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Two A-10s crash in Nevada, pilots eject safely

An A-10C Thunderbolt II sits idle on the fightline during sunrise at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Jan. 19, 2016.

JOHN WINN/U.S. AIR FORCE

By COREY DICKSTEIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 7, 2017

WASHINGTON — Two Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II attack jets crashed Wednesday during a training flight over a Nevada military range, Air Force officials said Thursday.

The pilots of both planes ejected safely and were being evaluated Thursday at a military hospital, according to a statement from Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. They were assigned to the Air Force’s 57th Wing at Nellis, just outside of Las Vegas.

Air Force officials do not know what caused the crash that happened about 8 p.m., local time, Wednesday at the Nevada Test and Training Range, a large military reservation north of Nellis. They said an investigation into the incident would be launched.

The A-10, commonly known as the Warthog, is a single-seat combat jet primarily used to support ground troops from low altitudes. It boasts a 30 mm Gatling gun that can fire armor piercing and explosive rounds at up to 3,900 rounds per minute. It can also carry conventional bombs.

The A-10, which has been in use since the 1970s, was once expected to be cut from service, but top Air Force officials have vowed to continue flying the aircraft through the near future, citing its heavy use in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

The crashes followed a deadly F-16 fighter jet crash Tuesday in Arizona.

Iraqi pilot, Maj. Noor Faleh Rassan Al-Kazali, was killed when the Iraqi F-16 that he was flying crashed about 20 miles northwest of Safford, Arizona. Al-Kazali was stationed at the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing at the Tucson International Airport, where he was participating in a U.S. military training program.

dickstein.corey@stripes.com
Twitter: @CDicksteinDC

A pair of A-10C Thunderbolt IIs perform a flyover in Nevada on Jan. 26, 2016.
JOHN WINN/U.S. AIR FORCE

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