Blue Angels Pilots Faulted In Navy Report
A report by the Navy Judge Advocate General blamed two Blue Angels pilots and an outdated flight manual for a crash that destroyed an F/A-18 Hornet jet, The Associated Press reported on Thursday. The crash occurred when a new team member on a training flight off the Florida coast was completing a split-S maneuver on his own for the first time. His jet hit the water. The aircraft was damaged, but the pilot was able to keep flying and headed back toward Pensacola Naval Air Station to make an emergency landing. When the jet began sinking too fast, the pilot ejected over the ocean. The Navy report found the trainee made mistakes, but the pilot who briefed him on the maneuver should have been more clear and should have spoken up sooner when he noticed deviations. The report also found that the flight-manual instructions for the maneuver were 10 years old, ambiguous and misleading. The lost jet was worth about $18 million. Both pilots will remain with the Blue Angels.