A Lompoc High School graduate flew a C-130T Fat Albert jet from England to the United States early Tuesday.
Lompoc resident Pete Mabery told KSBY his son, Beau Maybery, was the lead pilot on the flight, which took off from England at 1 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.
"This was supposed to happen in March, end of March, but of course things got canceled," said Carole Mabery, Beau's mom.
Beau graduated from Lompoc High School in 2007. After graduating from UCLA, his parents say he joined the United States Marine Corps and eventually became a pilot for the C-130T plane known as Fat Albert.
"It's the support aircraft for the Blue Angels," Pete said. "What it does is carries the men because it's a full squadron that works around the pilot, the mechanics, it's a whole show."
According to the website Popular Mechanics, this is a new jet replacing an older C-130T jet.
"It started two years ago when they realized the Fat Albert was just about over its time," Pete said.
According to Pete, this new jet was purchased two years ago and stripped down to bare bones before being reassembled and re-painted.
"They did the flight checks so that they got permission to leave," Pete said.
The Maybery family is originally from Yorkshire, England, and was supposed to be there Tuesday morning to watch Beau takeoff in his final year as a pilot on the aircraft but couldn't make the trip due to travel restrictions as a result of the global pandemic. However, family members who were there were able to Facetime Pete and Carole as Beau took off.
"You're only allowed to stay three years with Fat Albert, so this is his final year," Carole said.
According to Pete, three pilots are aboard the plane with Beau as the lead pilot, followed by two additional pilots.
Pete and Carol say the plane left England and landed in Iceland before coming to the United States. The final leg of the journey will be a week-long stay in Dallas Fort-Worth before heading to Pensacola, Florida, home of the Blue Angels.
"It's been a journey and blown our minds, that's for sure," Carole said.