Air Force jet crashes after commencement flyby, Obama in attendance

A Thunderbird went down in a grassy area in southern Colorado Springs Thursday afternoon. / Ed Wrany

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KXRM) — An Air Force Thunderbird plane has gone down in southern Colorado Springs.

The F-16 plane, jet #6, came down in a grassy area just east of Powers Boulevard near Fontaine Boulevard around 1 p.m. That’s about five nautical miles south of Peterson Air Force Base.

Jeff Bohn with the Air Force public affairs office said the pilot ejected south of the crash location. The incident happened immediately after the Air Force Academy show, as the planes were making their final approach to the airport.

The pilot ejected safely, and is undergoing a medical evaluation as a precaution.

No one on the ground was hurt, and there is no hazard to the public.

The Air Force is not releasing the pilot’s name until the family can be notified of the crash.

Powers Boulevard is closed between Fontaine Boulevard and Bradley Road. Hazardous materials mitigation crews from Peterson are on the scene.

The Thunderbirds had just finished a performance at the Air Force Academy’s graduation ceremony. President Barack Obama, who was the commencement speaker at the ceremony, met with the pilot after the crash and thanked him for his service, according to the Thunderbirds’ commander.

Briefly after this crash, a U.S. Navy Blue Angels jet crashed behind a Tennessee bowling alley while practicing for an air show.

A Thunderbird crashed in a grassy area in southern Colorado Springs Thursday afternoon. / Justin Haugen
A Thunderbird crashed in a grassy area in southern Colorado Springs Thursday afternoon. / Justin Haugen

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s