Blue Angel Fatal Crash Wasn’t A Rarity [Video]
Captain Jeff Kuss was killed on June 3rd this year when his F-18 crashed at a Tennessee airshow. He was a veteran combat pilot, with more than 1,400 hours flight time. The Blue Angels are the US Navy's best fighter pilots. They're required to be aircraft carrier certified, with a minimum 1,250 hours tactical flight time. The Angels practice 6 days a week in California during the off season. During airshow season, they practice on Tuesdays & Wednesdays. They additionally practice on Friday afternoon upon arrival for a weekend airshow. The maneuvers the Blue Angles execute are so precise they can't wear G-suits, despite being subjected to forces of 7.5 G. The suits restrict movement of the pilot's stick. That's not acceptable when you're flying wing tip to wing tip, separated by as little as 18 inches. Since the elite flight team was established in 1946, there have been 262 Blue Angel pilots. 27 of them have died in crashes. Statistically, they're safer in combat. It's the duty most coveted by naval aviators, despite the risk. It's interesting to note, one of the most crucial qualifications is, wait for it...a sense of humor. Telling a joke is an important part of the interview process, and they're graded on it.