Thunderbird Jet Crashes After Obama Speech at Air Force Graduation Ceremony

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A Thunderbird jet crashed after a flyover at the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony where President Obama spoke Thursday.

The pilot ejected from the aircraft before it landed in a grassy field south of the Colorado Springs airport. The pilot is being evaluated by members of the Colorado Springs Fire Department, according to the Colorado Gazette.

Only the pilot was on board, FAA spokesperson Allen Kenitzer said. There were no reported casualties on the ground, though the plane itself was badly damaged, said Robb Lingley of Peterson Air Force Base public affairs.

Pictures show the plane still intact in the field. Air Force officials say the Thunderbird suffered engine failure, but the cause is not known pending an investigation, the paper reports.

The crash happened shortly after President Obama addressed more than 800 cadets and a crowd of roughly 28,000 people at Falcon Stadium, KTLA sister station KDVR reported. The president later met with the pilot when he visited the air force base.

This is the second time since 2012 that he has spoken at an Air Force graduation ceremony.

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