U.S. Navy Blue Angels Jet crashes, pilot dies

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UPDATE: The pilot of a Navy Blue Angels F/A-18 that crashed Thursday in Smyrna, Tennessee, has died, town manager Harry Gill told reporters. There were no civilian injuries, he said.

Smyrna, TN — A Blue Angels airplane has crashed at or near the Smyrna-Rutherford County Airport, airport authority confirmed.

According to Rutherford County Emergency Medical Service, one person was killed in the crash.

In a news release from the town of Smyrna, officials said the crash happened at approximately 3 p.m. during afternoon maneuver sessions for the Great Tennessee Airshow.

The Blue Angels had been practicing on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s airshow in Smyrna. They flew over downtown Nashville on Thursday morning.

Sgt. Bobby Gibson with the Smyrna Police Department said emergency crews are busy working at the scene of the crash.

In an incredible coincidence, earlier in the afternoon one of the Air Force Thunderbirds crashed after performing over the graduation ceremony at the Air Force Academy with President Barack Obama in attendance. That pilot ejected safely and there were no ground injuries. The plane crashed in a field about 15 miles south of Colorado Springs, CO.