Two pilots make crash landings in separate aircraft incidents

COLORADO & TENNESSEE (KUSI) — Two military aircrafts crash landed in separate incidents Thursday. One pilot was killed during the crash in Tennessee and the other pilot safely ejected his aircraft in Colorado.

In Smyrna, Tennessee, Capt Jeff Kuss was killed while flying a U.S. Navy Blue Angels F/A-18 during practices for an upcoming air show.

According to KIRO 7, the jet crashed near a plantation home.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation, but Capt. Kuss’s family confirmed his death. 

Just hours before in Colorado Springs, Pilot Maj. Alex Turner was flying an Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 along with other Thunderbirds at a U.S. Air Force Academy commencement ceremony attended by President Barack Obama, according to CNN.

Lt. Col. Christopher Hammond, commander of the Air Force’s Thunderbirds demonstration team, said Turner experienced an "unspecified problem" as he was trying to land so he ejected from the aircraft.

"He had already put his gear down, and that’s when the incident occurred," Hammond said, adding that Turner radioed that he was maneuvering so he wouldn’t hit any houses. "He made a conscious effort to direct his aircraft away from some of the local neighborhoods."

The cause of the incident is still under investigation, but no injuries were reported.

President Obama later met with the pilot when he visited the air force base.

"The President thanked the pilot for his service to the country and expressed his relief that the pilot was not seriously injured. The President also thanked the first responders who acted quickly to tend to the pilot," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

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