2007 Blue Angels South Carolina crash
|Date||April 21, 2007|
|Site||Near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Beaufort, South Carolina, United States|
|Injuries (non-fatal)||8 (on the ground)|
|Aircraft type||McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet|
|Operator||United States Navy aerobatic team the Blue Angels|
The 2007 Blue Angels South Carolina crash occurred on April 21, 2007, when the Number 6 US Navy Blue Angels jet crashed during the final minutes of an air show at the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in Beaufort, South Carolina. The sole fatality was confirmed and identified as the pilot, Lieutenant Commander Kevin "Kojak" Davis, by the Blue Angels on April 22, 2007. The body of the pilot and the flight recorder were later recovered and moved to the local coroner's office. There were eight injuries reported on the ground.
A report was released on January 15, 2008, ending the investigation by the Navy into the crash. The report states that when Lieutenant Commander Davis pulled back into a 6.8-g pull, he lost control of the aircraft due to G-force-induced Loss Of Consciousness (G-LOC).
Early reporting indicated that all six McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornets of the Blue Angels were making their final turns into the landing pattern when Blue Angel #6 flew behind the audience and low over a tree-line, three miles away from air show center, and possibly clipped power lines and a tall pine tree near Shanklin Road. This was followed by a large plume of black smoke, which Blue Angel #1 immediately began to circle while the others landed. A local official later said that due to safety regulations, there was only a very slim possibility that the tree or power lines could have brought the aircraft down. The aircraft slid for two hundred to three hundred yards after it hit the ground, crashing through homes and vehicles. Seconds after the crash, several rescue helicopters and local emergency vehicles went to the crash site in response to 9-1-1 calls. The Navy identified the pilot as LCDR Kevin J. Davis of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the opposing solo in the #6 jet.
The Blue Angels returned to their home base at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, to discuss continuing their season. Sunday's air show went on as planned but, in a special tribute, the GEICO Skytypers flew the missing man formation in honor of the fallen Blue Angel.
Soon after LCDR Davis’ crash, the Blue Angels began performing a five-jet demonstration. The squadron called back former Blue Angel, LCDR Craig Olson, to fill the opposing solo position. He began performing after practicing with the team for a few weeks. LCDR Olson had previously served with the squadron from 2003 to 2005, during which time he flew both solo positions.
- U.S. Navy "Blue Angels" jet crashes, Reuters, April 21, 2007 7:32PM EDT
- Report: Blue Angels Pilot Dies In S.C. Plane Crash, Associated Press article, Posted on NBCSandiego.com, UPDATED: 3:33 pm PDT April 22, 2007 Archived August 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Fox News Live: 22 April 7, 10:08 AM Live Interview
- Amos, Smith, "Report: Blue Angels pilot became disoriented", Military Times, January 16, 2008.
- Lowcountry Mourns Loss of Fallen Blue Angel (PDF version), The Jet Stream online, USMC, April 27, 2007 print edition Archived November 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Pilot killed in S.C. Blue Angel crash, By Bruce Smith, Associated Press, Posted on Yahoo News Sat April 21, 7:47 PM ET[dead link]
- Report: Blue Angels Pilot Dies In S.C. Plane Crash Archived May 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Blue Angel crashes; pilot killed; eyewitness reports home caught fire Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Blue Angel Pilot Killed in Air Show Crash Identified". US Navy. April 23, 2007. NNS070423-01. Archived from the original on April 30, 2007.
- "Blue Angels back home to mourn pilot". Boston Herald. Associated Press. April 24, 2007. Archived from the original on August 23, 2007.
- Pre-accident pictures of the aircraft
- Report information issued by the Pensacola Journal
- JAG Manual Investigation Basic Report Redacted Copy