Navy Releases Blue Angels Investigation Report

Story Number: NNS080115-03Release Date: 1/15/2008 8:07:00 AM
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From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy released its investigation report Jan. 14 on the Blue Angels crash that occurred April 21, 2007 in Beaufort, S.C., sighting pilot error as the primary causal factor.

"The mishap was caused by a failure to perform a proper Anti-G Straining Maneuver, resulting in the pilot's suffering from possible physiological effects that contributed to his loss of situational awareness of his rate of decent, and ultimately a controlled flight into the terrain," as stated in the report.

"The Navy is committed to investigating every significant safety incident fully; our goal is to determine the cause and contributing factors, and to identify any needed changes to training curricula, procedures and equipment. I'm satisfied we have done that and have made appropriate recommendations to reduce the risk for recurrence," said Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education, Vice Adm. John C. Harvey Jr., the final reviewing official for the report.

Chief of Naval Air Training, Rear Adm. Mark Guadagnini, personally briefed the community leadership and neighbors surrounding the Marine Corps Air Station where the crash occurred, to ensure those affected by the mishap had the opportunity to ask questions about the Navy's finding and recommendations.

The investigation report and endorsing statements recommended Navy pursue a rigorous G-tolerance training program for the Blue Angels; the program was implemented last fall.

Additionally, leadership called for focused research in developing a G-suit that's compatible with the Blue Angels' unique flight training and performance profile and cockpit. Coordination on that research began last week at commander, Naval Air Forces in San Diego.

"Lt. Cmdr Davis was a superb naval officer and a great friend, said Blue Angels Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Kevin Mannix. "Our losing him [last] year was devastating for his family, his friends and the Navy.

"It wasn't easy preparing the team to get back into the air after losing such a close friend and tight team member, but we knew Kevin would have wanted us flying again as soon as possible. We spent some time grieving, and a lot time reviewing our operating procedures and our personal readiness. When the time was right, we got back into the air. I think that was the best thing for the team, the Navy and the public. We miss him every day and will always remember him fondly," said Mannix.

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The U. S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, also known as the Blue Angels, fly in an echelon formation during a performance at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Official U.S. Navy file photo of The U. S. Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron, also known as the Blue Angels, fly in an echelon formation.
May 24, 2007
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