VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – State Representative John Boccieri, who is also a commercial and military pilot, was surprised to hear about Thursday’s plane crashes in Tennessee and Colorado.
“It was shocking and then for the same sort of accident to happen in the same time frame with two military organizations, it’s extremely rare. I’ve never heard of it.”
Thursday afternoon, a U.S. Air Force Thunderbird plane crashed following a flyover at the cadet commencement ceremony at the academy in Colorado. The pilot was ejected safely into a field.
Then later, around 3 p.m., a Blue Angels fighter jet crashed during a practice session in Tennessee. The pilot, Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss, was killed. The elite acrobatics team was scheduled to perform there over the weekend.
Boccieri said that at this point, one can only speculate what caused that plane to go down with no time to eject.
“They’re traveling at such high rates of speed and these are phenomenal pilots, the best in the military. I’m not one of them but I fly C-130s and I can tell you, the type of training that they go through is unbelievably precise.”
Boccieri says the training the U.S. military receives is the best in the world.
“The training that we receive is bar none…In fact, other countries come to train with the United States because they know the type of training and intense study of procedural knowledge we have to go through.”
He stressed that despite what happened Thursday, commercial flying is still extremely safe.
“The type of military flying that we do, that is really at the edge of the envelope of performance of the airplane,” he said. “Civilian flying, 30 million flights a year, it’s still the safest mode of travel.”