COLORADO SPRINGS, June 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force's flight demonstration team returned to the skies Tuesday, five days after an accident near the branch's academy in Colorado grounded the fleet.
The Thunderbirds F-16 Fighting Falcons took flight Tuesday near Colorado Springs but officials said the team's participation at air shows in the future is uncertain.
The squad was ordered to stand down Thursday after an F-16 went down in a field, just moments after it was one of five jets performing a traditional flyover at the academy's commencement ceremony, which was attended by President Barack Obama.
The pilot ejected safely and said his plane's engine suddenly failed in flight. It was the first accident involving a Thunderbirds F-16 in 13 years.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation.
The accident in Colorado was one of two involving a U.S. military fighter jet on Thursday. The pilot of an F/A-18 Hornet with the Navy's Blue Angels demonstration team was killed in Tennessee just hours later after he also suffered an engine failure, moments after takeoff.
The Blue Angels team is similarly uncertain about its air show future.
"Thursday, 2 Jun, was an extremely difficult day for all four military services," the Thunderbirds wrote on its website. "We've had the honor of working closely with the Blues in the air show industry and we respect them for their professionalism, talent, and incredible commitment to excellence."