February 2, 2019 – The Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, passed their 2019 Aviation Maintenance Inspection (AMI) conducted Jan. 29 – Feb. 1.
The AMI is an inspection conducted every two years for each squadron in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps to evaluate the effectiveness of the squadron’s maintenance program practices and adherence to Naval Aviation Maintenance Program standards.
Commander, Naval Air Forces Aviation Maintenance Management Team 1 evaluated the Blue Angels on a total of 37 programs and found no critical discrepancies.
After four days of inspections and contingency response drills, the maintenance and support team’s preparation and attention to detail earned the squadron a score of 85.55 percent, more than five percent higher than the fleet average.
“Our success is truly a testament to our commitment to excellence in everything we do,” said Capt. Eric Doyle, Blue Angels commanding officer and flight leader. “Our Sailors and Marines have taken everything they’ve learned in the Fleet, expanded upon that, and applied it to our unique mission. Crushing this inspection re-affirms the Navy’s commitment to safe and reliable air operations.”
During the inspection, individual programs are graded based on their efficiency and effectiveness, and are given a score of “General,” “Significant Admin,” “Major,” or “Critical.” The squadron had no “Critical” hits out of the 37 programs inspected.
“The Blue Angel maintenance department score matches its reputation as being the premier flying unit in the Navy,” said Master Chief Aircraft Maintenanceman Edgar Delacerta, the Aviation Maintenance Management Team’s Maintenance Master Chief. “On top of having zero critical hits, all of the practical evaluations and drills were flawless.”
The Blue Angels maintenance and support team will continue to self-evaluate and critique their performance to ensure a successful 2019 air show season.
“Although the inspection is over that doesn’t mean we can relax our standards,” said Lt. Garrett Hopkins, the Blue Angels’ maintenance officer. “We maintain the highest standards in our maintenance practices year-round, this allows us to execute our mission in a safe and effective manner utilizing the oldest aircraft in the fleet.”
Under the new AMI grading process, which began at the beginning of 2019, the maximum score possible for an inspection is still 100 points. Points are deducted for each discrepancy determined to be critical, major, significant administrative, and general. Points will also be deducted for each unsatisfactory drill or practical exam.
The Blue Angels are scheduled to perform 61 flight demonstrations at 32 locations across the United States and Canada.