ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – The Blue Angels flight team announced a safety standown Monday and canceled a midweek show at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., days before the academy graduation.
The famed Navy flight squadron said is scrubbing Tuesday’s practice at Annapolis and Wednesday’s show because of a problem during one of the team’s signature, high-speed, acrobatic maneuvers at a Lynchburg, Va., airshow on Sunday.
The Blue Angels have performed at the Annapolis air show most years since 1954 and four of the team’s six pilots, including the Blue Angles’ commander, are academy graduates, said spokeswoman Lt. Katie Kelly, also an academy graduate.
Whether the six blue and gold F/A-18 Hornets will do their traditional flyover at the academy graduation on Friday is undecided, Kelly said.
The team is reviewing why four of the six jets fell below the 8,000-foot flight ceiling on Sunday during a barrel-roll break from a diamond formation, she said. The team did not complete the maneuver and all six jets landed safely about three-fourths of the way through the scheduled performance without damage to the jets or injury to the pilots.
Blue Angels pilot Kevin Davis died in a 2007 crash at a South Carolina air show when he lost control of his jet.
Kelly said the team is disappointed about missing the Annapolis show.
“We know this is something the midshipmen and the citizens of Annapolis look forward to and it is difficult when we are not able to perform,” she said.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)