The Commanding Officer of the Blue Angles has requested to be relieved of his command citing his failure to meet "Airborne Standards" necessary to safely lead the team. See the Commander Naval Air Forces Official Release below:
NAVAL AIR FORCES
Naval Air Forces
Naval Air Station North Island
San Diego, CA 92135
Fax: (619) 545-1140
May 27, 2011 PRESS RELEASE #: 2011017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Blue Angels C.O. Relieved
Chief of Naval Air Training, Rear Adm. Bill Sizemore, relieved Cmdr. Dave Koss, Commanding Officer of the Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron Friday, May 27, at his request following a lower-than-normal maneuver during the team’s last performance at the Lynchburg Regional Air Show May 22.
“With deep personal regret I shared with my command today that I will be voluntarily leaving the greatest flight demonstration team. I performed a maneuver that had an unacceptably low minimum altitude,” said Koss. “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. I have the utmost respect for the Sailors and Marines of the Blue Angels organization and all that they embody. The reason this team is so successful, brings thrills to millions of fans across America, and represents the U.S. Navy so superbly is because of the absolute commitment to safety and perfection by every member of the team. I am honored to have been a part of this organization and I look forward to watching its success in the future.”
Koss will be replaced by Capt. Greg McWherter, who was the previous Blue Angels’ Commanding Officer, for the duration of the season.
This move requires the cancellation of the Blue Angels’ scheduled performances at the Rockford Airfest June 4-5 and the Evansville Freedom Festival Air Show June 11-12. The Blue Angels will remain in Pensacola for additional training and air show demonstration practice. Any potential changes to the team's future schedule will be announced at a later date.
The Blue Angels regret any inconvenience and look forward to continuing to represent the Navy and Marine Corps service members serving around the world.