Investigators Find Vital Clue in Blue Angels Crash Investigation - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/24/07

Investigators Find Vital Clue in Blue Angels Crash Investigation

Stunned spectators at air show Stunned spectators at air show

Investigators say they have recovered the "black box" from the Blue Angels jet that crashed at the Beaufort Air Show on Saturday. A piece that may play a vital role in solving the mystery around the crash.

When Lt Commander Kevin Davis's jet went down, pieces of his blue angel jet scattered throughout the area of Shanklin and Pine Grove Roads.

The clean up process is a long and pain-staking one...

"First we want to find out what happened, and second we want to make recommendations to make sure it doesn't happen again," said the Senior member of the Aircraft Mishap Board, Capt Russ Bartlett.

Captain Bartlett is in charge of the group handling the investigation and tells us they got a big break in yesterday. They found the jet's black box.

"That was a huge step, we found it in a pond, it is in good shape and we sent it away last night for recovery analysis," said Bartlett. "It tells you everything, it tells you all the parameters of the aircraft, if everything was working properly, assistance checks, it tells us about the engine output, control input, everything we need to know about what was going on with the aircraft, we'll be able to find it there."

Another place investigators are looking for answers, armature video and photos, from the air show... they say it could help them put all the pieces together.

"We're working for everything and everything at this point," said Bartlett. "We're not ruling out anything. Our job at this point is to examine and brainstorm every possible option, every possible malfunction and if we have video that might help us identify or eliminate things we thought might be possibilities originally.

It will still be a few days before all the debris is collected and shipped to Pensacola, the home of the Blue Angels. In the meantime, this neighborhood is waiting for the roads to open back up so people here can begin their rebuilding process.

If you have any video or photos that could help, please call the Air Station's Command at 843-228-7121. They're specifically looking for anything that show Blue Angel #6 rejoining the formation prior to and during the mishap.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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