The Navy's Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds experienced crashes in two separate air show incidents in Tennessee and Colorado on Thursday. One of the pilots was killed.
Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss was killed when his jet crashed at 3:01 p.m. at the Smyrna Airport in Tennessee, The Associated Press
confirmed from a source.
said Kuss was a member of the Blue Angels and he his colleagues were in the air practicing for this weekend's Great Tennessee Air Show.
A Navy statement
said his jet was taking off to start an afternoon practice when the accident happened about two miles from the runway.
"The other five Blue Angel jets were not involved in the incident and landed safely moments later," the Navy said. "The Blue Angels will not participate in the air show this weekend."
The crash remained under investigation.
The Tennessean said Kuss had served in Afghanistan before joining the Blue Angels. He graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2006 and had flown more than 1,400 hours before joining the flying team.
In Colorado Springs, an F-16 fighter jet with the Air Force Thunderbirds crashed after completing an air show over Air Force Academy's graduation, reported the Colorado Springs Gazette
Maj. Alex Turner ejected safely about 1:15 p.m. and the jet ended up intact without a fire in a field south of Colorado Springs, said the Gazette.
An Air Force Academy source told the Gazette that Turner's jet appeared to have had engine failure. Jeff Bohn, a Peterson Air Force Base spokesman, said Turner was on approach to the Colorado Springs Airport when the air base received a report about the crash.
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