Blue Angel 6 Killed In Crash During Smyrna, TN Practice

posted in: Jet Teams | 67
Captain Jeff Kuss - Blue Angel 6
Captain Jeff Kuss climbs skyward in Blue Angel 6 just weeks ago.
Taken at the 2016 Spirit of St Louis Airshow and STEM Expo, presented by Boeing

We are sad to report that Captain Jeff Kuss, Blue Angel 6, has been killed in a crash today at the Great Tennessee Airshow in Smyrna, TN. He was performing as part of a practice routine for this weekend’s airshow. Eyewitness accounts say the aircraft impacted the ground at a nearby golf course while attempting a Split-S maneuver after takeoff, as is normal for #6. A large fireball and smoke cloud were seen, and rescue personnel responded. The other Blue Angels landed safely.

Captain Jeff Kuss - Blue Angel 6

According to his bio on the Blue Angels website, Kuss was a native of Durango, CO and was commissioned as an officer in the Marine Corps in 2006. He joined the Blue Angels in 2014 and served as the team’s narrator during the 2015 season before transitioning to Opposing Solo for the 2016 season.

Please note that this incident is unrelated to the USAF Thunderbirds incident in Colorado today.

Our thoughts are with Capt. Kuss’ family, friends, and shipmates during this horrible time.

UPDATE: One of our photographers gathered this footage of various tributes to Captain Kuss in the days following the crash.

67 Responses

  1. Stanley Rzad

    RIP Captain. We enjoyed meeting you and seeing the Blue Angels perform in Key West in April 2016.

  2. Antonio Fdez.de la Vega Ortiz.

    DESCANSA EN LA PAZ DEL SEÑOR, COMPAÑERO. Un piloto de reactores, como tu, que desea tengas un puesto en la formación de Angeles del Señor.

  3. The Taylors

    So very sorry to hear this. What a special man he was to be a Blue Angel. Prayers for his family and the entire Blue Angel family.

  4. Reid Grossman

    Bless you Captain for your service to our country. Prayers for comfort for your family and fellow warriors.

  5. Northwest Floridian

    What a tragedy. Sorry for this accident, it seems the good die young. Now he will be a real spiritual angel, God needed another one .

  6. Dan Downs

    RIP sir, thank you for your service. God bless your family and colleagues. You will be sorely missed..

  7. The Hidlebaugh Family

    Thoughts and prayers for the Kuss Family and the Blue Angels Family.
    R.I.P. Captain Kuss, Blue Angel 6

  8. So Sad. Prayers for the family and the Blue Angels team. My daughter was going to see them this weekend.

  9. the schenk family

    A Angel has fallen,a Angel has his wings.R.i.p sir

  10. Jim Booterbaugh

    Love watching the Blue Angels perform. I had the opportunity to do some photos for them at Willow Grove NAS. Pa in 1972 RIP Captain Kuss!

  11. David Mix

    Captain Kuss, thank you for your service and may you rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers for your family and fellow Blue Angels

  12. God Bless you, Jeff. May God surround your family and friends at this very sad time, with his love and comfort. Thank you for your service. RIP. Fly with Angels.

  13. The Montgomerys

    May God comfort you all. We greatly appreciate Captain Kuss’s service and sacrifice he and all his family have made for our country.

  14. Diane Nurroughs

    So sorry. Our thoughts & prayers for his family & the other pilots. You all are hero’s & we thank all of you for your service. We would also like to thank his family for their sacrifice as he served our country.

  15. RIP captain…blue sky our angel…:(

  16. QB Aviator

    If the account is true, sounds eerily similar to the 2003 Thunderbird incident; verticle departure followed by roll and split S.

  17. Jeff was nice enough to pose with me following his performance at an air show in Beaufort, SC in 2015. Saw his picture on FB and just knew he was the same pilot. My heart sank when I found our picture together in my gallery. Godspeed Jeff and thank you for your service to our country.

  18. The Mahaffey's

    May the Lord of all comfort give his family peace at this time of great loss. Thanks to you and all the Blue Angels for all the service to our country and the inspiration for so many thru the years.

  19. Nathaniel Thompson

    To the family and friends of captain Kids, may the LORD strengthen you during this difficult and painful time. May his wings forever blue. Peace.

  20. Nathaniel Thompson

    My “smart phone’ misspelled the captain’s name, sorry.

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