A MATTER OF FEET AND A DISTINGUISHED
FLYING CAREER IS OVER - NAVY CMDR DAVE
KOSS VOLUNTARILY STEPS DOWN AFTER
"TOO CLOSE TO THE GROUND" BLUE ANGEL
AERIAL MANEUVER AT VIRGINIA AIR SHOW
OTHER PERFORMANCES CANCELED AS ELITE
FLIERS "STAND DOWN" AT PENSACOLA, FLA
© 2011 MilitaryCorruption.com
There's an old saying: "close, but no cigar." In this case, a distinguished and highly-skilled Navy commander led his flight of Blue Angels into a "too close to the ground" maneuver at Lynchburg, Va. that resulted in the officer "stepping down" and his career - for all intents and purposes - ending.
CMDR Dave Koss had one of the most prestigious commands in the Navy. The top-notch fighter pilot, with 3000 hours in the air, 740 carrier landings, and combat duty in the skies over both Iraq and Afghanistan, made an error of judgment, and now it will cost him the four stripes of a Naval captain.
It was only a matter of a few feet, but as soon as Koss led his pilots in the risky maneuver, he realized he'd cut things "a bit too close." No one was hurt, but safety is paramount in the Blue Angels. There is no room for error. A man with the high degree of honor and integrity that personifies Koss could do nothing else but resign.
ISSUES STATEMENT ADMITTING FAULT
"With deep personal regret, I will be voluntarily leaving the greatest flight demonstration team in the world. . . I performed a maneuver that had an unacceptably low minimum altitude," Koss wrote, in a statement released by the Navy.
"This maneuver, 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."
Right after the risky maneuver, Koss ordered the Angels to fly back to home base at Pensacola, Fla. and "stand down."
The result was cancellation of a number of high visibility air show appearances by the famed flying team. The show to be performed May 24-25 at Annapolis and the Naval Academy on May 27 has been scratched. Likewise, performances at Millville, N.J. on May 28 and 29; Rockford Airfest in Illinois June 4 and 5, and the Evansville, Ind. Freedom Fest Air Show June 11-12, all have been scrubbed.
NAVAL ACADEMY GRAD WILL NEVER WEAR FOUR STRIPES NOW
A 1991 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Koss was considered one of the top pilots in the Navy. Now his dream of promotion to "four striper" (captain) and perhaps even admiral rank, are gone.
The commander has been replaced as leader of the Blue Angels by a former team C.O., Capt. Greg McWherter. He will head up the world-famous fliers for the rest of the air show performance season.
Koss, who once served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, assumed command of the Blue Angels in November 2010. Just six months later, his brilliant career has ended in a very sad way.