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TheFlightSimGuy

What are the odds? Blue Angel and Thunderbird both crashed today

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http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/02/politics/military-plane-crash/index.html

 

One incident was involving the Thunderbirds in Colorado at the Air Force Academy commencement, the President later diverted his trip after his speech at the Academy to meet with the pilot who survived. 

 

The second was a Blue Angels plane that crashed during training in Tennessee. It is believed that the pilot did not survive. 

 

God be with them and their families. 

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The odds of this happening are very low, especially like you mentioned on the same day.

 

I heard about the Thunderbird crash earlier but was not aware of the Blue Angles crash. I went to flightaware and read the story. Unfortunately the Navy pilot is confirmed dead but a name has not been released yet until next of kin have been notified.

 

I just saw the Blue Angles a few weeks ago when they were in Ft. Worth and watched the practices on both Thursday and Friday. I was admiring their flying skills and was thinking how fortunate that they have not had any fatal accidents in a while. I never would have guessed that only a few weeks later one of the pilots would lose his life in practice.

 

POST EDIT:

 

Just saw that the name has been released and the pilot coinsidentally was a Colorado native.

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Sad news indeed.  I know in 2013 all of the Blue Angels flights were cancelled due to no budget for training and shows.  Defense Department is always cutting back and things like this are usually the first on the chopping block.  Don't know what happened in subsequent years but I'm sure their budgets were cut back considerably for both groups.  

 

Glad the Thunderbird pilot survived but certainly sad to know the Blue Angels pilot did not make it.  May he rest in peace.

 

Best regards, 

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I was looking forward to seeing the Blue Angels at the Dayton Airshow in two weeks, now just don't know what will happen. I hope the budget cuts did 't have anything to do with this.

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I was looking forward to seeing the Blue Angels at the Dayton Airshow in two weeks, now just don't know what will happen. I hope the budget cuts did 't have anything to do with this.

 

I doubt they did, just an unfortunate accident. But we will have to see what the causes are in the final reports. 

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The pilot who died was a Marine Captain who stayed with the bird to keep it from hitting an apartment complex.  Semper Fi..."in the finest traditions of the Naval Service".

 

Jeff Callender 

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https://theaviationist.com/2016/06/08/this-new-video-allegedly-shows-blue-angel-6-crashing-in-smyrna-tennessee/

 

New video of the crash. Looks like it might be engine failure. You can see puffs of black smoke coming out just about when the plane descends below the treeline.

 

Looks like a blackout. Straight dive down after the maneuver, then an attempted recovery at the end. Very sad indeed. 

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Looks like a blackout. Straight dive down after the maneuver, then an attempted recovery at the end. Very sad indeed.

 

What do you mean? I plainly just pointed out that you can see there is black smoke puffing out of the engine in this video. A clear sign that at least one engine had failed. And the aircraft hit in a small patch of clear space between all the houses. Chances are you can't dive into the middle of a neighborhood and do that while unconscious.

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What do you mean? I plainly just pointed out that you can see there is black smoke puffing out of the engine in this video. A clear sign that at least one engine had failed. And the aircraft hit in a small patch of clear space between all the houses. Chances are you can't dive into the middle of a neighborhood and do that while unconscious.

 

A engine failure doesnt cause a plane to just fall out of the sky. The reason that it looks like a blackout, is because you see all of the factors and effects of one. Pilot pulls high-g turn into a climb, plane then begins a dive, at an unsafe altitude plane suddenly attempts recovery, crash. That has all the indications of G-Loc. According to the Blue Angels, he was supposed to complete a Split-S reversal, which it didnt appear happened. I dont want to speculate much, just pointing out the events. 

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A engine failure doesnt cause a plane to just fall out of the sky. The reason that it looks like a blackout, is because you see all of the factors and effects of one. Pilot pulls high-g turn into a climb, plane then begins a dive, at an unsafe altitude plane suddenly attempts recovery, crash. That has all the indications of G-Loc. According to the Blue Angels, he was supposed to complete a Split-S reversal, which it didnt appear happened. I dont want to speculate much, just pointing out the events.

 

You're making all sorts of assumptions that are neither valid nor do they agree with what is recorded on video in your speculations. An engine failure certainly can make an aircraft fall out of the sky, especially if the aircraft is a high performance jet that will otherwise fly like a brick without thrust and most certainly if that jet is going straight up when the failure occurs. The vertical climb looked normal and straight, indicating that the pilot was perfectly conscious and in control, instead of having g-loc'd from the pitch up as you suppose. Neither was the pitch up a risk for g-loc as it was short in duration, and should not be very high g as it was actually initiated from only 270kts, as spectacular as it looks.

 

But more significantly, you are completely ignoring the fact that there are visible signs of engine failure caught on this video. Look closely again, on a screen larger than that of your phone, at time 46s, where the jet comes into focus, you will see that it is emitting puffs of black smoke. From that point until it disappears behind the treeline, there are three puffs of black smoke visible. That is a clear sign of an engine failure. Of course he could not complete the split-s in that condition. Losing the engine while climbing vertically from the runway as he was, he would have neither the altitude nor airspeed to complete the maneuver without intersecting the ground. The only thing he could do when he lost the engine was to pull the nose through back down so that the plane does not totally depart, as he did. Once headed down, you can see him make a correction to aim the jet. If he had attempted to revover from it the way the t-bird did at mountain home, he would haved smeared the plane across several blocks of residential houses. If you looked at photos of the wreckage, it all sat within the size of a pool, between houses. That took conscious effort, and not the hallmark off a hazy pilot expetiencing g-loc. Once the plane was pointed down, in that mechanical condition, airspeed and altitude, the only instinctive thing he could do was put the vv away from a roof and onto an open spot.

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You're making all sorts of assumptions that are neither valid nor do they agree with what is recorded on video in your speculations. An engine failure certainly can make an aircraft fall out of the sky, especially if the aircraft is a high performance jet that will otherwise fly like a brick without thrust and most certainly if that jet is going straight up when the failure occurs. The vertical climb looked normal and straight, indicating that the pilot was perfectly conscious and in control, instead of having g-loc'd from the pitch up as you suppose. Neither was the pitch up a risk for g-loc as it was short in duration, and should not be very high g as it was actually initiated from only 270kts, as spectacular as it looks.

 

But more significantly, you are completely ignoring the fact that there are visible signs of engine failure caught on this video. Look closely again, on a screen larger than that of your phone, at time 46s, where the jet comes into focus, you will see that it is emitting puffs of black smoke. From that point until it disappears behind the treeline, there are three puffs of black smoke visible. That is a clear sign of an engine failure. Of course he could not complete the split-s in that condition. Losing the engine while climbing vertically from the runway as he was, he would have neither the altitude nor airspeed to complete the maneuver without intersecting the ground. The only thing he could do when he lost the engine was to pull the nose through back down so that the plane does not totally depart, as he did. Once headed down, you can see him make a correction to aim the jet. If he had attempted to revover from it the way the t-bird did at mountain home, he would haved smeared the plane across several blocks of residential houses. If you looked at photos of the wreckage, it all sat within the size of a pool, between houses. That took conscious effort, and not the hallmark off a hazy pilot expetiencing g-loc. Once the plane was pointed down, in that mechanical condition, airspeed and altitude, the only instinctive thing he could do was put the vv away from a roof and onto an open spot.

 

I'm not here to speculatively debate the cause of someones demise until an official statement is out. If you wish to do so, I am sure there are other forums out there with lots of lively discussion for you. 

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Given that they are chosen because of their ability to withstand hi-g maneuvers and then trained in hi-g maneuvers without hi-g flight gear and perform without hi-g flight gear, I think it is unlikely the pilot suffered a blackout.  While anything is possible, I would think it is very low probability.

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Definitely very sad.  I have grown up watching the t-birds and angels since the 80's when I was a kid.  As I said on facebook, this is the price that sometimes must be paid for those who push it to the edge and bring us the wonderful sights and sounds we all enjoy, not to mention the skills that defend our country via air power! 

I read the day after that Captain Kruss stayed with his f-18 until he was clear of civilian population, avoiding bail out the moment he realized his bird was finished.  I dont know know to what extent that is true but I wholeheartedly believe that he would do that if that was the case. 

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What are the odds?

 

Well, the Russian Knights jet demonstration team suffered a fatal crash today outside Moscow and the Patrouille Suisse jet demonstration suffered a non-fatal mid-air collision today in the Netherlands.... one week to the day after the two American teams had their incidents.

 

Amazing. The Snowbirds and Red Arrows should stand down for a week to simply avoid whatever bad karma is out there right now.

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I'm not here to speculatively debate the cause of someones demise until an official statement is out. If you wish to do so, I am sure there are other forums out there with lots of lively discussion for you.

 

I only posted the new video and pointed out the visible signs of engine failure it showed. To me, it is clear from the video that it was not g-loc, and that no one was hurt on the ground through purposeful action of the pilot, and not just dumb luck as implied by the insistence that the crash was somehow g-loc related. By arguing that it was g-loc, or pilot error, in the face of clear visible evidence of mechanical failure, it dishonors somebody who sacrificed himself to ensure no one else got hurt in the crash.

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