Pilot killed as two US fighter jets crash on same day
Member of navy Blue Angels squadron dies in F/A-18 accident, while Barack Obamas security detail retrieves pilot who ejected from air force F-16
One pilot has been killed and another retrieved by Barack Obamas security detail in two separate crashes of fighter planes from elite US military squadrons on the same day.
In Tennessee a pilot from the navys Blue Angels squadron was killed on Thursday when his F/A-18 jet crashed in Smyrna, about 24 miles south-east of Nashville, a navy spokeswoman said.
The crash occurred about two miles from an airport runway while the Blue Angels were practising for a weekend air show, the navy said, adding that the cause of the crash was being investigated.
Separately, Barack Obama met with a fighter pilot whose jet crashed after a flyover during the presidents visit to an air force academy for a graduation ceremony.
The pilot with the Thunderbirds squadron ejected and landed unhurt when his F-16 jet crashed in a field while returning to Peterson air force base in Colorado, the air force said.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said a military helicopter that had been supporting Obamas motorcade on the drive back to Peterson peeled off to find the crash site.
A secret service agent on board who was also an emergency medic assessed the pilot, who was then flown to Peterson. The helicopter then resumed its mission in support of Obamas motorcade.
Obama later visited the Thunderbird pilot at Peterson to thank him for his service and express relief he had not been seriously hurt, Earnest said.
Earnest said the pilot was up and walking around when the president saw him. The president also thanked the emergency responders who picked up the pilot.