Blue Angels Commander Steps Down After Stunt

The high-flying Blue Angels have been grounded for performing a dangerous stunt during an air show, and now it's cost the crew's commander his job.

The commander has stepped down after a close call last Sunday.

During an air show in Lynchburg, Virginia, four of the six Angels flew below their specified altitude.  All of the Angels landed safely, but were immediately ordered to begin a stand-down to review safety procedures.

Commander Dave Koss voluntarily stepped down from his post as the leader of the elite Navy jet performance team.  "I performed a manuever that had an unacceptably low minimum altitude," the commander said in a statement.  "This manuever, 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."

The Navy has not said how long the team's FA-18 fighter jets were flying at the time of the violation.  The team's commander traditionally flies the number one jet, leading the team in manuevers.

The team canceled all scheduled performances, including yesterday's traditional flyover the Naval Academy.  A former Blue Angels commanding officer, Greg McWherter, will take over command.

This weekend's air show performance in New Jersey has also been canceled.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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