The Navy has abruptly canceled the Blue Angels practice and air show planned for this week. The Blue Angel pilots are in Pensacola, Fla. for extra training after a safety concern at an air show in Virginia over the weekend, said Lt. Katie Kelly, a Navy spokesman.
The incident happened during a lower-than-normal maneuver at the Lynchburg Regional Air Show on Sunday. The Blue Angels were performing a high-elevation version of their show — 8,000 feet in the air.
“There was a deviation from the standard flight parameters during the show,” Kelly said.
The performance was halted and the Navy decided the team needed to head back to Pensacola for training and practice.
Kelly, a member of the Naval Academy’s Class of 2004, said the Blue Angels are disappointed that they can’t do the show in Annapolis this year.
“We definitely understand how important the Blue Angels performance is to not only the midshipmen, but the citizens of Annapolis. We understand, but safety is our priority,” Kelly said.
It’s not known yet how long the Blue Angels team will be in extra training or when they’ll resume their schedule.
The Blue Angels are booked for every weekend through November, so it’s not likely that they’ll be able to do a make-up show in Annapolis.
The Blue Angels are the Navy’s elite aerobatic team. They perform annually during Commissioning Week.
The team was scheduled to have a practice flight over the Severn River on Tuesday followed by the full show on Wednesday and a flyover during the academy’s Commissioning and graduation ceremonies on Friday.
The Blue Angels will not perform in 2012 due to scheduling problems, so the next likely air show over the Severn won’t be until at least 2013.
The 2007 air show was almost canceled because a pilot died during a show in South Carolina, but the show went on.