Farewell to an Angel

Here I am. All set to tell you about my incredible weekend. The great weather, the event I got to host featuring the Indigo Girls, the fundraiser for Greensburg Central Catholic as well as 18 holes of golf at the Uniontown Country Club. I was all set to blog about my big weekend — when tragedy took over.

Above is a picture of Lt Commander Kevin Davis. The Blue Angels pilot killed this weekend when his plane crashed during an air show in South Carolina. No doubt you heard about the tragic crash because it became national news. Rarely does a Blue Angel – one of the best of the best – crash. The reason this story hits home – is because I flew with Kevin last summer.

I was one of the lucky local members of the media to fly with Kevin who served as the narrator of the Blue Angels #7 plane ( the only one with a seat for a passenger ). Last July, I went out to Moon Township to fly with the Angels and that’s where I met Kevin. I was nervous and scared and he immediately calmed my fears. He had a soothing voice and a style that while it made every trip special, it also made this most amazing of flights routine.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Click here to watch the video of Andrew Stockey’s flight with the Blue Angels.)

He showed me western Pennsylvania from a unique perspective: 10,000 feet above. While I marveled at the view, I learned some things about this man who has a job like no other. His code name is “Kojak”, though he wouldn’t tell my why, and he loves the Boston Red Sox. While we were not in the skies for longer than a half-hour, Lt. Commander Davis showed me a side of the world I will likely never see again — and I will never forget.

I learned this morning that he may have also been a hero before crashing. He never ejected from his cockpit seat, perhaps guiding the ill-fated flight away from a more heavily populated. His heroic efforts were successful – no one on the ground was hurt.

You are probably wondering if I lucky in some respect. Lucky that his plane did not go down the day we went up. I’m not. I never felt – for a moment – we would not land safely. That’s the kind of confidence I had in Lt. Commander Davis and that’s the kind of confidence he had in himself. I salute Kevin Davis – a man who died way too soon – but before his death, he briefly gave me a glimpse of life in a much different light.

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