Hundreds of thousands of spectators descended on Chicago’s lakefront over the weekend to see the 59th annual Air and Water Show take place, in which teams of F-22s, parachuters and the Navy’s famous Blue Angels performed their stunts in the sky for all to see. But the crowd was in for an extra shock when one of the Blue Angels — which are known for their pinpoint navigation skills as the Navy’s preeminent squadron of flight demonstrators — swooped low overhead in a surprise maneuver.
Captured in onlooker Brendan Peterson‘s video, the reactions are a spectacle in and of themselves. (That’s why the video has rocketed up YouTube’s trending videos chart.) After the initial surprise wears off, the crowd even gives the pilot a round of applause.
In a second video, posted on the day before, Peterson includes a shot of the plane as it speeds away over the lake. “Perks of knowing when its coming [sic],” he wrote in the caption. “Yet I was still barely able to catch him screaming by.” For the crowd reaction video, Peterson noted that the plane was “at least 100 feet closer to our location” that time.
“I mean, it’s nerve-wracking,” one of the Blue Angels navigator’s wives, Alana Steppe, told local news of watching the flights. “You have to think they were doing what they were trained to do professionally – and when they’re up there, they’re concentrating on being up there.”