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Soar through the sky with the Blue Angels

Updated 7:12 PM ET, Fri June 3, 2016
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The U.S. Navy's iconic flying team, the Blue Angels, performed in 2014 for the first time in nearly a year after the team was grounded because of forced spending cuts. If you haven't had a chance to see them in person, watch them fly over the years in these photos from aerospace fans on CNN iReport. Courtesy Charles Atkeison
Aerospace journalist Charles Atkeison says the team's blue and gold jets are a familiar sight and sound along the northern Gulf Coast beaches, near their home at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. Courtesy Charles Atkeison
Atkeison had the opportunity to photograph the Blue Angels practicing at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola in September 2013. Courtesy Charles Atkeison
The Blue Angels' six demonstration pilots fly F/A 18 Hornets. "They can perform amazing aerobatic stunts," said Atkeison, who got to fly with the team in 2012. Courtesy Ditto Gorme
Blue Angels pilots and crew members greet show spectators in Pensacola. Courtesy Charles Atkeison
"A typical week may find all six Blue Angels in flight as they practice flying wing tip to wing tip, just 18 inches apart," he said. Courtesy Charles Atkeison
Two pilots converse at the Naval Air Station. Courtesy Charles Atkeison
Alabama dad Ditto Gorme visited the Naval Air Station in Pensacola to photograph the Blue Angels practicing in March 2013, shortly before the team was grounded. Courtesy Ditto Gorme
"Every year, we always go to the airshow here in Pensacola," Gorme said. When he learned the shows would be canceled, he said, he decided to go watch one of the remaining practice sessions. "It was packed with fans like it was a regular show." Courtesy Ditto Gorme
A total of 16 officers voluntarily serve with the Blue Angels, according to its website. Each team is composed of three tactical jet pilots, two support officers and one Marine Corps pilot. Courtesy Ditto Gorme
The Blue Angels have been around since 1946. They have flown more than 10 different aircraft during their six-decade history. Courtesy Ditto Gorme
This was the second-to-last practice before the federal government canceled the 32 shows left last year. The Air Force said air shows can cost bases $100,000. Courtesy Ditto Gorme
Gorme plans to be watching the Blue Angels for their 2014 opening show. Courtesy Ditto Gorme
After practice flights, pilots go to the Naval Aviation Museum to meet the fans and sign autographs. Courtesy Ditto Gorme
A pilot signs a poster for a fan. Courtesy Ditto Gorme
Retired teacher Gej Jones has seen the Blue Angels fly several times. Courtesy Gej Jones
Jones last visited the Naval Air Station in April 2012. He says the atmosphere was electric. Courtesy Gej Jones
The first time he saw the Blue Angels fly, Jones said, "I was like a little kid waiting for Santa Claus. I was very excited. That same excitement has been with me each and every time since." Courtesy Gej Jones
The Blue Angels flight exhibition team was initially created with the intention of piquing the public's interest in naval aviation and boosting Navy morale. Courtesy Gej Jones
Jones says the airshow has certainly captivated him. "It's a terrific opportunity for the public, young and old alike, to get up close and personal with the Blue Angels," he said. Courtesy Gej Jones