Blue Angel Pilot Dies In Crash In Tennessee

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BlueAngelsThe Blue Angels, who recently performed at the Bethpage Airshow  at Jones Beach this past weekend for Memorial day, had a fatal crash in Smyrna, Tennessee. The pilot killed in a Blue Angels jet #6 crash today was identified as Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss.

The pilot of the F/A-18 jet was taking off to start a practice flight when the crash occurred at 3:01 p.m., according to the Naval Air Forces. The crash was approximately 2 miles from the runway.

The military flight demonstration unit was in Smyrna for the Great Tennessee Airshow this weekend June 4 and June 5.

According to the Blue Angels website, Kuss was the pilot of plane No. 6. He was 32 year old and was from Durango, Colo. He graduated from high school in 2002 and Fort Lewis College, a school in Southwestern Colorado with about 3,800 students, with a degree in economics in 2006, the same year he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Having met in person the crew of Fat Albert and a number of the crew of the Blue Angels, my heart goes out to the team. These men are the spirit of our Armed Forces. Charming to speak with and after several interviews with many of the team, I can truly say that we are blessed with a legion of aviators who are dedicated to the safety of our nation. Godspeed.

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Elizabeth Johnson is former editor of Manhasset Press and Manhasset Press Magazine. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community Newspaper" several years in a row.

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