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Thread: Do the Blue Angels have a "Hard Deck" (minimum altitude) During public performances?

  1. #1
    Wrongway Feldman's Avatar
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    Do the Blue Angels have a "Hard Deck" (minimum altitude) During public performances?

    Do the Blue Angels have a "Hard Deck" (minimum altitude) During public performances?
    If they do, does this apply to all the maneuvers they perform?
    Or does the "Hard Deck" change depending on the maneuvers they perform?

    The reason I ask is, when the Thunderbirds performed in Oshkosh they seemed to be pretty far up in the sky. (Hard to see)
    The Thursday practices or site orientation seemed a lot more intense and low flying.
    I have good video of a couple Thunderbirds chasing each other on the flight line, very low, fast and loud.
    They were buzzing around like fire fly's.

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    Last edited by Wrongway Feldman; 07-14-2017 at 10:00 PM.

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    I would say yes because I heard from a reliable source - below the hard deck doesn't count.

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    Wrongway Feldman's Avatar
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    What is the hard deck altitude?

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    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    An altitude that they are not allowed to go below during performance.

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    At one time it was the rule or if not an actual FAA regulation, that one should not fly over the crowd as part of an airshow. Stay on the other side of the show line. Then I think procedures changed, but still one should not fly over the crowd below 1000 feet and that is part of an FAR.
    I have seen military jet teams fly over the crowd often, and looks like they are much lower than 1000 ft. The public or us on EAA fourm dont know what their briefing was or what limits they are supposed to operate to. And I doubt if the FAA has any authority over them, no matter where they fly or what altitude or speed, unlike civilian planes.
    When the Italian militry jet team came to Osh they were not allowed to fly over the crowd. That same year in Euriope they did do this and had a mid air collusion and the planes fell into the crowd, killing many people.

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    Sorry for my spelling, that word is supposed to be collision, not collusion, It was a slip of the brain

    Anyway the idea of not flying over the crowd is to of course protect them in the event of an accident, collision or engine failure. If you fly over, but at 1000 ft minimum then you have, in theory a good chance of clearing the crowd if engine faliure occurs, but that is not iron clad as debris could fall off a plane. Rare but possible.
    The standard crowd line or show line for civilian planes doing passes is 500 ft if you are not doing acrobatic and are not high speed, and 1000 ft if you are doing acro on that pass. Im not sure, but I think high speed passes like jets above 300knots are supposed to be on the 1500 ft line.
    Again I doubt it the FAA has any regs over U S military teams.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 07-17-2017 at 01:58 PM.

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    Wrongway Feldman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    Sorry for my spelling, that word is supposed to be collision, not collusion, It was a slip of the brain with all the news these days about Russia collusion with Republicans.
    As for as we know, neither Putin or any of the Trumps had anything to do with the Italian team or U S jet acts.
    Anyway the idea of not flying over the crowd is to of course protect them in the event of an accident, collision or engine failure. If you fly over, but at 1000 ft minimum then you have, in theory a good chance of clearing the crowd if engine faliure occurs, but that is not iron clad as debris could fall off a plane. Rare but possible.
    Subliminal messages are start'n to creep in.

    Thanks for the 1000ft minimum, but me thinks that applies to single jets.
    When they are flying in multiple jet formations, I think that 1000ft minimum altitude rises to 5000 -10,000ft
    Cloud cover or blue sky has to be a factor in how they fly and what is the minimum altitude in the multiple jet formations.

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    When I wrote about 500 ft or 1000ft from the crowd lline, I am talking about a horizontal distance, when doing passes, I m not saying that is the verticle floor.

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    I have tried to edit the post above to correct the spelling from collusion to collision and the edit button is not working. I was facing the sun when I wrote it and my typing is not so good anyway. And I tried to delete all the reference to colliusion, keeping it just about the jet teams, but cant get that to work either.
    And I got interupeted in mid post on this.
    Sorry for the muddy waters. trying to be clear.

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    When I wrote about 500 ft or 1000ft from the crowd lline, I am talking about a horizontal distance, when doing passes, I m not saying that is the verticle floor.

    and I tried to go back to the post above, correct the spelling and delete any reference to collusion, as I dont want it to be taken the wrong way and I want to stick to the topic about the jet teams and I cant get the edit button to work to allow be to delete the above.
    When I wrote it I was looking into the sun and got interuprted in mid post also, never got to edit a final verson of the post.

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