Pilot dead after aircraft crashes near Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas

The plane operated by Draken US crashed outside the southern edge of the base.

May 24, 2021, 9:46 PM

The pilot of an aircraft that crashed soon after takeoff from Nellis Air Force Base Monday afternoon has died, Nellis AFB confirmed in a statement.

Their identity has not been released, and no other people were onboard.

Officials from the base first reported the crash on Twitter.

Officials said the "contractor-operated aircraft" crashed just outside the southern edge of the base around 2:30 p.m. local time.

PHOTO: An aircraft crashed after taking off from Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas, May 24, 2021.
An aircraft crashed after taking off from Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas, May 24, 2021.
Sam Stoltz

A base official told ABC News the crash involved a non-Air Force contractor-operated aircraft flown by a non-Air Force pilot. The base uses contractor aircraft that routinely fly training missions, according to the official.

"The aircraft was owned, operated and piloted by Draken US, a Florida-based company contracted to provide adversary air support to Nellis Air Force Base," Nellis AFB said in a statement Monday night.

"Draken has received news of a downed aircraft out of Nellis AFB and the tragic loss of one of our pilots. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people and families affected by this event. We are doing everything in our power to assist them in this time of need, and we are working closely with federal, state and local authorities," said Draken US in a statement Monday night.

PHOTO: An aircraft crashed after taking off from Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas, May 24, 2021.
An aircraft crashed after taking off from Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas, May 24, 2021.
Christian Mendoza

Draken US is also cooperating with agencies to determine what led to the accident.

"The men and women of Team Nellis send our deepest condolences to the teammates, friends and family of our Draken wingman," Nellis AFB said.

Multiple federal and local first responders remain on scene, officials said.

The NTSB is investigating the incident.

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