Thunderbird Pilot Killed in Crash at Nevada Test and Training Range

Thunderbird Pilot Killed in Crash at Nevada Test and Training Range

Del Bagno's life came to a tragic end this week when the F-16 he was flying over the Nevada desert crashed around 10:30 a.m. during what the Air Force said was a routine training flight.

The identity of the pilot is being withheld for next of kin notification, and the crash is being investigated.

An accident investigation has been opened into the cause of the mishap, which wass the third US military aircraft crash this week.

And in June 2016, an F-16 crashed near Colorado Springs, Colo., following a team fly over at the Air Force Academy.

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The Thunderbirds scheduled appearance at March Air Reserve Base's Air and Space Expo was cancelled in the wake of the accident. The impact on the remainder of the Thunderbirds' season was not yet determined. The pilot ejected and was said to be in "stable condition".

The Air Force formed the Thunderbirds in 1953. The Nevada Test and Training Range is near the Thunderbirds' home station of Nellis Air Force Base, just outside Las Vegas.

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.

Phil Frank, a Vietnam veteran, came down to Creech Air Force Base to plant the United States flag and show his support.

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The Thunderbirds pilot killed in Wednesday's F-16 crash has been identified as Maj. (Top row left to right) Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh, Capt. He was assigned to a military command that conducts research and weapon system tests. The plane was destroyed in that incident as well, but the pilot escaped major injuries.

According to the reports, the incident marks the third crash of a U.S. military aircraft since Tuesday.

Crash comes on the heels of two aviation incidents on Tuesday, including a Super Stallion helicopter crash that killed its crew of four; national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports from the Pentagon.

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