Pilot Dead after Military Aircraft Crashes near AFB in Las Vegas, Investigation Continues
A contracted aircraft owned by a Florida-based company crashed after taking off from the Nellis Air Force Base on May 24. The pilot did not survive the crash.
Nellis Air Force Base released a statement confirming that one of their contracted-aircrafts, owned by Draken US, crashed just outside the base after taking off and that one of the pilots did not survive.
Draken revealed that they are cooperating with federal, state, and local authorities to aid in the investigation to determine the cause of the fatal crash.
IN THE WAKE OF THE CRASH
The pilot involved in the crash worked for Draken, who was contracted to provides adversary air support for Nellis AFB. Draken expressed their grief over the loss of the pilot's life, saying:
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people and families affected by this event. We are doing everything in our power to assist them in this time of need."
The pilot was the only individual in the aircraft and was flying a Dassault Aviation Mirage F-1 at the time of the crash. Because a civilian was flying the aircraft, the National Transportation Safety Board will be involved in the investigation.
8 News Now spoke with residents who saw the crash take place. While some recalled the terrible noise that the aircraft made during its journey down to the ground, others shared about the sharp downward movement that it made.
Poteet revealed that the crash occurred after the plane was involved in a training exercise and was returning to the base.
The crash occurred at 2:30 p.m., and by 3:00 p.m Nellis Air Force Base took to social media to share that they were aware of the crash and that they would release updates when they were ready.
Initial information from first responders indicated there was a fatality, but the Clark County Fire Department later said all details related to the crash would be released by Nellis Air Force Base. https://t.co/OrcIaOTsqc— KSNV News 3 Las Vegas (@News3LV) May 24, 2021
In 2016 the Nellis Air Force Base experienced another crash when an A-4 Skyhawk crashed in close proximity to the base. It was also an aircraft operated by a civilian contractor working for Draken US.
The a-4 Skyhawk was an aircraft used during the Vietnam war. The pilot managed to eject himself out of the aircraft early enough and was transported to a local hospital to receive treatment.
"Kathy and I are praying for all those involved in today's incident -- especially the men and women of [Nellis AFB] and the first responders on the scene," @GovSisolak tweeted. https://t.co/zKOprTen8z— FOX5 Las Vegas (@FOX5Vegas) May 24, 2021
ANOTHER DRAKEN CRASH
While the most recent crash took place at the southern end of the base, the 2016 incident occurred near the northern area of the base at North Sloan Lane and East Ann Road.
Director of business development for Draken, Scott Poteet, confirmed that the pilot involved in the crash had more than 25 years of experience as a fighter pilot, which equipped him with the necessary experience to be able to handle the situation.
Poteet revealed that the crash occurred after the plane was involved in a training exercise and returned to the base to land. Nobody else was injured on the scene, and the pilot was expected to make a full recovery.
Draken US, the company involved in both crashes, is a private company that works with aircraft that previously belonged to the New Zealand air force.