Officials: Thunderbird pilot maneuvered to avoid crashing into h - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Officials: Thunderbird pilot maneuvered to avoid crashing into homes

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Maj. Alex Turner Maj. Alex Turner

An Air Force Thunderbird jet crashed after performing in a stunt show over the U.S. Air Force Academy early Thursday afternoon.  The pilot was able to eject safely, according to Air Force officials.

Officials say the plane was preparing to land, and had its landing gear down, when there was a problem with the aircraft.  The official said the pilot purposely maneuvered his plane to avoid crashing into an area with homes.

President Obama was still at the graduation site at the time of the crash, taking photos with attendees prior to returning to Washington. The crash happened about 15 miles south of the academy near Powers and Fontaine..

Powers is closed between Fontaine and Bradley while crews investigate the crash.  Click here for live traffic info.

The No. 6 Jet pilot, Major Alex Turner from Chelmsford, MA, was flying the plane that crashed.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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