The Duluth Airshow marks a homecoming for a Minnesota native in the Blue Angels

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The Blue Angels are back in Duluth and have been taking to the skies to prepare for the Duluth Airshow.

Located at the Duluth International Airport, gates will open at 9 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday with the first performers flying at 11 a.m.

The Blue Angels’ return to Duluth is also acting as a homecoming for one of the pilots, Lieutenant Amanda Lee.

Lt. Lee attended the University of Minnesota Duluth and enlisted in the Navy after her time as a student. She hasn’t been in Duluth since 2007. Lee describes the experience as nostalgic.

“One of the best things about the Blue Angels is we get to travel all over the United States to represent over 800,000 Navy and Marine Corps that are deployed across the world,” Lt. Lee says, “Being able to come to my home state, to a place where I went to college, it’s an honor. And I’m so excited to be here and to show Duluth what we have to offer.”

Lt. Lee admits that while the pilots make the tricks seem effortless, this is some of the most difficult flying she’s ever done. 

“We’ll get down to 12 or 18 inches apart for some of our most iconic maneuvers. Every single day is a little bit different. If the atmosphere is a little different it makes it challenging and that’s what I love about it. The challenge that we have every single day.”

If Lt. Lee seems familiar to you, we previously reported that she was the first female F-18 flight demonstrator. However, this is different than her work on the Blue Angels.