An Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 jet crashed outside Colorado Springs, Colo., after performing at the Air Force Academy graduation Thursday afternoon. The pilot ejected and was unhurt, but will be evaluated by medical personnel, Air Combat Command spokeswoman Melissa Walther told Air Force Magazine. The aircraft landed in a field, she said. The extent of the damage to the aircraft was unknown as of Thursday afternoon, but Walther said there was no fire. A 21st Space Wing spokesperson told Air Force Magazine on Thursday evening the cause of the crash is still unknown, but investigators were at the site. The pilot, Maj. Alex Turner, is in his first season with the team, according to the Thunderbirds’ website. He has logged over 1,200 flying hours with the service, including 270 combat hours over Libya and Iraq, according to the profile. President Barack Obama spoke at the graduation and was still there when the aircraft crashed about 15 miles south, the AP reported. Obama met with Turner at Peterson AFB, Colo., before boarding Air Force One, according to a White House press pool report. Turner appeared healthy, saluted Obama, and then shook his hand when they met.
Unlike nearly every other innovative technology throughout history, Maj. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt believes the space enterprise emerged backward. “Every other domain started with an entrepreneur who built something,” Burt, the special assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, told an audience at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference.