The death of Marine Captain Jeff Kuss, who was killed when his Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet crashed near Nashville yesterday, was something that resonated beyond the military community.
The Blue Angels, like the Air Force’s Thunderbirds and Army’s Golden Knights Parachute Team, are seen as ambassadors for the branch of service they represent. Part of their duties is to interact with the media at every stop they make as they make their way across the country.
A few of the local reporters and anchors who got the chance to fly with the Marine paid tribute to the man by sharing their memories.
“They dazzle you with their speed and precision and they make it look easy, but take it from me,” said WTNH morning anchor Laura Hutchinson, who flew with Kuss when she was with WWLP. “A first-timer in the cock-pit of a Boeing F/A-18 jet, it takes training and lots of stamina and a tough stomach to get in one of those.”
WDAF meteorologist Michelle Bogowith flew with Kuss when the Blue Angels came to Kansas City in 2015.
WJAX reporter Lorena Inclan also flew with him. Click here to see her video.
“I got invited to fly with the Blue Angels last year and immediately I agreed. It’s the Blue Angels right? “When I got there, they gave us a briefing and I got to meet Captain Kuss. He was so calm, cool, collected. “He explained everything that we did. Even when I passed out he said ‘don’t worry, I’ve seen football players pass out back there.’ “He did tell me how the training that they go through, how many hours of flight, how difficult it is to get to the level that they get to and also how they not only do exhibition shows, but they also do combat missions.”
My heart aches tonight… thoughts & prayers are with the @BlueAngels and the family of Capt. Kuss. pic.twitter.com/aBW0uE0IKY
— Michelle Bogowith (@MBogowith) June 3, 2016
image: Matt Bell – AP