Blue Angels Pilot Dies in Crash Outside Nashville

Hemera/Thinkstock(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — A pilot with the elite Navy Blue Angels flight team died Thursday after his F/A-18 crashed outside Nashville, Tennessee, officials said.

The crash occurred as the Blue Angels were practicing before this weekend’s Great Tennessee Air Show in nearby Smyrna. Officials said that it appears the pilot was not able to eject.

Before the crash, the Blue Angels conducted a flyover of downtown Nashville. The aircraft crashed two miles from the edge of the airfield at Smyrna.

The five other aircraft belonging to the Blue Angels were in the air at the time of the crash. All landed safely and none was involved in today’s incident said Commander Jeanette Groeneveld, a spokeswoman for the Naval Air Forces.

The crash occurred just hours after an F-16 belonging to the Air Force’s Thunderbirds demonstration team crashed just outside Petersen Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The pilot was able to eject safely in that case.

The Thunderbirds had just participated in a flyover of the Air Force Academy’s graduation ceremony, attended by President Barack Obama.

The president later met with the F-16 pilot involved in the crash.

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