Thunderbird #6, Major Alex Turner, is in good condition after ejecting from his F-16 today while preparing to land at Peterson AFB in Colorado. The Thunderbirds were returning after their flyover of the United States Air Force Academy graduation ceremony, which was attended by President Barack Obama. The aircraft came to rest in a field, nearly intact, after Major Turner ejected. Some have speculated that the engine may have failed, but the official cause is under investigation. Once the pilot was recovered and flown to the base, President Obama met with him shortly to express relief for his safety.
The team will observe a safety stand down following the incident, preventing performances for an undetermined period of time. This is standard protocol after a serious mishap.
We are extremely happy that Major Turner is uninjured, and hope he and the team can return to the skies soon.
Note that this is a separate and unrelated incident from the crash that claimed the life of Blue Angel #6 just moments later in Smyrna, TN.
Several images showing the aircraft wreckage were posted online following the crash:
— CBSDenver (@CBSDenver) June 2, 2016
The pilot in the Thunderbird jet crash is okay! Air Force confirms he ejected safely and is walking around unhurt. pic.twitter.com/kU4azpkaBN
— 9NEWS Denver (@9NEWS) June 2, 2016
Our original post in the incident can be found here.