STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Pence recalls meeting 'courageous' US Air Force Thunderbird pilot killed in crash

Vice President Mike Pence recalled recently meeting the US Air Force Thunderbird pilot who was killed in a Wednesday ...

Posted: Apr 6, 2018 10:03 AM
Updated: Apr 6, 2018 10:03 AM

Vice President Mike Pence recalled recently meeting the US Air Force Thunderbird pilot who was killed in a Wednesday training incident, offering his condolences in a series of tweets Thursday.

Pence described the pilot, Maj. Stephen Del Bagno, as "courageous" and "an inspiring American," noting that he met Del Bagno in January on a visit to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

"Deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Thunderbird pilot Maj. Stephen Del Bagno. I had the honor to meet Maj. Del Bagno when I visited @NellisAFB in January," the vice president wrote.

"He was a courageous pilot & an inspiring American whose service will never be forgotten," a second tweet added. "Will be praying for his family, friends and fellow Thunderbirds during this difficult time."

Del Bagno was killed on Wednesday when his F-16 jet crashed at Nellis Air Force Base.

In a statement, the Air Force said the jet, from the service's precision demonstration team, crashed at 10:30 a.m. during routine training on the Nevada Test and Training Range.

"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."

The team's participation at the March Air Reserve Base "The March Field Air & Space Expo" has been canceled. It is unknown how this accident will impact the remainder of the 2018 Thunderbirds season.

An investigation is underway.

The crash of the F-16 was the third for a Thunderbird jet in the past two years, and the fourth incident involving a US military aircraft in approximately 24 hours.

Prior to Wednesday's incident, a US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II jet crashed on Tuesday during takeoff from Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport. The pilot was able to eject and was being treated. Also, a Marine Corps CH-53 crashed Tuesday in the vicinity of Naval Air Facility El Centro in California, killing four crew members.

A Marines Corps CH-53 helicopter also was damaged late Tuesday while landing in the East African country of Djibouti, in the vicinity of Arta Beach.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4302

Reported Deaths: 154
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah117159
Marion97326
Washington74317
Clackamas31711
Deschutes1270
Umatilla1203
Linn1179
Polk10012
Lane773
Yamhill707
Jackson670
Benton555
Clatsop450
Jefferson440
Klamath440
Malheur320
Coos310
Douglas270
Wasco241
Josephine241
Hood River180
Columbia160
Lincoln150
Morrow120
Curry70
Union60
Tillamook60
Crook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00
Eugene
Broken Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 78°
Corvallis
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 78°
Roseburg
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 82°
North Bend
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 63°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events