Thursday, 26 April, 2018

Air Force Thunderbirds pilot killed in F-16 crash has been identified

US Air Force F-16 crashes during training flight in Nevada All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Charlie Simmons | 06 April, 2018, 04:15

Around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Las Vegas time, an elite pilot for the United States Air Force Thunderbirds team crashed his F-16 Fighting Falcon while on a routine training run.

He had logged more than 3,500 flight hours in more than 30 aircraft, including 1,400 as an Air Force pilot. An investigation found that an equipment malfunction caused the accident.

The Thunderbirds have canceled their upcoming weekend appearance at March Reserve Base in California. It is unknown how this accident will affect the remainder of the 2018 Thunderbirds season.

The last aerial accident involving the Thunderbirds occurred in June 2016 when one of its F-16s crashed after doing a flyover of the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony. "We ask everyone to provide his family and friends the space to heal during this hard time".

Hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip are seen behind fan aircraft lined up on the flight line at Nellis Air Force Base on April 22, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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It is the second plane crash at Nellis Air Force Base in a matter of months following a non-fatal crash in January.

The Las Vegas plane crash occured during a "routine" drill at Nellis Air Force Base in the outskirts of Las Vegas, Nevada. The pilot ejected and was medically evaluated.

Del Bagno, whose call sign was "Cajun", was recently promoted to major and was entering his first season as a Thunderbirds pilot, according to an Air Force biography. (Top row left to right) Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh, Capt. The Air Force did not identify the type of aircraft Schultz was flying, but he was assigned to the Air Force Materiel Command which is responsible for testing new aircraft and aircraft systems.

Also Tuesday, a Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier jet crashed in the East African nation of Djibouti during a training exercise.

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