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Thunderbird F-16 crashes after Academy graduation; pilot unhurt

A U.S Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 Fighting Falcon jet crash landed June 2 in a field near Colorado Springs, Colorado, following the U.S. Air Force Academy commencement. (Courtesy photo)

A U.S Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 Fighting Falcon crash landed June 2 in a field near Colorado Springs, Colorado, following the U.S. Air Force Academy commencement. (Courtesy photo)

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (AFNS) -- One of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds crash landed June 2 in a field near Colorado Springs, Colorado, following the U.S. Air Force Academy commencement, which was attended by President Barack Obama.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon, the #6 jet in the formation, crashed about 5 nautical miles south of Peterson Air Force Base at approximately 1 p.m., according to a Air Combat Command news release.

The pilot ejected safely and is with medical personnel undergoing evaluation as a precaution, the release said.

“My thoughts are with the pilot, their family and friends and all (of the Thunderbirds personnel),” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James wrote in a tweet. “Glad to hear pilot is safe.”

The Air Force will perform a thorough investigation into the causes of the mishap, and those findings will be released when the investigation is complete.


Video of the Thunderbirds flyover at the U.S. Air Force Academy commencement June 2.

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