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I hate hearing about incidents like this:
Pilot Killed in S.C. Blue Angel CrashWhile the article doesn't specifically identify the pilot that crashed, one of the photos of the Blue Angels performing their last maneuver just prior to the crash identified the plane that crashed: it was Blue Angel #6, the Opposing Solo pilot Lieutenant Commander Kevin Davis. LCDR Davis' biography can be found on the Navy's Blue Angels website here.
Witnesses said the planes were flying in formation during the show at the Marine Corps Air Station and one dropped below the trees and crashed, sending up clouds of smoke. At least one home was on fire.
Raymond Voegeli, a plumber, was backing out of a driveway when the plane ripped through a grove of pine trees, dousing his truck in flames and debris. He said wreckage hit "plenty of houses and mobile homes."
"It was just a big fireball coming at me," said Voegeli, 37. "It was just taking pine trees and just clipping them."
County Coroner Curt Copeland said the pilot was killed, but did not release an identification. Copeland said there was a lot of debris at the crash site and described the scene as horrific.
John Sauls, who lives near the crash site, said the planes were banking back and forth before one disappeared, and a plume of smoke shot up.
"It's one of those surreal moments when you go, 'No, I didn't just see what I saw,'" Sauls said.
At the Blue Angels command headquarters at Pensacola Naval Air Station the petty officer on duty said he "had no comment at this time."
It is always sad to hear of a member of the Blue Angels being killed, especially while performing during an airshow. While it'll take a while to determine the cause of the accident - be it a mechanical or system failure on the aircraft or possibly even pilot error, I do know one thing for sure: while the family of LCDR Davis will undoubtedly be greiving over his death, this Naval Aviator died doing what he loved the most.
Rest in Peace Commander.