Two fighter jets from the military’s elite performance teams crashed within hours of each other Thursday. A U.S. Air Force Thunderbird jet crashed in Colorado Springs, Colorado, following the group’s traditional performance the Air Force Academy commencement. A Navy’s Blue Angels pilot was killed when his F/A-18 fighter jet crashed near Nashville, Tennessee, where the team was practicing for a scheduled performance this weekend.
The aerial demonstration teams have crashed dozens of times in their long histories. Here is a look at some of the recent cases:
— April 2007: Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Davis, 32, of the Blue Angels, died when his jet went down during the final minutes of a performance at the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in Beaufort, South Carolina The Pittsfield, Massachusetts., native was in his first year flying in formation with the team.
— August 2005: No one was hurt when two Thunderbird jets made contact while flying in formation, and a missile rail was dislodged. No one was injured in that accident at Chicago Air and Water Show, but the carbon fiber object fell into Lake Michigan, roughly 2,500 feet from where spectators had gathered to watch the show.
— September 2003: Captain Chris Stricklin safely ejected with only minor injuries when his Thunderbird jet crashed at an air show at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho as about 85,000 spectators looked on.
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