Blue Angels navy plane crashes in South Carolina

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Blue Angel F/A-18's in a diamond formation

An F/A-18 Hornet jet belonging to the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels squadron crashed in Beaufort, South Carolina Saturday. The pilot was killed while flying during an air-show at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. The jet crashed into a neighborhood, sending debris scattering. Eight injuries and property damage were also reported.

The crash occurred approximately three miles beyond the air station near Pine Grove and White Pine roads, in Beaufort.

According to a Navy news release, the Blue Angels were performing the final maneuver of their routine when the accident occurred. "It was [the pilot's] second year on the team, and first year as a demonstration pilot." said the Navy. "The other five Blue Angel jets were not involved in the incident."

The cause of the accident is under investigation, but no other jets are said to be involved. In a news conference, Lt. Commander Anthony Walley said "Our squadron, and the entire U.S. Navy, are grieving the loss of a great American, a great naval officer, and most of all, a great friend." The pilot's name has not officially been released, but it is believed to be Lt. Commander Kevin Davis, 32, from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, as local media reports the number 6 jet was the one that crashed.