USAF Thunderbirds, USN Blue Angels Both Suffer Crash

A US Air Force Thunderbird crashed while returning to Peterson AFB in Colorado, following their performance over the graduation ceremony of the US Air Force Academy Class of 2016 — at which President Obama had just spoken.

Photos taken by local news crews indicate the F-16 appears to have slid inauspiciously along the ground — not unlike some other legends of aircraft that “crashed” but eventually flew again because they “crashed” so softly.

thunderbirdThe F-16 pilot, Major Alex Turner, ejected and appeared to be uninjured. He was apparently not confined to a hospital, as with most other pilots who eject. Rather, he met President Obama at Peterson.

At nearly the same time in Tennessee, a Navy Blue Angels airshow practice went wrong when one of their F/A-18 Hornets impacted the ground. The pilot did not eject.

One civilian witness indicated the Hornet appeared to fail to recover from a loop before hitting the ground.

The Navy delayed release of the pilot’s name pending notification of next of kin, but an anonymous “official” made an unauthorized identification of the pilot as Marine Capt Jeff Kuss.¬† That identification was subsequently confirmed.