Navy: Blue Angels RTB After Fatal Crash

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The U.S. Navy Sunday said it will be at least three weeks before it can release significant information on the fatal crash of Blue Angel No. 6 during an airshow at Beaufort, South Carolina on Saturday. Although the Navy didnít officially identify the pilot, news reports identified him as Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Davis, 32, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The Angels were just completing a six-ship low-level maneuver when Davisís F/A-18 Hornet apparently struck trees. The resulting crash showered debris across houses and mobile homes and cut a path through pine trees. Local resident Raymond Voegli told The Chronicle News that he witnessed the crash, saying the aircraft was "a big fireball coming at me ... taking pine trees and just clipping th em." The flame and debris doused his truck, Voegli told the newspaper.

Blue Angels Lt. Cmdr Anthony Walley, who flies the No. 2 jet, said no other aircraft were involved in the accident. According to reports, the last Blue Angels fatality happened in October 1999 in Georgia during routine practice before a scheduled airshow. Saturdayís show was the start of the team's show season and more than 100,000 people were expected to attend. A Navy official said the team would return to its base at Pensacola, Florida on Sunday. "We will regroup," he said.