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Blue Angel down in Smyrna TN,

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posted on Sep, 15 2016 @ 09:25 PM
Pilot error. He went into the climb and split S too fast, and began the maneuver at the top of the climb too low.

posted on Sep, 15 2016 @ 09:32 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

I was sitting on Pensacola Beach on Labor Day at sunset when they did an unexpected fly by. I couldn't help but think of Kuss and his family.

posted on Sep, 15 2016 @ 09:34 PM
a reply to: Doodle19815

I'm still reading the accident report, but something wasn't right with him. He made a lot of mistakes that he shouldn't have made.

posted on Sep, 15 2016 @ 09:40 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

That is weird. These guys get put through a pretty strong vetting period, yes? Seems like if something was off before hand someone would/should have caught it.

posted on Sep, 15 2016 @ 09:47 PM
a reply to: Doodle19815

They said fatigue may have played a role, but he violated multiple SOPs, both before takeoff, and during the flight.

posted on Sep, 15 2016 @ 11:58 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

Is it public yet?

posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 12:01 AM
a reply to: Bfirez

Yes. It went public this evening. I'll probably quote the relevant portions in the morning.
edit on 9/16/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 11:41 AM
From the report:

6. The mishap aircraft ADB contained an Aircraft acceptance "A"
sheet (CNAF 4790/141) that was not signed by Capt Kuss for the mishap
flight. [encl (6)]

31. Capt Kuss had two flight logbooks, but only the second logbook
was provided to the command investigator. This limited the ability to
accurately break out Capt Kuss’ flight time by aircraft type. [encls
(7) and (8)]
32. Capt Kuss’ second logbook was incomplete. The last flight logged
was 8 May 2016. Optimized Organizational Maintenance Activity (OOMA)
data was used to fill in the missing flight time for the purposes of
this investigation. [encls (7) and (8)]

40. The Naval Aviation Logistics Command Management Information
System (NALCOMIS) Aircrew Equipment Report shows that the torso
harness worn by Capt Kuss during the mishap flight expired on 30 Sep
2015, but internal Blue Angel tracking sheets show it expiring on 30
Sep 2017. [encl (10)]

64. The observed weather for Smyrna Airport at 1456 local, four
minutes before scheduled takeoff, was scattered clouds at 3000 feet
and no ceiling. [encl (34)]
65. At 1500 Central Daylight Time, 2 June 2016, the sun altitude and
azimuth was 57.6° altitude and 254.5° azimuth. [encl (35)]
66. The Avian Hazard Advisory System (AHAS) forecasted a moderate
bird risk for Nashville International Airport (the closest airfield
with an AHAS forecast) for 1500 local time, 2 June 2016. [encl (36)]

81. As the Diamond prepared to depart Runway 32, Blue Angel 6 queried
Blue Angel 5 via their designated and separate Solo radio channel
about the clouds at the departure end of their departure runway,
Runway 14. [encls (42), (60), and (65)]
82. On the Solo channel, Blue Angel 6 asked Blue Angel 5 about doing
the High Performance Climb (HPC) and whether it was possible with the
clouds near the projected flight path. [encls (42), (60), and (65)]

83. On the Solo channel, Blue Angel 5 told Blue Angel 6 that he
thought Blue Angel 6 could successfully make the maneuver. [encls
(42), (60), and (65)]

88. Blue Angels 1, 5 and 6 were given preassigned radar squawk codes.
[encls (39) through (41), (60) and (65)]
89. Smyrna Airport does not have its own Air Traffic Control (ATC)
radar so the Nashville ATC radar provides coverage of the area.
[encls (39) through (41, (54) and (55)]
90. According to Nashville ATC personnel, the radar usually picks up
aircraft departing Smyrna Airport at approximately 1000 feet if they
are actively squawking. [encls (39) through (41)]
91. Review of the Nashville ATC radar tapes for 1500 local time, 2
June 2016 shows Blue Angels 1 and 5 squawking, but no squawk for Blue
Angel 6
. [encls (39) through (41)]

The accident portion:

117. After Blue Angel 6 commenced the HPC portion of the Low
Transition/HPC/Split S takeoff maneuver, there are several deviations
from the Blue Angel Solo SOP standards for the maneuver. [encls (13),
(42), (81), (82) and (84)]
118. VADR data shows that Blue Angel 6’s slowest speed was 184 KCAS
just prior to reaching a maximum altitude of 3196 feet AGL on the
barometric altimeter. [encls (81) and (82)]
119. The SOP optimum airspeed is 125 – 135 knots and the SOP minimum
altitude to execute the maneuver is 3500 feet AGL. [encls (13) and
120. Instead of the 180° roll from the HPC to begin the Split S
maneuver that is described in the SOP, Blue Angel 6 executed a 540°
roll to the inverted to begin the Split S. [encls (13), (14), (42),
(43), (81), (82) and (84)]

126. Blue Angel 6 makes the SOP directed “Vertical, Blowers, RadAlt”
call, indicating that he is 90° nose down, has retarded the throttles
from MAX
, and has switched the ALT switch on the HUD Control Panel to
radar altimeter (RDR). [encls (13), (14), (42) and (84)]
127. While Blue Angel 6 is nearly 90° nose down (vertical) at this
point, and makes the “blowers” call, he does not retard the throttles
and the throttles remain at the MAX position until the aircraft
impacts the ground
. [encls (13), (14), (42), (81), (82) and (84)]

posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 12:37 PM
Wow. That's horrible. Not sure what was going on, but so sad and preventable. Let's hope the AMB recommendations prevent this from recurring.

posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 03:47 PM
Wow a 540 degree roll before pulling back on the stick. Didn't disengage his afterburners.

From what you posted Zaph it seems like he hasn't been following SOP for a while. Incomplete logbooks and all.

The maneuver itself with a 540 degree roll to start just seems careless at that altitude.

posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 06:22 PM

originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Doodle19815

They said fatigue may have played a role, but he violated multiple SOPs, both before takeoff, and during the flight.

I just read the report. Definitely pilot error. But something was going on with him. It makes me sad he got into the cockpit that day. I don't want to say he wasn't strong enough, because he obviously was, but I am thinking the culture of the Blue Angels was stronger. He literally died for his job, and it shouldn't have happened. I work in a very high risk industry, and am pretty sensitive to workplace culture.

posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 08:59 PM
Would weather conditions have degraded the flight envelope that day?Shades of the Hunter Crash in the Uk..Is a sad outcome.

posted on Sep, 16 2016 @ 09:12 PM
a reply to: Blackfinger

No. They took weather into account and didn't find any indication that it played a role in the crash.

The accident report recommends that the HPC/Split S be removed from the show.
edit on 9/16/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 25 2017 @ 02:36 PM
An F-18 loaned from the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola arrived in Smyrna today. It will be assembled and sit at the airport until it becomes the center of the Capt Jeff Kuss USMC Memorial that will begin construction this fall. The memorial is scheduled to open next year.

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