The F-16 Fighting Falcon jet that crashed over the Nevada Test and Training Range yesterday (April 4) at approximately 10:30 a.m. was confirmed as belonging to the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds air demonstration squadron.
According to a statement from the squadron, the pilot of the aircraft was killed in the incident that occurred during a routine aerial demonstration training flight.
The statement added that the identity of the pilot is being withheld for 24-hours pending next of kin notification and 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 due to the accident and it is unknown how this accident will impact the remainder of the 2018 Thunderbirds Season.
The USAF Air Demonstration Squadron (“Thunderbirds”) is the air demonstration squadron of the United States Air Force (USAF). The Thunderbirds are assigned to the 57th Wing, and are based at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
Created in 1953, the USAF Thunderbirds are the third oldest formal flying aerobatic team (under the same name) in the world, after the prestigious French Air Force Patrouille de France formed in 1931 and the United States Navy Blue Angels formed in 1946.