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Navy Air Show Nearly Grounded

May 21, 1998

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) _ A prominent lawyer’s plans for a lawn party nearly grounded the Navy Blue Angels’ annual air show at the U.S. Naval Academy.

The stunt team and its six F/A-18 jets did manage to perform on Wednesday _ about 30 minutes late _ but it took days of wrangling between the Federal Aviation Administration, the Navy, the academy and lawyer Brendan Sullivan, according to today’s Baltimore Sun.

The problem arose over Sullivan’s plans to hold a party on the lawn of his house, which is across from the academy. The lawn area is inside the restricted air space for the show, and the FAA refused to allow the stunts if Sullivan, who once defended Oliver North, held the party.

Less than half-hour before the 2 p.m. show, Sullivan agreed to move his party from the lawn to his porch.

Academy Superintendent Adm. Charles R. Larson called FAA Administrator Jane Garvey to ask her approval, but she said the move wasn’t enough, according to the Sun, which quoted sources familiar with the dispute.

It was only after Sullivan moved his guests down the street that the jets screeched over the Chesapeake Bay.

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