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Air Force identifies Thunderbirds pilot killed in crash

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AP/WKRG) - The U.S. Air Force says a member of its Thunderbirds flight demonstration team was killed in the crash of his F-16 fighter jet in central Nevada.

U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron Slot Pilot Thunderbird 4, Maj. Stephen Del Bagno, was killed when his F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed over the Nevada Test and Training Range on Wednesday morning. The crash occurred during a routine aerial demonstration training flight.

"We are mourning the loss of Major Del Bagno," said Brig. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt, 57th Wing Commander. "He was an integral part of our team and our hearts are heavy with his loss. We ask everyone to provide his family and friends the space to heal during this difficult time."

An investigation is underway and the Thunderbirds' appearance at March Air Reserve Base in California has been canceled.

The Air Force says it's not known how the accident will impact the remainder of the 2018 Thunderbirds season.
    
The incident was the third U.S. military aircraft crash this week.


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