Air Force: Thunderbird pilot blacked out before fatal crash

LAS VEGAS (AP) — An investigation into a fighter jet crash in southern Nevada determined the pilot lost consciousness before his jet slammed into the ground.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports a U.S. Air Force investigation report released Tuesday says F-16 Thunderbird pilot Maj. Stephen Del Bagno lost consciousness for about five seconds prior to crashing his fighter at a speed of about 450 mph (724 kph).

The report says Del Bagno crashed during a training performance of the “High Bomb Burst Rejoin” maneuver on April 4 at the Nevada Test and Training Range outside of Las Vegas.

His F-16 was one of six participating in the exercise by the demonstration team based at Nellis Air Force Base.

Requests for comment from the Thunderbirds public affairs office were not immediately returned.

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Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com

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