Air Force Pilot Dead After 'Classified' Crash At Test Site In Nevada

The Nevada Test and Training Range. Image: Associated Press
The Nevada Test and Training Range. Image: Associated Press

A U.S. Air Force pilot flying an aircraft died last week after a crash at the Nevada Test and Training Range, according to Very few details about the incident have been released as the military says information about the incident is classified.


Lt. Col. Eric Schultz, 44, a father of five children, crashed around 6 p.m. local time on Sept. 5 at the range, which is around 100 miles north of Nellis Air Force Base, itself just outside of Las Vegas. Schultz was on a training mission.

An Air Force press release, coming three days after the incident, was brief:

Lt Col Eric Schultz died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. Our immediate concern is for the family of Lt Col Schultz.

The cause of the crash is currently under investigation. Additional information concerning the accident will be released as it becomes available.


An Air Force spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment from Jalopnik, though a spokeswoman told that information about the aircraft involved is classified. Aviation Week reported Monday that it appeared to be a foreign aircraft involved in the Air Force’s secretive Red Hat unit, a unit that appears to be similar to the now-defunct 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron, which tested and flew Soviet aircraft in Nevada to deepen tactical knowledge.

According to The Capital Gazette, Schultz is a 1991 graduate of Annapolis (Md.) High School:

A former civilian test pilot, Eric Schultz held multiple graduate degrees when he joined the Air Force in 2001. He went on to be an experienced flight training officer who was the 29th pilot to qualify to fly the F-35 fighter jet in 2011.

A day after Schultz’s crash, two A-10C Thunderbolt II jets also crashed at the Nevada range, also while on training missions. The pilots in each of those planes were able to safely eject, the Air Force said, and later released from base medical center without significant injuries.

We’lll update this post if more information becomes available.

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.

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Cory Stansbury

Sounds like a helluva guy. Tragic loss. Thoughts for his family and friends.