From the Las Vegas Sun: The pilot of a U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon jet that crashed near Caliente earlier this week didn't survive, officials at Nellis Air Force Base said today.
U.S. Air Force officials said search and rescue teams found conclusive evidence that the pilot didn't eject from the aircraft before the crash, which occurred about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday about 20 miles west of Caliente on Bureau of Land Management property.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the pilot’s immediate family, Air Force family, and friends during this difficult time," Brig. Gen. T.J. O’Shaughnessy, 57th Wing commander, said in a statement.
Air Force officials weren't releasing the name and unit of the pilot pending notification of family.
This raises a whole lot more questions as to why he went down with the airplane, like were there any Maydays and was there any contact with the pilot before the crash. Also, why did it take so long for Nellis to come to that conclusion. (yes I know about the gruesome details, but there would have been some evidence he would have with the plane) But right now, that is irrelevant.
So, to the pilot, R.I.P., to the family and friends, our prayers are with you.
Update: The LVRJ idenitified the pilot: Air Force Capt. Eric Ziegler, the pilot of an F-16C fighter jet, died when his jet crashed Tuesday on public land near the Nevada Test and Training Range, Nellis Air Force Base officials and sources in Fargo, N.D., said Thursday.
News of his death spread quickly Thursday through his hometown, West Fargo, N.D., where the 30-year-old Ziegler, a 2003 Air Force Academy graduate assigned to Nellis, starred in high school football. His death was confirmed in media outlets that quoted his West Fargo High School football coach, Jay Gibson, and reported that his wife, Sarah, works for the Air Force in Las Vegas.
He is survived by his wife and 9-month-old daughter, Anna, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reported.
From the inforum of Fargo-Morehead: However, word of the fatal crash quickly spread through the West Fargo community this morning, and a woman who answered the phone at his mother’s home confirmed Ziegler’s death.
Ziegler, a 2003 Air Force Academy graduate, previously served two tours in Iraq.
He was assigned to Nellis Air Force Base last year, after being stationed in Spangdahlen, Germany, for three years.
Although he’s lived away from his hometown for several years, Ziegler left an impact on many who knew him.
During his years at West Fargo High in the late 1990s, Ziegler played under the school’s longtime head football coach, Jay Gibson, who heard of Ziegler's death from his son via text.
Ziegler started on both offense and defense and played on special teams – meaning he was on the field virtually the whole game, Gibson recalled today.
“He was a tremendous competitor,” Gibson said. “He really wanted to win, but whether he won or lost, he always had a smile on his face.”
Gibson said Ziegler was a leader among his teammates, and he remembers how Ziegler’s competitive drive motivated his peers.
“That leadership carried over to the rest of the team because he just worked hard – no matter what he did he put 110 percent effort into it,” Gibson said.
As a senior, Ziegler helped lead his team to the North Dakota state championship in 1999, Gibson said.
“It’s just a shock,” he said. “It’s not fair because these are the guys that should be around forever – because they take care of other people, they take care of themselves, and they lead and they do the right thing.”
“It's a tremendous loss to the community,” Gibson added. http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/325328/
You have to wonder why the Las vegas media didn't have this.