Officials Have Not Released Name Of Pilot Killed In
ANN REALTIME UPDATE 04.22.07 0950
EDT: Video captured by a witness to Saturday's fatal crash
of a Blue Angels F/A-18 fighter appears to show the aircraft
descending while executed a tight left turn to rejoin the Blues'
signature diamond formation following a starburst maneuver.
The aircraft continued its descent below a treeline, and
impacted a neighborhood three miles from the field. At least eight
people on the ground were injured.
Navy officials have not officially released the name of the
pilot, who was flying the #6 aircraft.
ANN will continue to follow this story and report as more
details are made available.
04.21.07 2300 EDT: Reports from the scene of
this afternoon's crash of a Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet in South
Carolina state as many as eight people were injured on the ground
when the fighter jet impacted a neighborhood about three miles from
Marine Air Corps Station Beaumont.
Military officials have not released the name of the pilot lost
in the accident. The Blue Angels website states the #6 aircraft,
which flies opposing solo, is normally piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Kevin
Davis, 32, of Pittsfield, MA.
At least one home caught fire after being hit by flaming
wreckage from the aircraft. Small pieces of the F/A-18 were spread
throughout the neighborhood.
Aero-News stresses all information remains preliminary, and
subject to change.
2005 EDT: The following is the official release
from the US Navy regarding Saturday afternoon's loss of a Blue
Angels F/A-18 during a performance in South Carolina:
An F/A-18A Hornet assigned to the Navy Flight Demonstration
Squadron (Blue Angels) crashed during the final minutes of an air
show at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, SC at approximately 4
pm. EDT, April 21.
The pilot did not survive.
The pilot of the jet was joining the Delta formation for the
final maneuver of the aerial demonstration when the mishap
occurred. It was his second year on the team, and first year as a
The other five Blue Angel jets were not involved in the
incident and landed safely moments later.
The crash occurred approximately three miles outside the air
station in the vicinity of Pine Grove Rd. and White Pine Rd. One
civilian on the ground reported minor injuries and was transported
to Beaufort Memorial Hospital. Some houses in the area received
damage, the extent of which is unclear at this time.
The name of the pilot is being withheld pending the
notification of the next-of-kin.
1725 EDT: Fox News quotes local news
sources as reporting Blue Angels #6 is the plane that
crashed approximately one hour ago during a performance at MCAS
Beaufort, South Carolina.
An eyewitness states the accident aircraft was part of a
flight-of-six, and lagged behind the others in the group shortly
before it descended and impacted terrain.
1720 EDT: The Beaufort Gazette
reports emergency crews have called for a coroner to the scene of
this afternoon's crash of a Blue Angels F/A-18. The unidentified
pilot of the accident aircraft is believed dead.
Preliminary reports indicate the aircraft spread a debris trail
approximately 300 yards... suggesting the possibility
of a shallow, high-speed descent.
1700 EDT: CNN reports a US Navy Blue Angels
F/A-18 fighter has crashed at an airshow in Beaufort, SC. The fate
of the pilot is not known.
The precision flying team was performing at a show at Marine
Corps Air Station Beaufort. Several nearby house fires were
reportedly ignited by the wreckage of the fighter.
Witness Gerald Popp told CNN the crash occurred about
30 minutes after the Blues began their performance at the
show. Popp, who said he was watched the performance from his
home, reports the accident aircraft was part of a flight of
Another eyewitness told Fox News the team had just
performed its "starburst" maneuver (shown below) when the
accident plane disappeared below a tree line. Witnesses add two
Blue Angels jets circled the accident site immediately after the
The Blue Angels are scheduled to fly 66 air shows at 35 air show
sites in the United States during the 2007 season, as the team
celebrates 20 years of flying the F/A-18 Hornet. Last season, more
than 15 million spectators watched the Blue Angels perform. Since
its inception in 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than
427 million fans.
USN Blue Angel FA-18
|Principal Airframe Contractor
||Two General Electric F404-GE-400 low-bypass, turbofan engines;
each in the 16K-pound thrust class
||Hughes APG-65 with long-range detection in both head-on and
||40.4 feet (with armament)
||400 square feet
||Mach 1.7+ (1,200 mph)
||One (two in two-seat trainer version)
||500-plus nautical miles
||50K feet (approx.)
||11K lbs. internal, 16K lbs. w/external tanks (approx.)
|Max T/O Weight
||56K lbs. (approx.) fighter escort missions
||Approximately $18 million
Aero-News will have more information as it becomes