UPDATED: Raptor Down


UPDATE: Unfortunately it looks as if the pilot of the doomed F-22, a Lockheed Martin tester named David Cooley, did not survive the crash. Cooley is a 29 year Air Force veteran and joined LockMart in 2003 as a test pilot.

Also, DT commenter Drake wonders if the accident might have had something to do with weapons bay testing that Flight International reported nearly caused some incidents in the past.

Colin reports at DoD Buzz that the Air Force congressional liaison office has sent out notices to key lawmakers they the service will update them as details emerge. The USAF is so terrified of bad publicity around the aircraft during the run up to budget wrangling that they'll stumble over themselves to paint a pretty picture. We don't, of course, know what caused the crash, but any bad publicity or delay in production will hurt the Air Force and F-22 backers on the Hill.

My question is, two crashes in five years after twenty years of testing and development...why aren't the Osprey analogies coming out?..

All debates aside, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the downed pilot. It's a terrible tragedy for all.

The Air Force is reporting that an F-22 Raptor has crashed near Edwards AFB in California today.

The pilot was on a training mission near Edwards AFB, Calif., and crashed about 35 miles north of the base at 10am Pacific time.

The Air Force is saying the condition of the pilot is unknown, which is strange given the proximity of rescue units, other aircraft in the area and communications capabilities.

Another F-22 crashed in training in the Nevada desert in 2004. That pilot survived after ejecting from the stricken jet.

We'll keep you up to date as this develops and welcome any first hand info from readers...

-- Christian

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