Smyrna, TN (NNS) — A U.S. Navy F/A-18 aircraft assigned to the Navy’s Flight Demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, crashed today during the beginning stages of an afternoon practice at the Smyrna, Tennessee Airport, at approximately 3:01 p.m., CDT.
The pilot of the jet was taking off to start the afternoon practice when the mishap occurred. The pilot died from injuries sustained during the crash.
The name of the pilot and side number of the aircraft will not be released until 24-hours after the next-of-kin notifications have been completed.
Social media reports have indicated the pilot flying the aircraft was a Marine Captain who passed away in the crash. We are choosing to withhold that information until the family has been properly notified.
The other five Blue Angel jets were not involved in the incident and landed safely moments later.
The crash occurred approximately two miles from the runway.
The Navy will conduct an investigation into the cause of the crash.