Posted By RichC on April 23, 2007
For someone who grew up fascinated with the Navy and aviation, there was no bigger thrill than to watch the precision flying skills demonstrated by the Navys’ Blue Angels. I’m not sure I can count the number of times I’ve seen them perform, or taken their photos over the years, but I’m always mesmerized by of their meticulously maintained aircraft and extraordinary pilot skill. This weekend marks an accident for the demonstration team … one in which Lt. Kevin J. Davis lost his life. (Kevin introduces himself in this video clip link) Lt. Davis, know as Kojak, was a highly skilled jet-jockey as are all the elite pilots flying as Blue Angels and knew the risk of flying sophisticated planes with little tolerance for error. The reports from Beaufort, South Carolina have been sketchy, but some suggest they notice a flame-out prior to Kevin’s #6 F/A-18A Hornet going down — something that without altitude would make survival almost impossible. Smoke and flame erupted as the plane went into some trees and small homes. To add to the tragic situation, it has been reported that Kevin’s parents were in the stands to watch. My condolences go out to his family and the entire Blue Angels extended family.
Former crewchief A.J. Fratto had this to say about Lt. Davis: “Kojak was the most tremendous pilot I ever met in my entire life,” he said. “He was the most humble and respectable guy to ever don the blue suit.”
Davis joined the Blue Angels in September 2005 and served as narrator during the 66 air shows before becoming a ‘demonstration pilot’ this season. He was quoted at Oshkosh saying, “Hold onto your dreams, yesterday I was only 6 and now I’m doing this. Drive and determination go a long way.”
Davis grew up Pittsfield, Mass. His parents, who were at the air show in Beaufort on Saturday, still live in Massachusetts.
In 1992, Davis graduated from Reading Memorial High School, located in Reading, a nearby Boston suburb with 23,000 residents. He played football and was active in the Civil Air Patrol.
He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1996, earning a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical science with honors.
Later that same year, Davis entered Officer Candidate School at Pensacola Naval Air Station.
He received his F-14 training at Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., where he was “Top Stick” in his class.
In 2004, he graduated from the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) as an adversary pilot. He served in that role at several stations, providing air-to-air training for fleet squadrons.
He supported Operation Enduring Freedom during tours of the North Arabian Sea and the Arabian Gulf.
Davis was not married and did not have children.
See NAVY PDF
For a glimpse of “Kojak” (Lt. Davis) in action, check out his poise as he gives actor James Franco the ride of his life over in a video at AirShowBuzz.com.