View Full Version : Leader of Blue Angels Quits After Jets Flew Too Low at Recent Air Show

05-28-2011, 05:50 PM
The commander of the famed flight squadron the Blue Angels stepped down Friday after part of the team of six jets flew below a minimum altitude at a recent air show.

Cmdr. Dave Koss, who has led the team since November, will be replaced by Capt. Greg McWherter, who was the previous commander of the team. The Blue Angels has canceled its scheduled performances next month and had to cancel its scheduled flyover Friday at the Naval Academy graduation, where Defense Secretary Robert Gates delivered the commencement address.

"With deep personal regret, I shared with my command today that I will be voluntarily leaving the greatest flight demonstration team," Koss said in a written statement. "I performed a maneuver that had an unacceptably low minimum altitude. This maneuver, combined with other instances of not meeting the airborne standard that makes the Blue Angels the exceptional organization that it is, led to my decision to step down."

On Sunday, the altitude problem involved four of the six F/A-18 Hornets flying a diamond formation at an air show in Lynchburg, Va, a Blue Angels spokeswoman told The Associated Press. All six aircraft landed safely about three-fourths of the way through the scheduled performance without damage to the jets or injury to the pilots.


Might seem harsh, but I think it's a graceful move that the Navy allowed him to do, instead of firing him.

At my last base one of my squadron commanders ended up getting fired from his job because he had a couple incidents on the ground where he damaged his, or other aircraft with improper manuevers. It wasn't a reflection of his ability to lead the squadron, but to command an Operational squadron like that, you had to be on flight status. With his status revoked, he automatically lost his command.

05-28-2011, 10:58 PM
Yes I thought when I read this story too, that he was a good man
for realizing he needed to step back before being forced to. Well,
he's a good man to have been part of the Blue Angels to begin with.
But knowing when it is time to step down and admit that he slipped
up before someone got hurt, just shows what class he has.
I wish him well where ever he ends up next.