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Air Force F-16 Pilot Who Crashed In Nevada Wednesday Dies

06 April 2018

A U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet crashed on a training range outside Las Vegas on Wednesday morning, killing the pilot.

Del Bagno was flying his Fighting Falcon during a routine aerial demonstration training flight.

The accident occured during a "routine training flight" at around 10:30 a.m. local time, a statement said.

"We are mourning the loss of Major Del Bagno", said Brig. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt said in a statement. "I urge the community to keep the Nellis family in your thoughts during this hard time and to let service men and women know, now more than ever, that we appreciate their service".

The Valencia, California, native had more than 3,500 flying hours in over 30 different aircraft, with 1,400 hours as an Air Force pilot, his official biography said.

The crash was the third involving the US military in two days.

The Thunderbirds pilot killed in Wednesday's F-16 crash has been identified as Maj. The pilot and his passenger were hospitalized with injuries after the incident. The identity of the pilot is being withheld pending family notification.

No decision has been announced on the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds' trip to Charleston following the death of a pilot Wednesday.

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The man was part of a team of the Air Force's six best F-16 pilots, who do flight demonstrations and air shows across the country.

Four crew members were killed when a Marine CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crashed Tuesday in California during a training mission along the U.S. -Mexico border west of El Centro.

The Thunderbirds' participation in the upcoming March Field Air & Space Expo has been cancelled. The pilot ejected in that incident.

The Thunderbirds were established in 1953, and have been based at Nellis since 1956.

NAFB says that emergency responders are on the scene.

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

The training range covers some 4,500 square miles. NAFB did not give any other information about where the plane crashed or why.

Air Force F-16 Pilot Who Crashed In Nevada Wednesday Dies