Losses and Aviation Safety

TWO BLUE ANGELS F-18 HORNETS CLIPPED EACH OTHER DURING FORMATION FLIGHT WITH THUNDERBIRDS THIS PAST WEEK

“Two of the jets in the Blue Angel Delta formation encountered unexpected wake turbulence, causing a very brief and minor contact between the aircraft,” Blue Angels spokesman Lt. Joe Hontz

While performing their formation flight with the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds this past week near Pensacola Beach, Florida, two Blue Angel F-18 Hornets clipped each other because of an unexpected wake turbulence.

“Two of the jets in the Blue Angel Delta formation encountered unexpected wake turbulence, causing a very brief and minor contact between the aircraft,” Blue Angels spokesman Lt. Joe Hontz told to Navy Times.

“It is a testament to the training of the pilots that this incident remained very benign,” Hontz said. “The Blue Angels train in an environment where they fly extremely close — inches away from one another — and are fully prepared to respond and recover should minor contact occur.”

Noteworthy the jets required only minor maintenance after the contact and both pilots involved in the incident have been cleared to resume normal flight operations.

This week-end Blue Angels will perform at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort Airshow.

Photo credit: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andrea Perez / U.S. Navy

Gabriele Barison

Gabriele Barison is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Co-Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. He has flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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