It'll be a Wednesday to remember for a STARBASE Minnesota-Duluth instructor as she gets the once in a lifetime experience of an F18 flight with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels team.

According to STARBASE Minnesota, instructor, Katie Lassi, was nominated by members of the Duluth Air Show committee last month for the Key Influencer flight with the Blue Angels. The role of the key influencer for this ride was very specific this year. The recipient was targeted as a STEM educator who has positively impacted their community by their role and passion for educational outreach.

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Now that she has been selected to take flight, her June 23 itinerary looks like this:

On Wednesday, Katie will receive a pre-flight briefing and then suit up for her flight in a Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet with #7 Blue Angels pilot Lt. Julius Bratton. Julius joined the Blue Angels in September 2019. He has accumulated more than 1,500 flight hours and has 207 carrier arrested landings. His decorations include a Strike Flight Air Medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and various other unit and personal awards. The Blue Angels will perform on June 26 and 27 at the Duluth Air Show.

Lt. Julius Bratton/ Courtesy of the United States Navy Blue Angels


STARBASE instructor Katie Lassi cannot wait, saying “I am so excited to share my jet flight story with my future students. What an amazing way for me to relate STEM to what students will be learning about at STARBASE. It is so impactful for students to hear stories and personal experiences while learning about abstract science concepts like Newton’s Laws of Motion or changes to body physiology due to differing levels of gravity."

Courtesy of the United States Navy Blue Angels

Created in 1991, STARBASE is a program of the Department of Defense and Minnesota National Guard. STARBASE Minnesota’s mission is "to education and inspire youth in STEM, targeting students who are underrepresented or underserved in STEM." This program is offered free of charge to over 2,600 students across 300 square miles of Northeastern Minnesota.

The Duluth Airshow is set for June 26 - June 27 near the Duluth International Airport. Tickets are still available to enjoy all the event has to offer both in the sky on-site. If you live in the Northland, keep your eyes to the sky this week as you just might get a sneak peek at what is to come.

2021 Duluth Airshow Performers

The 2021 Duluth Airshow is Saturday, June 26 and Sunday, June 27 and it'll be a weekend full of fantastic performers. Here is who you can expect to see and the hours you may spot them throughout the weekend.

You can find updated Duluth Airshow tickets, guest information and updated schedules at

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