In a world where nobody is perfect, even America’s premiere military aerobatics team make mistakes.
Two F/A-18s with the US Navy Blue Angels touched during a practice session in the skies over their home port of Pensacola, Florida.
According to Blue Angels Spokeswoman Lieutenant Michelle Tucker, the incident took place on Wednesday, when “the #3 canopy made momentary contact with the underside of #1’s outer wing during the Diamond 360 maneuver.”
For those not in the know, the Diamond 360 involves flying in a wingtip-to-canopy diamond formation, while doing a 360-degree maneuver. The aircraft fly mere inches from each other, and planes have touched on occasion.
Unfortunately for Blue #3, Blue #1 just so happens to be piloted by Captain Eric Doyle, the commander of the Blue Angels team. Despite the incident, Lt. Tucker states that Captain Doyle has full faith in his pilots.
According to the Pensacola News Journal, a safety stand down was ordered following the incident, and there were no injuries reported.
The aircraft involved are scheduled to fly in Chicago over the weekend, though the two jets involved in the airborne paint-swap incident will be grounded and swapped out with spares.
In 2016, Captain Jeff Kuss, Blue Angel #6, had a fatal crash (video at top of article) during a practice flight at the Smyrna Airport in Tennessee.
The Blue Angels, along with the USAF Thunderbirds, serve as America’s ambassadors in the air, dazzling crowds around the world.
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