San Diego, California - The Navy completed a Manual of the Judge Advocate General (JAGMAN) investigation Wednesday, into the cause of the June 02, 2016 crash of Blue Angel #6 in Smyrna, Tennessee.
The F/A-18C assigned to the Navy Flight Demonstration Team (NFDS) crashed at approximately 3:01 p.m. CDT June 2, in the vicinity of the Smyrna, Tennessee, Airport. The mishap resulted in the death of Capt. Jeff Kuss, USMC, and the destruction of the aircraft.
Concurrent with the aircraft mishap safety investigation and, in keeping with standard practice, a JAGMAN investigation was initiated by the Navy following the mishap to determine the cause of the crash.
The JAGMAN investigation found that the primary cause of the mishap was pilot error with weather and fatigue as contributing causal factors. The mishap was not the result of any material failure of the F/A-18C.
Based on the investigation, Kuss was found to have perished in the line of duty and not due to misconduct. No punitive measures will be taken.
"Capt. Kuss represented the best and brightest of naval aviation," said Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker. "His professionalism, expertise and love of flying made him a valued member of the Blue Angels. His loss is devastating and felt across the naval aviation community. It is our duty as leaders and aviators to stress vigilance and operational risk management to avoid future tragedies."
For more information regarding the JAGMAN investigation, contact the public affairs office at Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, by calling (619) 767-1623, or -1625.