A Navy Blue Angels F-18A Hornet jet crashed during an air show Saturday, plunging into a neighborhood of small homes and trailers and killing the pilot, LCDR Kevin Davis.
Witnesses said the planes were flying in formation during the show at the Marine Corps Air Station at about 4 p.m. and one dropped below the trees and crashed, sending up clouds of smoke.
Raymond Voegeli, a plumber, was backing out of a driveway when the plane ripped through a grove of pine trees, dousing his truck in flames and debris. He said wreckage hit â€œplenty of houses and mobile homes.â€
The Blue Angels were formed in 1946 to promote public interest in naval aviation. Flying F/A-18s painted navy blue, the team performs nationally at air shows, spring through fall, executing highly synchronized aerial acrobatics that bring the fighters within feet of each other at high speed.
Twenty-four Blue Angel pilots have died in accidents, including the one killed Saturday. In 1999, two were killed when an F/A-18 crashed into a stand of pine trees in Georgia as the team practiced for a show.
Profile of killed pilot: http://www.blueangels.navy.mil/off_06.htm