Blue Angel jet crashes outside of Nashville

People are saying it appeared that as the jet was going down, Captain Kuss maneuvered the plane away from homes and saved many lives. The pilot failed to eject.

A Blue Angels pilot who died when his jet crashed in a Tennessee field may have chosen to sacrifice himself to avoid civilian casualties in a nearby community, a local Navy official said.

Elway tweeted a photo with Capt. Jeff Kuss that was taken at Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco.

Jeff Kuss was killed in the crash, the Navy said. Kuss' jet crashed Thursday afternoon while practicing for an air show outside of Nashville, Tennessee.

Officials in Smyrna quickly locked down the airport and one of the other jets was circling around and around, presumably searching for the pilot, said Sawyer, who added that he didn't see the pilot eject or see a parachute.

Also Thursday, a Thunderbirds F-16 crashed outside Colorado Springs, Colorado, but that pilot, Maj.

He had saluted Obama and shaken his hand before taking off to perform at the Air Force Academy graduation.

"Thank you for your understanding that we need this time to grieve this tremendous loss and to work with investigators in determining the cause of this tragic mishap".

Both incidents are under investigation.

Suzie West of Pensacola, district executive for Boy Scouts of America, rode with Kuss as a VIP guest at the Blue Angels' homecoming air show in Pensacola in November.

The teams are pricey, too.

"I feel like crying", said Ortman, a former Navy spouse with two sons on active-duty with the Navy.

Last year, Kuss was the narrator for the Blue Angels show in Corpus Christi.

"The center line for the demonstrations is right here over the bar", owner Mark Rothroc, a 23-year Navy veteran said as he watched the news.

The Blue Angels flew over downtown Nashville just before 10 a.m. Thursday. He said his goal was to inspire all the kids now looking up at him.

Shiva said she did not take a picture of the pilots, so they made her a promise. Kuss also flew during the Smoky Mountain Air Show in Knoxville back in April. Airport officials have said they expect the show, the first at the airport since 2002, to attract 40,000 visitors each day.

"Is it worth the money? I don't know", he said.

The Navy's elite flying team was expected to be the main attraction at the Syracuse airshow, which is scheduled for June 11 and 12.

  • Jo Lloyd