USAF Thunderbird Ejects From Aircraft After Air Force Academy Flyover

posted in: Jet Teams | 13

USAF Thunderbirds - Opposing Pass

View updated article on this incident: Thunderbird 6 Uninjured After Ejecting Following Air Force Academy Flyover, Team To Observe Safety Stand Down.

One of the USAF Thunderbirds is reportedly uninjured after ejecting today in Colorado. Photos show the aircraft came to rest in a field, largely intact. The team was performing a flyover at the United States Air Force Academy graduation today. We are working on getting more information.

USAF Thunderbird Crash - Air Force Academy
Source: KKTV

13 Responses

  1. BD

    I’m glad to hear the pilot ejected safely. Aircraft looks damaged in the accompanied photo but amazingly intact. I am sure skill and luck had something to do with it. Any crash you walk away from is a good one. Unknown if this was a mechanical failure or some other cause. In light of the sad occurrence where the Navy Blue Angels pilot was killed yesterday, this is remarkable.
    God Speed, Thunderbirds.

    USAF Veteran
    Nellis AFB, NV
    “Home of the Thunderbirds”
    1982 to ’86

  2. Nick Micaletti Brooklyn NY

    I tip my hat to this elite group of airman. Simply amazing skill and knowledge. When I can, I try to see both the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds. Today I saw the brief show of the Thunderbirds and knew something did not go as planned. Glad to hear and see the pilot was fine as he was greeted by the president after ejecting from the failed jet.

    – sign me proud American

  3. Colin

    Pilot gets a new neck tie.

    Almost all the ejection seats around the world, even in some Russian aircraft, are made by one company, Martin-Baker, in England. They invented ejection seats, and are by far the world leaders.

    Anyway, if you eject and live using one of their seats, they send you a special tie. They have mailed out over 6,000 so far.

  4. Leslie

    As it happens, the ejection seat for Thunderbird 6 was manufactured in Colorado Springs, CO.

    Former Safety Manager
    Mojave Flight Repair Station

  5. Robert

    From what I understand both the teams fly some of the oldest airframes in the inventory. Great maintainers do a wonderful job keeping these incidents from happening more often. Prayers for both teams.

  6. Chris

    Glad he’s safe and sound!
    Just a correction for Colin.
    The first ejection seats were designed by Heinkel and SAAB independently. These used compressed air. Bofors from Sweden then developed one using gunpowder cartridges. Only later did Martin Baker develop seats using solid propellants and even later, rockets

  7. Cindy Cindy

    So very sad for the Blue Angel’s pilot, family and crew. It’s tragic. My thoughts and prayers go out to them. My son is one of the crew chiefs for the Thunderbirds. So thankful when he let me know all is OK and ejected pilot is safe and sound.

    A crazy proud USAF Mom ❤️

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