Saturday, May 28, 2011

Blue Angels Boss Relieved

This link to a video report on the actual incident that lead to the grounding of the team courtesy of NBC Nightly News. The incident that caused the grounding occurred at the Lynchburg airshow. There is no word when the team will be back on the airshow circuit.

PENSACOLA (NNS) -- The commanding officer of the Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron was relieved of command by chief of naval air training May 27.

Cmdr. Dave Koss requested that Rear Adm. Bill Sizemore relieve him of his command following a lower-than-normal maneuver during the team's last performance at the Lynchburg Regional Air Show May 22.

"With deep personal regret I shared with my command today that I will be voluntarily leaving the greatest flight demonstration team," said Koss. "I performed a maneuver that had an unacceptably low minimum altitude. 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. I have the utmost respect for the Sailors and Marines of the Blue Angels organization and all that they embody. The reason this team is so successful, brings thrills to millions of fans across America, and represents the U.S. Navy so superbly, is because of the absolute commitment to safety and perfection by every member of the team. I am honored to have been a part of this organization, and I look forward to watching its success in the future."

Koss will be replaced by the previous Blue Angels' commanding officer, Capt. Greg McWherter, for the duration of the season.

This move requires the cancellation of the Blue Angels' scheduled performances at the Rockford Airfest June 4-5, and the Evansville Freedom Festival Air Show June 11-12. The Blue Angels will remain in Pensacola for additional training and air show demonstration practice. Any potential changes to the team's future schedule will be announced at a later date.

The Blue Angels regret any inconvenience and look forward to continuing to represent the Navy and Marine Corps service members serving around the world.