A Blue Angels pilot who died in a crash near Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday was fondly remembered by Kansas City police chief Darryl Forté, who flew with the pilot last summer.
Forté posted a series of tweets Thursday evening recalling the flight and praising the pilot, who was identified by a U.S. official as Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss.
Kuss had taken Forté for a flight in an F/A-18 Hornet last August when the Blue Angels were in Kansas City for the KC Aviation Expo & Airshow.
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Forté said in his Twitter posts that Kuss had helped him feel comfortable during the flight, which included a series of wild maneuvers.
“He shared with me he had been a pilot since he was in high school & was living his dream,” Forté wrote. “Prayers.”
Kuss was flying an F/A-18 fighter jet when he died in the crash Thursday, just days before a weekend air show performance, officials said.
It was the second fighter jet crash of the day for the military's elite fighter jet performance teams. A member of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds crashed in Colorado after a flyover for the Air Force Academy graduation where President Barack Obama spoke. That pilot ejected safely into a field.