Losses and Aviation Safety

Thunderbirds pilot killed in F-16 crash at Nellis Air Force Base

The F-16 crash occurred at approximately 10:30 a.m. during routine training on the Nevada Test and Training Range

A U.S. Air Force (USAF) Thunderbirds F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet crashed on Apr. 4, 2018 at Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), Las Vegas.

According to the service news release “a Thunderbirds pilot was killed when his F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed over the Nevada Test and Training Range today at approximately 10:30 a.m. during a routine aerial demonstration training flight. The identity of the pilot is being withheld for 24-hours pending next of kin notification. An investigation is being conducted into the cause of the mishap.

The team’s participation at the March Air Reserve Base “The March Field Air & Space Expo” has been cancelled. It is unknown how this accident will impact the remainder of the 2018 Thunderbirds Season.”

As reported by Foxnews, the USAF previously stated that “Emergency responders are on the scene. As soon as additional details become available, they will be provided. The accident is under investigation.”

The incident marks the third crash of a U.S. military aircraft since Tuesday, when a U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crashed during exercises along the U.S.-Mexico border in California, killing four crew members.

Also on Tuesday, a Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier jet crashed in the East African nation of Djibouti during a training exercise. The pilot ejected and is currently in “stable condition.”

Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr. / U.S. Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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