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BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: US Air Force F-16 Viper Jet Down In Nevada Desert

The Jet Was Reportedly Flying a Routine Training Mission When It Went Down in the NTTR

Official US Air Force photograph

UPDATE:  According to this Air Force statement released by Nellis Public Affairs, the F-16 that crashed in Nevada on Wednesday 4/4/2018 belonged to the Thunderbirds:

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – A U.S. Air Force 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.

More from writer Charles Atkieson right here.

Official US Air Force photograph

Original story:  At approximately 1030 local time on Wednesday April 4th 2018, a United States Air Force (USAF) General Dynamics F-16 Viper single engine fighter bomber based at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas in Nevada, crashed somewhere within the adjacent Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR). The jet was reportedly engaged in a routine training mission. No further details regarding the mishap have been released by the Air Force or local authorities, although an investigation is underway.

Official US Air Force photograph

A spokesman from Nellis indicated that first responders were on the scene but did not provide details about the F-16 variant involved in the mishap or the squadron to which the aircraft and/or crew were assigned. This mishap is the third involving US military aircraft in less than 48 hours after the crash of a Marine Corps Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopter in California and a Marine Corps McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) AV-8B Harrier in Djibouti.

Official US Air Force photograph

Nellis AFB is located just outside Las Vegas. The base is home to the USAF Thunderbirds as well as the Air Force Weapons School. The NTTR, covering more than three million acres and including the Tonopah Test Range and Area 51, is located in the same region of the Nevada desert generally north of Nellis. The range also hosts major exercises such as Red Flag, a series of simulated but highly realistic aerial warfare engagements- the most recent of which ended on March 23rd 2018.

Official US Air Force photograph will update this story as additional information is released by the Air Force and/or local authorities. Stay tuned.

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Bill Walton

Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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