Check your ISO
Shoot with sun at your back or side. Have a circular polarizer on your lens.
Iattempted a little "cleanup" on your USN photo.
It is not much better, however.
Here is a challenge for you...take THE
photo of the Blue Angels
Then send an absolutely fabulous 8 x 10 print to them.
You may just get a "hop"!
Suggestion: Don't eat breakfast if you are offered a flight.
Your "Starstruck" work is awesome
! It is as if the pilot, always the gentleman, is asking the young woman..."And who should I make this out to?"