Sunday, April 22, 2007

angels pilot update

Updates below

Story with an interview of a guy who had a close call with the jet. It also includes reaction from a teammate "'Our squadron and the entire U.S. Navy are grieving the loss of a great American, a great Naval officer and a great friend,' [Lt. Cmdr. Anthony] Walley said."

Fox identifies the pilot:
The Navy identified the pilot Sunday afternoon as Lt. Cmdr. Kevin J. Davis, 32, of Pittsfield, Mass.

And gets some of the flying part wrong:
The Blue Angels fly F/A-18 Hornets at high speeds in close formations, and are considered the Navy's elite. They don't wear the traditional G-suits that most jet pilots use to avoid blacking out during maneuvers. The suits inflate around the lower body to keep blood in the brain, but they could cause a pilot to bump the control stick — a potentially deadly move when flying inches from other planes.

Instead, Blue Angels manage G-forces by tensing their abdominal muscles.

Emphasis mine. Sorry guys, we all tense our muscles, even the ones who wear fast pants. And we don't just tense our abs. For those of you who do not know the specifics, pilots who pull many G's have to tense their whole lower body to keep the blood flowing to the brain and eyes. Otherwise the pilot can lose vision, known as "greying out," or totally black out and lose conciousness as gravity pulls the blood to the lower extremities. Of course that would not be a good thing. A G suit helps with G straining (tensing of the muscles) by providing something for the pilot to strain against. Generally, a G-suit will add one G to a pilot's tolerance. So if I can pull 4G's in a relaxed state (that's four times my body weight pressing down on me), and I can pull 7.5Gs just straining my legs, butt and abs, then a G suit will help me get to 8.5G's or better.

From what we are hearing, the whole formation was low to the ground. If they were rejoining, and LCDR Davis was above, it might be hard to see closure and depth with the ground. My old man concurs. Also, if LCDR Davis knew there were homes nearby, he might have been trying to avoid them. I wish there was a pilot's eyewitness story to be found, but I'm sure the Navy is keeping them all under raps for accident and safety investigations, as they should.

The Delta triangle, what the team was setting up for:

Blue Angles website
The team

If anyone has anything to add or correct, please let me know. Again, please keep the Davis family in your prayers.

As Blue Angels spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Garrett D. Kasper said, "We will rebuild." Blue skies brothers.

An Old War Dog is keeping an ear out over at Bill's Bites

The pilot's family may have been present at the show.

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At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Oblivion said...

For the first time since before my daughter was born, my computer desktop wallpaper is not a picture of her, but of one of the Blue Angels F/A-18 going ballistic off the deck as a mini-memorial. Something that struck me was that he graduated high school/college the same years as me. I'm not sure if that makes me feel old or young, but it's a bit odd at any rate.

God bless him and his family.

At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading the information posted here but I must say that the picture is incorrect. The picture showing here belongs to Blue Angel Nathan Miller, not Lt. Cmdr. Kevin J. Davis.


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