Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Blue Angels pilot killed in Tennessee crash was Colorado native

Howard Terry | 06 June, 2016, 13:43

The Blue Angels, like the Air Force's Thunderbirds and Army's Golden Knights Parachute Team, are seen as ambassadors for the branch of service they represent.

The jet crashed at 3:01 p.m. after taking off from the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport in Smyrna, Tennessee.

The pilot, who was identified as Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, 32, died in the crash.

He registered more than 1,400 flight hours and 175 carrier-arrested landings, and received flight training at Naval Air Stations in Pensacola and Corpus Christi.

According to the Blue Angels, Capt. Kuss is a native of Durango, Colorado.

It was the second fighter jet crash of the day for the military's elite fighter jet performance teams.

Harry Gill, the town manager in Smyrna just outside Nashville, said Thursday that the Blue Angels pilot was the only casualty and no civilians on the ground were hurt. Not only was he a decorated member of the US military, but Kuss was also friendly, steadfast and determined to inspire the next generation to reach new heights.

Like the rest of America, Northview High School teacher Anna Barry was shocked to learn that Blue Angels pilot Capt. Jeff Kuss died Thursday in a crash in Smyrna, TN. On their almost hour-long ride together, Kuss showed Gerckens the tricks and maneuvers the powerful jet could do.

Two months ago, when the squadron arrived at the Smoky Mountain Air Show in Alcoa, Tennessee, Kuss told a reporter from WATE-TV that he remembered looking up at the Blue Angels as a little boy.

 "Our whole goal is to honor those who have gone before, and unfortunately, we had somebody who paid the full price yesterday, and we all feel that deeply", said Great Tennessee Air Show Performer Michael Kennedy.

"He was a smart guy who worked hard and grew a lot in his time here", said Dr. Stephanie Owings-Edwards.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Blue Angels and their families tonight.




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