LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (PIX11) — The Bethpage Air Show doesn’t return until this weekend, but that didn’t stop aviation fans from heading out Thursday. They were hoping to get a glimpse at their favorite pilots and planes before the official show, which will be held Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

One of the biggest attractions? The United States Navy’s Blue Angels will return for the 18th annual air show after a four-year hiatus.

“The payout to doing this job is seeing the future of America,” Lt. Cmdr. Julius Bratton said.

Pilot Jessy Panzer, who’s also performing at the show, said it’s an “honor” to be the only female pilot performing in 2022.

“What a great opportunity to inspire all the little kids, but especially the little girls,” she said.