Air Force pilot killed during training near Nellis Air Force Base

A pilot was killed in a crash during a training flight at the Nevada Test and Training Range Tuesday, officials at Nellis Air Force Base said in a release Friday.

Lt. Col. Eric Schultz died when his plane crashed at about 6 p.m. Pacific Time on Sept. 5, Nellis said. The Nevada Test and Training Range is about 100 miles northwest of Nellis.

The Air Force has not identified what plane Schultz was flying, but said it was assigned to Air Force Materiel Command. reported Saturday morning that Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein told a reporter, “I can definitely say it was not an F-35” that crashed.

Nellis said an investigation into the crash that killed Schultz is underway.

“Our immediate concern is for the family of Lt. Col. Schultz,” the release said.

The Capital Gazette newspaper of Annapolis, Maryland, reported Friday that Schultz was a graduate of Annapolis High School.

Nellis would not confirm to Air Force Times Friday what Schultz typically flew. But Air Force releases identified an officer by the same name as an F-35 test pilot, and in 2012, he conducted the first in-flight release of a GBU-31 BLU 109 joint directed attack munition from an F-35A.

A 2006 article posted on the Air Force’s website said Schultz was rejected from the military three times due to poor eyesight, and underwent laser eye surgery so he could join the Air Force and become a pilot. He also received a doctorate in aerospace engineering during the decade he tried unsuccessfully to become a military pilot, the article said. Schultz also said that his ultimate goal was to become an astronaut.

“Who knows where space is going to take us, but clearly it’s the next frontier in transportation,” the article quoted Schultz as saying.

The crash happened just one day before two A-10s crashed during a training flight at the same range. Those A-10 pilots safely ejected and were treated for minor injuries.

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