Vigil Held For Fallen Blue Angels Pilot

Posted at 10:42 PM, Jun 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-03 18:20:37-04

Community members in Smyrna gathered together at a candle light vigil to honor, Jeff Kuss, the Blue Angels pilot killed during a practice flight.

The crash happened around 3 p.m. Thursday shortly after take off. The six just only got about two miles from the Smyrna airport.

Captain, Jeff Kuss, who was the pilot of the #6 Blue Angel jet went down in a field near Smyrna Elementary School and behind the Stones River Homes apartments.

Pilot Killed In Blue Angels Plane Crash

Rutherford County Commissioner Brad Turner organized a vigil by spreading the word on social media.

The large crowd filled Lee Victory Park in Smyrna. Many came with American flags in hand. So many people showed up, that the beginning of the vigil had to be delayed, so that everyone could get into the park.

The candle light vigil featured prayers for Capt. Kuss and a six minute period of silence for the #6 Blue Angel.

News of the crash shocked people throughout the city, and while many said the tragedy was hard to process, the vigil helped start the healing process, and most importantly, pay tribute to Kuss.

Many of them called him a hero, saying he tried to avoid the many homes in the area during the crash.

"The fact that the gentleman was willing to sacrifice his life so the plane didn't go into any apartments, shows what we in the military we do, we are here to protect people, i want to honor him for it," said Teresa Torres.

The Great Tennessee Air Show was set to go on as scheduled, but without the Blue Angels.

A gofundme account has been set up to help Capt. Kuss' family. To donate, click here.

The International Council of Air Shows Foundation has also been taking donations. You can find that link by clicking here.