Blue Angels Pilot Dies in Crash Outside Nashville

Status of pilot is unknown.

ByABC News
June 2, 2016, 6:20 PM

— -- A pilot with the elite Navy Blue Angels flight team died Thursday after his F/A-18 crashed outside Nashville, Tennessee during takeoff, officials said.

The crash occurred as the Blue Angels were practicing before this weekend's Great Tennessee Air Show in nearby Smyrna. Officials said that it appears that the pilot was not able to eject.

Before the crash, the Blue Angels conducted a flyover of downtown Nashville. The aircraft crashed 2 miles from the edge of the airfield at Smyrna.

The five other Blue Angels aircraft were in the air at the time of the crash and were not involved in the incident; they landed safely, said Commander Jeanette Groeneveld, a spokeswoman for the Naval Air Forces.

The crash occurred just hours after an F-16 belonging to the Air Force's Thunderbirds demonstration team crashed just outside Petersen Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The pilot was able to eject safely in that case.

The Thunderbirds had just participated in a flyover of the Air Force Academy's graduation ceremony, attended by President Barack Obama.

The president later met with the F-16 pilot involved in the crash.