Snowbirds open performance with missing man formation in honor of Capt Jeff Kuss.
This week was a bad week for the US Military. In addition to 9 soldiers who died in a ground training accident, the Air Force Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels both lost aircraft in separate accidents all on a single day. The Air Force Thunderbird pilot successfully ejected. Tragically though, the Blue Angels pilot did not eject before impact. Capt Jeff Kuss, the pilot of Blue Angels #6, left behind a wife and two children. The loss hit Blue Angels fans especially hard. Thoughts and prayers poured in from all over the world. Many Facebook pages and profiles showed the Blue Angels graphic with a bar placed over the crest. A GoFundMe page for the family raised over $100,000 in just one day.
The famed Canadian Forces Snowbirds dedicated their show on Saturday to Capt Kuss and the Blue Angels. Our neighbors to the north demonstrated their show of support with a very touching flyover. The demo team opened the performance at the Manitoba Air Show with a very emotional missing man formation.
The Snowbirds and Blue Angels share a long friendship. They are a staple of the air circuit across North America. They even flew together last summer at an airshow in Evansville, Indiana. In a statement posted on Facebook on June 2nd, the Snowbirds said:
Our hearts go out to the men and women of the United States Air Force Thunderbirds and United States Navy Blue Angels. We offer our support and solidarity during this difficult time. We, the men and women of the Snowbirds grieve with you.
The US is blessed to have such great neighbors who are steadfast allies and friends in tough times.