Crashing in Formation

The sky was clear last Monday morning as the Air Force's crack flying team soared above the Nevada desert, practicing its stunts, which have caused gasps at aerial shows for nearly 30 years. At exactly 9:55 a.m. the four Thunderbird pilots went into a "line-abreast loop," a maneuver in which they roar along, wingtip to wingtip, about 100 ft. off the ground, zoom up to 2,500 ft., loop backward into a dive at 400 m.p.h., then pull out when they get back to 100 ft. This time they did not pull out. One jet...

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