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Vero Beach Air Show to honor Blue Angels pilot

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The Vero Beach Air Show is prepared to kick-off in style on Saturday but planes took to the sky to practice a day earlier.

Organizers say the event was centered around the promise that the Blue Angels would perform.

However, the group had to cancel after the death of one of the pilots.

Now, the aircraft will take to the sky in honor of the fallen hero.

The pilots spent Friday practicing for the air show but dozens gathered at the Vero Beach Airport just to watch.

Bob Bremer says it's an annual routine.

"I'm a private pilot and I fly. I just love airplanes, always have," said Bremer.

Unfortunately, the headliners, the Blue Angels, canceled earlier after Captain Jeff Kuss crashed during a practice flight for an air show in Tennessee.

"When I first heard it, it was like the air was taken out of me. I can't remember when I've been any sadder," Bremer said.

Robert Paugh, organizer of the Vero Beach Air Show, says the Navy F/A 18C Hornet Demonstration Team will be replacing the Blue Angels alongside around 30 other acts, including Aerobatics teams and a jet truck.

Paugh says this time, it's in honor of Capt. Kuss.

"Everything we've been doing as a team on the ground is taking into consideration the sacrifices he made for our country," said Paugh. "We just want to have a great show and honor them as well as thank all our veterans for all their service and really have a great time."

Organizers of the Vero Beach Air Show say 100 percent of the funds raised at the show will go toward local veterans as well as child abuse prevention.

Gates open Saturday at 9 a.m. and the first show begins around noon.

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