Blue Angels Commander Quits
The commander of the Blue Angels has resigned and the team is back in Pensacola for training and practice after an unspecified maneuver was performed at too low an altitude during a show in Lynchburg Va., on May 22. Navy Cmdr. Dave Koss was "voluntarily relieved of duty" as the elite team's commander and will be replaced by Capt. Greg McWherter, whom Koss replaced as the team lead. "This maneuver, combined with other instances of not meeting the airborne standard that makes the Blue Angels the exceptional organization that it is, led to my decision to step down," Koss said in the statement. The No. 1 aircraft normally leads a flight of four or six F/A-18s through formation maneuvers but the formation breaks for some parts of the show, including the solo performances and the signature cross maneuver. It's not clear whether Koss alone busted the altitude or whether he took the others with him. It's also not been stated just how much too low the aircraft got.
Clearly, the miscue got the attention of Navy brass because it led to the cancellation of at least seven shows. They won't resume the schedule until the Quad City Air Show in Davenport IA June 18-19.