Friday, May 27, 2011

Blue Angels commander steps down after subpar performance -

(CNN) -- The commander of the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels stepped down Friday in the wake of a subpar performance at a Virginia air show this week.

"I performed a maneuver that had an unacceptably low minimum altitude. 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," Cmdr. Dave Koss said in a statement, referring to the Lynchburg, Virginia, Regional Airshow.

He will be replaced by Capt. Greg McWherter, who was the flight demonstration team's previous commander.

Air shows have been in the spotlight recently because of concerns over safety.

A pilot performing stunts in an east Florida air show in March died in a fiery crash when the Russian military plane he was flying in broke formation and fell to the ground.

Also in March, engine trouble at an air show in Texas caused a plane to plummet, leaving a white trail behind as it dove toward a wooded area. The two stunt pilots onboard survived.

The Blue Angels have canceled performances at the Rockford, Illinois, Airfest June 4-5 and the Evansville, Indiana, Freedom Festival Air Show June 11-12 because of the shakeup in leadership.

Blue Angels commander steps down after subpar performance -
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