Thunderbirds Show Returns, Team Honors Fallen Angel

The Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team has resumed flying operations and will participate in its first air show this weekend in Ocean City, Md., since the June 2 crash after a flyover of the US Air Force Academy graduation. The team temporarily stood down for two weeks while a safety investigation was conducted. Maj. Alex Turner, who was flying the mishap aircraft and safely ejected, also is expected to fly again this week, according to a post on the team’s Facebook page. “His timeline to return to the demonstration will be made as Major Turner gets back into the air. We want to ensure that Alex is physically and mentally ready to go,” said Lt. Col. Chris Hammond, Thunderbirds commander. The Thunderbirds announced on Friday they will fly the rest of the season with the name of the Navy Blue Angels pilot who died in a training crash in Tennessee roughly one hour after the Thunderbirds jet crashed. The lead solo jet of the Thunderbirds team now bears the name of Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss inside the wheel well to “give our unwavering support to the Blues and Jeff’s family,” the Thunderbirds said in a statement.