Air Force names Thunderbirds pilot killed in Nevada crash

A U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pilot who died in the crash of a military jet during a training flight in Nevada was a former civilian flight instructor and banner tow pilot from Valencia, California, officials said Thursday.

Maj. Stephen Del Bagno, 34, was killed Wednesday when his F-16 Fighting Falcon known as Thunderbird 4 crashed in the vast Nevada Test and Training Range north of Nellis Air Force Base outside Las Vegas.

In a statement, Brig. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt, commander of the Air Force 57th Wing at Nellis, called Del Bagno an integral part of the flight team and said his loss was mourned by the military, family and friends.

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