Pilot error primary cause of fatal Blue Angels crash that took the life of Colorado native

Posted at 4:44 PM, Sep 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-15 19:42:28-04

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — The Navy says pilot error was the primary cause of a crash that claimed the life of a Colorado native and Blue Angels flier.

Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss was killed on June 2 while practicing outside Nashville, Tennessee, for the Pensacola, Florida-based flight demonstration team.

A report released Thursday said Kuss' jet was traveling too fast and too low as he transitioned from a climb into another maneuver. The plane tumbled from the sky and crashed.

The report obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act cited fatigue and weather as contributing factors. It said Kuss did not black out, and that there was no mechanical problem with the F/A-18C fighter.

Kuss was from Durango and went to Durango High School and graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in economics.

Kuss joined the Marines and served a deployment in the Middle East. He was a Top Gun graduate and the military selected him to join the Blue Angels in 2014. His parents say he was one of three to make the elite flying team that year.


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