Navy Blue Angels Commander Resigns over Incident
As previously noted, a lower-than-planned incident at a Blue Angel’s event caused the team to end that show early and cancel multiple other shows — including those associated with the US Naval Academy graduation.
The commander of the Blue Angels, who was the lead aircraft in the “incident,” requested he be relieved.
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.
Koss indicated there may have been other “instances” of note:
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.
Other reports indicated that while his maneuver violated the Blue Angel’s standards, it did not violate FAA or airshow procedures.
Koss has been replaced by his predecessor.
Airshows and flybys are performed frequently without incident, though the Christian Science Monitor reminded the public of the loss of the Thunderbirds team in 1982 when three wingmen followed their leader into the ground.
Koss’ resignation marks the latest in a series of stern reactions within the military to what have been characterized as failures in flight discipline.