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Tennessee Blue Angel Crash Blamed On Pilot Error

September 16, 2016

Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss was killed in a Blue Angel crash on June 2, 2016 in Smyrna, Tennessee. A new report reveals that Kuss was flying too fast and flying too low when he attempted to pull off a “Split S” maneuver. Kuss was piloting Blue Angel Number 6 at the time of the incident. A

We previously reported that Kuss, despite having time to eject from the plane, did not so he could steer it away from an apartment complex nearby. Capt. Kuss is a hero no matter what way you slice it.

Navy report states:

“He transitioned from the high performance climb to the Split S too low and too fast, and by not deselecting his afterburners during the maneuver, he continued to accelerate. The net effect of these deviations was that the aircraft was simply too low and too fast to avoid impacting the ground.”

The report goes on to state that Kuss was not able to take any actions to prevent the crash. He died after waiting too long to eject from the aircraft.

Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss

Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss

See footage of the crash below:

The Blue Angels will not perform the “Split S” at any other their shows for at least one year. At this time it is unclear as to exactly why Kuss attempted such a dangerous move. He was a highly respected and experienced pilot. He joined the Blue Angels in September 2014 and had spent more than 1,400 flight hours honing his skills.

With this new evidence Blue Angels’ flight leader and commanding officer, Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi says that Kuss was one of the finest service members ever to join the Blue Angels. He told reporters:

“[Kuss was] truly one of the absolute finest Americans this country can produce… We lost an aviator that believed so deeply in the Blue Angels’ mission of inspiring others and representing the Navy and Marine Corps, our citizens and our great country,”