Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Blue Angels.

This is coolbert:

Another Blue Angel has died in an aerial mishap. This does occur from time to time with those aerobatic demonstration teams. The Blue Angels, the Thunderbirds. Doing high-risk maneuvers at very low altitude under conditions pilots normally do not find themselves under.

Condolences are in order for the family of Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Davis, USN. The person of "Kojak", a brave young American, will be missed.

"The squadron's six F/A-18 Hornets routinely streak low over crowds of thousand at supersonic speeds, coming within feet, sometimes inches, of each other, the team's last fatal crash happened in 1999."

An investigation is underway and it will be about two weeks before some preliminary results are forthcoming.

There is something about these aerobatic demonstrators [pilots] that would seem to place them at even greater risk:

"The Blue Angels are unique from other jet aviators because they do not wear the traditional G-suits that most jet pilots wear to prevent blackout during maneuvers that exert strong gravitational forces. The suits inflate around the lower body to keep blood int he brain, but that could cause a pilot to bump the control stick - - a potentially deadly move when flying inches from other planes."

G-LOC [G-force loss of consciousness]. Flying modern combat aircraft at the very edge of technology and performing maneuvers of a risky nature has placed the human body in situations beyond what it was intended to do.

From time to time, after these accidents involving the flight demonstration teams, it is suggested that these exhibitions with the high risk maneuvers are not worth it. Too dangerous for all, not a suitable reason to place pilots in precarious positions.

That is debatable. The air shows where the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds demonstrate flying skill beyond those of ordinary men are a lot of fun to watch. It is amazing what these skilled pilots can do. I saw an exhibition of the Thunderbirds a number of years ago and was lucky enough to have a jet make a high speed pass over my head so low that I was enveloped by kerosene fumes. Quite an experience! And all that with the pilot flying upside down the whole way!!

This accident was the result of the pilot not wearing the G-suit? Hard to say for certain. The investigation will find the answer? We shall see!



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