Yesterday the Blue Angles announced that they are cancelling their Naval Academy Airshow scheduled for May 24th and 25th.
In a press release issued by Lt. Katie Kelly, the Blue Angles PAO, it was announced,
“This cancellation is due to a safety stand down period imposed by the team’s commanding officer after a lower-than-normal maneuver that took place during the team’s last performance at Lynchburg Regional Air Show, May 22 in Lynchburg, Va. Following this low maneuver all aircraft landed safely without damage or injury to personnel.”
The maneuver in question appears to have been in the Diamond’s execution of the “Diamond Barrel Roll Break”. As can be seen in the video below (around the 24 minute mark) the maneuver appears to end up lower that is stipulated for safe execution at which point the Blues are seen executing a “Safe” departure from the maneuver with Blue Angles 2 and 3 (Lieutenant Commander Jim Tomaszeski and Major Brent Stevens respectively) initiating climbing separation turns once things got ‘sporty’. The “Boss’ Cdr. Dave Koss and Slot pilot Lt Rob Kurrle, exited the maneuver in a continuing flat pass to show left.
It is uncertain as to when the “Knock it Off” call came, but it is reported that in short order the Squadron formed into their famous Delta and immediately concluded the Sunday Show.
Click this link to see how the maneuver is usually executed [Link]
Fortunately no crews or spectators were harmed in this event.
As of this writing it is not yet determined if the Blues will be performing the customary fly-over the actual Naval Academy Graduation.