Update: Blue Angel F/A-18A Jet Crash During Beaufort Airshow
April 23, 2007 - AeroSpaceNews.com - Update - A Blue Angel F/A-18A Hornet crashed during an airshow in Beaufort, South Carolina. According to a statement issued by Navy Public Affairs, the pilot was killed and one civilian suffered minor injuries.
The official U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Team, the Blue Angels fly versions of the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet. According to the official Blue Angel's website, the unit operates 10 single seat F/A-18A and two 2-seat F/A-18B aircraft.
The website says the aircraft are distinct from fleet aircraft only in the removal of the nose cannon, the addition of the unique paint jobs and smoke-oil tank, and a spring for handling qualities added to the control stick. Each plane costs approximately $21 million.
According to the Navy statement, "the pilot of the accident jet was joining the Delta formation for the final maneuver of the aerial demonstration when the mishap occurred." The Navy says it was the pilot's second year on the team, and first year as a demonstration pilot.
None of the other five Blue Angel F/A-18 jets were involved in the incident.
The crash occurred approximately three miles outside the air station in the vicinity of Pine Grove Road and White Pine Road, according to the Navy.
During the active show season the team is based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, and flies some 66 air shows.
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