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18th Jan 1982


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Worst accident in U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Demonstration Team history, when four T-38As crashed during pre-season training at Indian Springs, Nevada. While practicing the 4 plane line abreast loop, the formation impacted the ground at high speed, instantly killing all four pilots: Major Norm Lowry, leader, Captain Willie Mays, Captain Pete Peterson and Captain Mark Melancon. The cause of the crash was officially listed by the USAF as the result of a mechanical problem with the #1 aircraft's control stick actuator. During formation flight, the wing and slot pilots visually cue off of the #1 lead aircraft, completely disregarding their positions in relation to the ground.


Edited by antarmike
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23 January 1990 - These guys are luckier..


Mid-air collision between two Blue Angels F/A-18 aircraft during a practice session at El Centro. One airplane, Angel Number 2, BuNo 161524, piloted by Capt. Chase Moseley (ejected) was destroyed and the other, Angel Number 1, badly damaged but managed to land safely. Both pilots survived unharmed.[

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