From Controversial Times: Katie Higgins is a third generation military aviator. Her father flew the F-18 Hornet and Higgins continued her family’s aviation lineage.
Higgins is a Naval Academy graduate and a Captain in the USMC and now she is the first female pilot on the team. She is not flying one of the team’s jets, but rather the team’s C-130 transport plane, affectionately named “Fat Albert”.
While “Fat Albert” is the Angels’ transport plane, it also gets in on the airshow fun with its pilots pushing the large aircraft quite hard. Here is a video of a past performance.
Some may assume Higgins new position is damage control due to a recent incident in which a Blue Angels commander was found guilty of obvious and repeated instances of sexual harassment. However, in an interview with CBS she quickly dismissed those claims:
“Well, honestly, I would tell ‘em to watch the demo,” Higgins said. “They can’t tell the difference between mine and the other two pilots on here because I fly it just as well as they do.”
“I definitely didn’t come on the team to break any barriers or anything like that, that definitely wasn’t my agenda,” Higgins said. “It just so happened that I was the first female to perform in a demo here, and if that is inspiring to people, if that’s inspiring to little girls around the country, then I’m doing my job.”