May 31, 2011
But when the organizers of AirFest announced some months ago that they had nabbed the US Navy's Blue Angels for this year's show, and that they'd be performing on June 4th and 5th, I practically wet myself with joy. See, 2011 is the Centennial of Naval Aviation, and getting the Angels during that service-wide celebration was a monumental coup. Then look a little closer at the dates they'd be performing: June 4th and 5th would be the 69th anniversary of the US Navy's greatest victory, the Battle of Midway. That couldn't have worked out better if I had picked the dates myself. I was actually thinking about attending the AirFest, instead of standing nearby, I was so stoked. In the end, I decided to return to the frontage road I was at last year, but either way... wow!
Then Brickmuppet sent me an e-mail, and it all turned to ashes. Commander Dave Koss had voluntarily stepped down from his position of the Blue Angels' commander, as he had led a maneuver that "had an unacceptably low minimum altitude."
It's not a particularly egregious error, but enough of one that the lives of the performers were in quite a bit of danger. When you fly like the Blue Angels, or the Thunderbirds, or the Snowbirds, or any other performance team, any mistake is enough to kill you and potentially hundreds of spectators in an instant.
It takes a brave man to admit that he screwed up like that, and a braver one still to step down from one of the high-prestige positions in their business... voluntarily, at that. He's been replaced by last year's commander, Captain Greg McWhirter, for the duration of the season. Because of all this, the Blue Angels have gone into "safety stand-down" mode for the next couple of weeks, canceling airshows in Evansville, IN, a show in New Jersey over Memorial Day weekend... and their appearance at Duckford AirFest.
I do have to respect Cmdr. Koss for admitting his mistake and voluntarily stepping down. That's got to be a painful thing to do. Hopefully his character in choosing to do so will outweigh the reason for it going forward with his career.
Posted by: David at May 31, 2011 09:48 PM (Kn54v)
Seen them a few times at the Cleveland Air Show. Sorry they can't show off for ya, but as you said - professionalism first! Better a no-show than a morgue-show...Take care, amigo.
If you're ever around Cleveland on Labor Day, we have an open couch and a place to watch the show from.....
Posted by: The Old Man at June 03, 2011 07:09 AM (TcNy+)
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