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: April 22, 2007, 11:09:06 AM

BEAUFORT, S.C.  —  A U.S. Navy jet crashed during an air show, plunging into a neighborhood of small homes and trailers and killing the pilot, the county coroner said.

Witnesses said the planes were flying in formation during the show Saturday when one dropped below the trees and crashed, sending up clouds of smoke.

The plane was part of the Blue Angels, a non-combat, flight demonstration squadron that flies at air shows around the country. They fly at high speeds in close formations, and their pilots are considered the Navy's elite.

Raymond Voegeli, a plumber, was backing out of a driveway when the plane ripped through a grove of trees, dousing his truck in flames and debris. He said wreckage hit "plenty of houses and mobile homes."

"It was just a big fireball coming at me," said Voegeli, 37.

County Coroner Curt Copeland said the pilot was killed, but did not release a name. Copeland described the scene as horrific. Eight people on the ground were injured. Several homes were damaged.

The crash took place in the final minutes of the air show, said Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Walley, a Blue Angel pilot. The pilots were doing a maneuver which involved all six planes joining from behind the crowd to form a Delta triangle, said Lt. Cmdr. Garrett D. Kasper, spokesman for the Blue Angels. One plane did not rejoin the formation.


karen anderson

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#1 : April 22, 2007, 11:11:02 AM

Saw video of this on CNN. Wow.
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