Home / National News / Air Force F-16 Thunderbird Crashes Near Colorado Springs, Pilot Ejects Safely


(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) — A U.S. Air Force Thunderbird F-16 crashed just outside Petersen Air Force Base in Colorado Springs shortly after performing a flyover at the nearby Air Force Academy graduation, where President Obama was in attendance, the Air Force tells ABC News.

U.S. Air Force Academy cadets toss their hats in the air upon graduating as Air Force Thunderbirds fly overhead. https://t.co/CV2e7LeEB4

— ABC News (@ABC) June 2, 2016

The president met with the pilot afterwards at Petersen Air Force Base and thanked him for his service, the White House said. He expressed relief the pilot was not seriously injured, and thanked the first responders.

The F-16 that crashed was identified as aircraft No. 6 in the Thunderbirds demonstration team, according to Melissa Walther, a spokeswoman for Air Combat Command.

Walther said the elite demonstration team had been based at Petersen Air Force Base for the flyover over of the Air Force Academy graduation. Normally the team is based at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

The Air Force is investigating the incident.

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