Two aircraft from the Navy's Blue Angels demonstration squadron touched mid-flight during a Wednesday practice at Naval Air Station Pensacola, the Pensacola News Journal
The Navy confirmed on Thursday that the canopy of Blue Angel 3, flown by Lt. James Cox, “made momentary contact” with the underside of the outer wing of Blue Angel 1, piloted by Blue Angel commander Capt. Eric Doyle, Navy spokeswoman Lt. Michelle Tucker told the News Journal.
The aircraft were practicing the Diamond 360 maneuver at the time of the incident, Tucker said. Nobody was injured in the incident.
The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, Diamond pilots perform the Diamond 360 over Lake Washington during Seafair Festival 2018
(U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel M. Young)
Doyle called for an immediate safety standdown in the aftermath of the incident, which is standard protocol, Tucker
Although an initial damage assessment the two F/A-18 Super Hornet jets revealed just a “minimal scratch” on the canopy of Blue Angel 3,
according to the News Journal, the two aircraft will not participate in the squadron's upcoming performance at the Chicago Air and Water Show this weekend
“Capt. Doyle is confident in the abilities of his pilots,” Tucker
told Military.com in a statement. “The team trains diligently to operate in the safest possible manner, and they select only the best naval aviators and support personnel to fill their ranks.”