Just 90 minutes before he was preparing to climb into the cockpit with one of the pilots of the world-famous flying squadron known as the Blue Angels, Hunter Hayes was left devastated as he witnessed one of the worst crashes the squad has ever seen.
As part of the upcoming Great Tennessee Air Show scheduled for this weekend (June 4-5), the pilots were doing practice runs with local celebrities and public figures to promote event.
Just moments after taking off, Hayes was talking with another of the squad’s pilots when just after 3 p.m., one of the planes was flying unusually low and dipped below an outcropping of trees. Less than a second later, a huge explosion happened right where the plane had been.
A billowing cloud of smoke rose from the crash site and a heat wave from the explosion washed over the onlookers as the remaining jets circled back to land.
Hayes’ publicist, Ebie McFarland told ABC News that “it happened right in front of them” and the singer later expressed his heartfelt condolences on social media.
The tragedy today with the Blue Angels is so devastating. My heart and prayers are with the pilot’s family and the entire Blue Angels team.
— Hunter Hayes (@HunterHayes) June 3, 2016
Officials have yet to release the cause of the crash, and some outlets are reporting that the plane clipped nearby power lines during the crash that left many Smyrna, TN residents without power for some time.
The tragic accident claimed the life of the pilot on board, Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, who had accumulated more than 1400 hours of flight time before beginning his tenure with the Blue Angels.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this very difficult time.
Watch the report from USA Today in the video below.
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