Thunderbirds to resume flight operations following pilot’s death


The Thunderbirds are resuming their flight operations over the Nevada Test and Training Range today.

They haven’t flown since the death of Major Stephen Del Bagno who was killed when his jet crashed during training on April 4.

“While our hearts are still heavy with the loss of our wingman Cajun, we know he’d want us back in the air and preparing to recruit, retain and inspire once more,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh, Thunderbirds commander.

Walsh said, the training will focus on maintaining the team’s proficiency with the demanding maneuvers of their air demonstration and strengthen their confidence after a trying two weeks. He said, they are also supporting an investigation to ensure their operations are safe.

Although, they have resumed their training, future cancellations of shows are still possible, Walsh said.

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