Blue An­gels back in the air; crit­ics fired up

San Francisco Chronicle - - BAY AREA - By Emily Green Emily Green is a San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle staff writer. Email: egreen@sfchron­i­cle.com Twit­ter: @emi­lyt­green

The Blue An­gels have re­sumed per­for­mances, three weeks af­ter one of the team’s pi­lots was killed while prac­tic­ing for a show in Ten­nessee, and plan to par­tic­i­pate in San Fran­cisco’s Fleet Week in Oc­to­ber.

The U.S. Navy’s ae­rial stunt team sus­pended three week­end per­for­mances af­ter the June 2 crash at the Smyrna, Tenn., air­port out­side Nashville. The pi­lot, Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, was killed. No one on the ground was hurt.

The crash re­newed crit­i­cism of the Blue An­gels and Fleet Week by some San Fran­cisco su­per­vi­sors, be­cause of safety con­cerns and ide­o­log­i­cal op­po­si­tion to cel­e­brat­ing mil­i­tary force.

While the investigation of the crash is on­go­ing, a Navy spokes­woman said Mon­day, the Blue An­gels will re­turn to their reg­u­lar 2016 per­for­mance sched­ule, start­ing with a July 2-4 show in Tra­verse City, Mich.

“The team is proud to re­sume the Blue An­gels mis­sion, rep­re­sent­ing the pride and pro­fes­sion­al­ism of the Navy and Marine Corps, and in­spir­ing a cul­ture of ex­cel­lence,” said Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi, com­mand­ing of­fi­cer and flight leader, in a state­ment.

San Fran­cisco Su­per­vi­sor John Ava­los said he would in­tro­duce a non­bind­ing res­o­lu­tion by Au­gust lim­it­ing the team of six F/A-18 fighter jets from fly­ing over the city dur­ing its Fleet Week prac­tices and air shows. He said he wor­ried about the ae­rial stunt team crash­ing and hit­ting a build­ing in the city. The fighter jets could still per­form over the bay.

There have been pre­vi­ous at­tempts to ban the Blue An­gels from fly­ing over the city. In 2007, then-Su­per­vi­sor Chris Daly un­suc­cess­fully pushed for a sim­i­lar res­o­lu­tion af­ter a fa­tal Blue An­gels crash at an air show in South Carolina. The res­o­lu­tion failed to make it out of com­mit­tee.

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