Colorado Highway Named In Honor Of Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, Blue Angel #6

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Colorado Highway Renamed Jeff Kuss Memorial Highway
Courtesy: CDOT/Navy

A new sign now stands as an honor to fallen Blue Angel #6. Colorado Highway 3 just outside of Durango has been renamed as the Capt. Jeff Kuss Memorial Highway in honor of the Marine pilot. The announcement comes nearly a year after the tragic accident in Smyrna, TN in which Kuss lost his life.

The resolution, brought forward by Rep. Barbara McLachlan who represents the district of Durango where Kuss resided, was formally read before the chambers of the Legislature of Colorado and passed in both the House and Senate with all members joining as co-sponsors. McLachlan said that she sees the resolution as “a tribute to Kuss, his family, and veterans across the state.”

Five members of Kuss’ family who live in Colorado were present in the House of Legislature for the announcement of the resolution.

The town of Smyrna, TN, where the accident occurred is also working to honor Kuss by building a memorial. They have raised half of the expected $1 million cost of the memorial but help is needed to complete the project. Click here for more information on how you can help.

US Navy F/A-18 Hornet Teams Fill In For Blue Angels, Honor Fallen Pilot

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US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet

When the US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet demonstration teams perform in place of the Blue Angels over the next two weekends, their performances will be dedicated to the memory of Capt. Jeff Kuss, the Blue Angel pilot who was killed in a crash last week.

The teams from VFA-106 and VFA-122 were tasked to fill in for the Blues when the team officially canceled its performances in Syracuse, NY and Dayton, OH over the next two weekends. The VFA-106 team will perform in Syracuse on June 11-12, and the VFA-122 team will perform in Dayton on June 18-19. The VFA-106 Super Hornet and Legacy Hornet aircraft, which was already scheduled to perform in Rhode Island this weekend, will even sport special ‘6’ decals to honor Capt Kuss, who flew as Blue Angel 6. Photos from the US Navy Tac Demo Facebook Page.

US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet With Blue Angel 6 DecalUS Navy F/A-18C Hornet With Blue Angel 6 Decal

The addition of the Super Hornet demonstrations will help bolster the lineups of the shows and maintain the Navy’s presence at them. Each show has added other acts to their lineup since the cancellation as well. No announcements have been made as to future Blue Angel shows that may be impacted by their stand down, or possible appearances by the Hornet and Super Hornets to fill in for them.

Blue Angels To Stand Down Following Crash, But The Great Tennessee Airshow Will Be Held

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US Navy Blue Angel - Great Tennessee Airshow 2016

The 2016 Great Tennessee Airshow in Smyrna, TN will go on this weekend as scheduled following yesterday’s fatal Blue Angel crash during practice. The Blue Angels will obviously not be performing as they mourn their teammate and observe a safety stand down to investigate the incident.

Airshows are massive investments and canceling at the last minute would likely ruin the show organization permanently. Organizers say they consulted with the Blue Angels and other performers before making the decision. The show will still feature the USAF F-22 Raptor and the Breitling Jet Team, along with other performers. The full statement from the airshow is below.

The Blue Angels will likely take a period of time off from performing in order to process the loss and investigate what happened. After the last fatal Blue Angels crash in 2007, which claimed the life of Lieutenant Commander Kevin “Kojak” Davis, the team took several weeks off from shows to regroup.

They recalled a former pilot to rejoin the team, and practiced extensively in order to get him up to speed. In the mean time, they performed a five-ship routine at airshows. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, we anticipate they will likely follow the same course of action this year.

Full statement from The Great Tennessee Airshow:

Smyrna, Tenn. (June 2, 2016) — The Great Tennessee Air Show will proceed as scheduled on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5.

“Our hearts are deeply saddened by today’s tragic and devastating accident,” said John Black, Executive Director of the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport. “Show management has discussed the relative advantages and disadvantages of continuing the show. After close consultation with the Blue Angels, regulatory officials and the performers, we have made the decision to carry on with this weekend’s show.”

Due to today’s incident, the Blue Angels will not be performing this weekend.