US Air Force jet crashes in California

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Two F-22s flying in formation
Image: Technical Sgt Ben Bloker, USAF.

A United States Air Force F-22A Raptor fighter jet crashed in the Mojave Desert in the southwestern United States on Wednesday, according to officials.

The airplane, which seats one person, crashed at approximately 10:30 am local time about 35 miles northeast of Edwards Air Force Base in California. The cause of the accident has not yet been ascertained, and the fate of the pilot is unknown. The jet was on a test mission when it crashed.

The F-22 is a supersonic fifth-generation fighter jet. It was originally designed in the 1980s as a means of entering Soviet airspace and attacking Soviet bombers if they attempted a nuclear strike. After the Cold War ended, the jet was then used as a long-range fighter jet.

This is the second crash involving an F-22. In 2004, another Raptor crashed in a Nevada during a test mission. The pilot managed to eject from the aircraft safely and did not sustain any injuries, although the aircraft was destroyed.


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