corp team,” Rickoff said. “What I always tell people is you’ll see an excellent clinic on teamwork up there.”

Officials suggest anyone wanting to park in the main parking lots at Pensacola Beach arrive early to ensure a spot.

Stay ahead of the biggest stories, breaking news and weather in Mobile, Pensacola and across the Gulf Coast and Alabama. Download the WKRG News 5 news app and be sure to turn on push alerts.