Re: Blue Angel Crash

Message posted by Joshua Nyhus on April 22, 2007 at 1:51:51 PST:

I thought I would post this more detailed description from a photographer that was at the show...

"I was in attendance at the MCAS Beaufort air show on Saturday and witnessed the accident. My thoughts and prayers go out to LCDR Davis' family, friends and the Blue Angels.

The Blue Angels were about 45 minuted into their display (ground show included) when I decided to leave the show. It took a little under fifteen minutes for me to load my gear into the car and drive to Beaufort's main gate. There is a stoplight here which turned red as I was arrived. Sadly this stoplight gave me a near front row seat to the accident.

The road on the opposite side of the intersection goes straight for a good distance and the trees on each side of the road are quite thick. The Blue Angel formation was approximately 2.3 miles away from me when they "popped out" from behind the trees heading from left to right. Though I say they "popped out from behind the trees" they were not flying any lower than normal- the distance from which I viewed them only made them appear lower. This main formation consisted of three to five jets (all I saw was silhouettes).

As the main formation dissapeared behind the trees to the right I noticed a single jet trailing them. He was at the same altitude as the larger formation and his wings were level. Nothing looked out of the ordinary.

A tenth of a second later the aircraft went into knife edge flight. Again, nothing about this looked out of the ordinary. His nose was level and the transition from level flight to knife edge flight appeared to be smooth and well under control.

To my surprise the nose then pointed towards the ground and the aircraft dissapeared behind the trees to the right. My first thought was "I hope I didn't just see a plane crash"... I looked for smoke but didn't see any and, for the moment, was relieved that nothing happened and everything was OK.

By now the light had turned green and instead of turning left and heading into town I decided to go straight and check things out. I soon saw smoke rising into the air and I was in the vicinity of the crash site within two or three minutes. Too my surprise there were already EMT, Police and Fire Department on scene when I arrived.

Blue Angel # 1 made several circles over the crash site.

I did not see the main crash site but the debris from the crash covered a massive area. Debris was in the street, on the roofs some homes (through at least one roof) and scattered on the lawns of area residents. The impact of the Hornet started at least two small brush fires plus larger one in the vicinity of main crash site... these fires were quickly put out by the Firemen on scene. The flames made their way up a utility pole and caused a transformer to pop.

The emergency vehicles had me blocked in and I spent the next three hours watching the emergency personnel filter in and out of the area. The Blue Angel pilots and the vast majority of their ground support team visited the scene and were still working the area when I left at 7:30. Many of them donned gloves and respirators and combed the neighborhood inspecting the debris.

Witnessing this crash was quite a traumatic experience. The accident occurred just over twelve hours ago and my stomach is still all twisted. Visons of the crash are running through my head constantly and I'm sure they will continue to do so for quite a long time.

Again my condolences to the family and friends of LCDR Davis."

In Reply to: Blue Angel Crash posted by Rick on April 21, 2007 at 21:21:06 PST:


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