The pilot of a Blue Angels jet was killed Thursday during practice for a weekend air show.
The Navy said the Blue Angels pilot died from injuries suffered in the crash in Tennessee.
Witness Becca Burgess told CNN affiliate WKRN that the Blue Angels jet seemed low.
"I looked up and saw it coming down, and I thought maybe they were doing dips," Burgess told the Nashville station. "Then I saw a huge ball of orange fire, and I'm like, 'Oh my God, he's crashed. I cried. I mean, the first thought was fear for the pilot."
The Navy has not identified the pilot, but a U.S. official says it was Capt. Jeff Kuss. He joined the Marine Corps. in 2006.
At one point while assigned to VMFA-312 in South Carolina, Kuss deployed with Carrier Air Wing THREE (CVW-3) aboard Norfolk-based USS Harry S. Truman in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He later joined the elite Blue Angels in September of 2014, flying in air shows around the country.
Last year he was in Virginia Beach to fly at the NAS Oceana Air Show. A couple days before the show two Virginia Beach teachers were given the opportunity to fly with him.
On Thursday, Kuss was practicing with the Blue Angels for another air show, this time in Tennessee, when his jet crashed.
The crash occurred at the beginning of practice just after take off, the Navy said. The plane went down about 2 miles from the Smyrna airport.
Smyrna Fire Chief Bill Culbertson said there were already units on the flight line so his crews were able to respond to the crash scene within minutes.
The crash occurred near a former plantation called the Sam Davis Home that is a tourist site, and it also wasn't far from an apartment complex, Culbertson said.
None of the five other Blue Angels jets was involved in the incident.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the Blue Angels after this tragic loss," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said. "I know that the Navy and Marine Corps team is with me. We will investigate this accident fully and do all we can to prevent similar incidents in the future."
Robert Hendrix told WKRN he was at the swimming pool at the apartments.
"They were doing their stunts and they were twirling," he said. "Well, when they split, the one on the right, he done about four or five twirls right, and he was coming by to go back to the airport. All of a sudden, he hit, and the next thing you seen was flames. We were so close you could feel the heat from the flames."
Thursday's crash happened hours after a Thunderbird F-16 jet crashed following a flyover at the U.S. Air Force Academy commencement ceremony attended by the President.
The Thunderbird pilot safely ejected before the plane went down in Colorado.