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Politics & Policy

Blue Angels pilot hits back at SF lawmaker on national TV

Blue Angels fly overhead during the Fleet Week Air Show in San Francisco Calif., on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. | Benjamin Fanjoy/ The Standard | Source: Benjamin Fanjoy/The Standard

A former Blue Angels pilot has hit back at Supervisor Dean Preston over a viral tweet about wanting to ban the aerial performance.

The headline act of San Francisco’s Fleet Week was canceled Sunday due to fog. The loud display from the U.S. Navy pilots has divided opinions in the city for years. 

District 5 Supervisor Preston made his stance on the show very clear in a viral tweet.  

Dean Preston
SF Supervisor Dean Preston serves as the leader of San Francisco's Democratic Socialists for America chapter. I Paul Kuroda for The Standard

The Tenderloin representative, millionaire and self-styled Democratic Socialist said: “The Blue Angels should not be allowed to fly over San Francisco. That's it. That's the tweet.”

The tweet initially drew hundreds of comments on Reddit, with many slamming the supervisor as a “champagne socialist” or similar.

One user wrote: “Drug dealers, tent cities, catalytic thieves (sic), sideshows, muggers, drugstore ransackers...shrug. US Navy? GET THEM OUT! LMAO.”

While another appeared to agree with the supervisor, writing: “At this point it's become annoying.”

Fox News then weighed into the debate with former Blue Angels flight leader Eric Doyle telling the "Fox & Friends" morning show what he thought of the tweet.

“I think he should come join us at Fleet Week and see some of his constituents,” Doyle told co-host Carley Shimkus. “They’re excited, so I don’t think if they took a vote on it that that bill would pass right now.” 

The supervisor’s office was contacted for comment.

Fleet Week is a tradition in San Francisco spanning over 40 years. The annual air show and parade of ships began in 1981 when then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein created the event.

The five-day event’s main attraction is the air show the Blue Angels and other aircraft perform on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Last week, The Standard profiled this San Francisco native who went on to become a Blue Angels pilot. 

“We’re here to show the pride and professionalism of the Navy and Marines,” said Lt. Scott Goossens, who is originally from the Cow Hollow neighborhood.