The Navy reported that two of their Blue Angel F-18 aircraft made contact with each other in the skies over Pensacola Beach, Florida last week during a demonstration flight with the Air Force Thunderbirds. No one was hurt and both aircraft landed safely only suffering minor damage. The F-18s have been repaired and returned to active flight status.
The incident happened while the jets were flying in the Delta formation, according to Lt. Joe Hontz, spokesman for the Blue Angels.
“Two of the jets in the Blue Angel Delta formation encountered unexpected wake turbulence,” Hontz said, “causing a very brief and minor contact between the aircraft.”
“It is a testament to the training of the pilots that this incident remained very benign,” Hontz said. “The Blue Angels train in an environment where they fly extremely close — inches away from one another — and are fully prepared to respond and recover should minor contact occur.” – Navy Times
Both pilots involved in the incident have been cleared to resume normal flight operations and are back performing with the team.
So who out there in Fighter Sweep land knows where the term “Swap Paint” comes from? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image of the U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron, Blue Angels, performing a diamond formation maneuver over Naval Air Facility El Centro during a practice flight by US Navy