Thunderbird jet crashes after Obama speech at Air Force graduation ceremony

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Thunderbird jet crashed after a flyover at the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony where President Obama spoke Thursday.

The pilot safely ejected from the aircraft before it landed in a grassy field south of the Colorado Springs airport.

The crash happened shortly after President Obama addressed more than 800 cadets and a crowd of roughly 28,000 people at Falcon Stadium.

The President later met with the pilot. White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the president thanked the pilot for his service and expressed his relief that he wasn’t seriously injured. Authorities say no one on the ground was hurt.

Pictures show the plane still intact in the field. Air Force officials say the Thunderbird suffered engine failure, but the cause is not known pending an investigation, the paper reports.

 

This is the second time since 2012 that he has spoken at an Air Force graduation ceremony.