Pilot Dies in Nellis AFB Plane Crash

Plane owned by military contractor crashes in residential area near Vegas
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 25, 2021 12:07 AM CDT
Pilot Dies in Nellis AFB Plane Crash
Military personnel investigate an airplane crash near Nellis Air Force Base on Monday, May 24, 2021, in Las Vegas.   (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

A pilot has died after an aircraft operated by a military contractor out of Nellis Air Force Base crashed in a nearby residential area, authorities in Las Vegas said Monday. A statement attributed to base spokesman Lt. Col. Bryon McGarry confirmed the crash occurred about 2:30pm, the AP reports. Florida-based company Draken US owned the aircraft, and said in a statement that the pilot, whose name has not been released, had died and no one else was on board. It's unclear whether there were injuries to people on the ground. The plane crashed in a yard where a neighbor, Alex Reyes, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he heard a loud thump and then saw black smoke billowing from the home.

Neighbor Eugenia Brackeen told the newspaper she heard a boom so loud that she couldn't hear her television. She said her power went out for a short time. Witnesses posted online images of a plume of smoke not far from a southern fence to the base, of city and base fire crews arriving, and a helicopter circling. In a Twitter post, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said he and his wife, Kathy, were “praying for all those involved in today’s incident,” including Nellis service members and first-responders. Deputy Clark County Fire Chief Warren Whitney confirmed only that fire crews were called to the area in unincorporated county territory. He directed follow-up inquiries to Nellis. Police cordoned off the neighborhood about 7 miles northeast of downtown Las Vegas.

(Read more Air Force stories.)

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