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Blue Angel Crash Kills Pilot

A Navy Blue Angle jet crashed in to a residential neighborhood killing the pilot Saturday during an air show in S.C.

The story that ran in the Star Tribune was written by Bruce Smith of the Associated Press. The story reported that crash that killed the pilot of the jet also injured eight other people in the area of the crash. The story reported that the name of the pilot would not be released until his family had been notified of his death but the story did give information regarding the pilot’s history.

A Navy statement said the pilot had been on the team for two years — and it was his first as a demonstration pilot.

The story reported the history and training of the Blue Angels flight group.

The Blue Angels fly F/A-18 Hornets at high speeds in close formations, and their pilots are considered the Navy's elite. They don't wear the traditional G-suits that most jet pilots use to avoid blacking out during maneuvers. The suits inflate around the lower body to keep blood in the brain, but which could cause a pilot to bump the control stick — a potentially deadly move when flying inches from other planes.

I think that the biggest issue with this story is getting the information out about the crash without the pilot’s name. I think that this story could have been much more informative and interesting if Smith was able to report the information about the pilot’s life and career.

A second version of the story ran in the Boston Herald and was written by the Associated Press. This story reported much of the same information and even used many of the same sources. Despite the oddity that surrounds using the same quotes and sources in a story I felt like this story was actually mostly successful in getting information across to the reader. This story reported that the formation that resulted in the crash was extremely difficult and was the final trick of the air show.

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.

This story, however, contradicted the previous version because it said that the pilot’s name was not released for a different reason.

The pilot’s name would not be released until Sunday afternoon, keeping with a policy of waiting 24 hours after the death, Kansteiner said. A Navy statement said the pilot had been on the team for two years - and it was his first as a demonstration pilot.

I felt that both versions were very appropriate with regards to length and did a good job working around not having the pilot’s name. I felt like I learned something event without the name and that was really nice to know. I felt that the similarities were a little odd but overall were acceptable. I would have preferred some more diversity in the coverage but it seems like this is just the nature of the journalistic beast.