Two Elite Jets Crash in Separate Incidents

Blue Angels pilot dead after crashing F-18 during practice in Tennessee.

Blue Angels
A crash in Smyrna, Tennessee, killed a Blue Angels pilot Thursday afternoon.iStock

A Blue Angels pilot was killed Thursday afternoon when his jet crashed in central Tennessee during practice for an upcoming airshow.

According to the Navy, the pilot involved in the fatal crash was Capt. Jeff Kuss, who had been with the elite flight demonstration squadron since September 2014.

The crash happened soon after the six-pilot team had taken off for practice, about 2 miles from the airport runway in the town of Smyrna. None of the other planes were involved in the incident, and there were no other injuries. The Navy stated it is investigating what caused the crash.

Blue Angels Jeff Kuss
Capt. Jeff Kuss was killed in Thursday's crash.Blue Angels

Smyrna community members held a candlelight vigil Thursday night to honor Kuss, a decorated serviceman and father of two, according to News Channel 5 in Nashville.

The tragic incident was the second crash of a flight demonstration fighter jet Thursday. A few hours earlier, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, another jet crashed moments after performing a flyover at an Air Force Academy graduation ceremony attended by President Barack Obama.

Thunderbirds pilot Maj. Alex Turner ejected to safety, and his F-16 landed upright and intact in an empty field. Obama reportedly met with the uninjured pilot afterward and thanked him for his service.