Nellis AFB: Pilot killed after contracted-aircraft crashes south of base in Las Vegas valley

Nellis Air Force Base confirmed a pilot was killed after a contractor-operated aircraft crashed in the Las Vegas valley Monday afternoon.

According to military officials, the aircraft was owned, operated and piloted by Florida-based Draken US.

"A contractor-operated aircraft that took off from Nellis Air Force Base crashed at approximately 2:30 p.m. May 24 outside the southern edge of the base," military officials tweeted.

"Draken has received news of a downed aircraft out of Nellis AFB and the tragic loss of one of our pilots. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people and families affected by this event. We are doing everything in our power to assist them in this time of need, and we are working closely with federal, state and local authorities. Draken US is also cooperating with investigating agencies to determine what led to this tragic accident," the company said in a statement to FOX Television Stations Monday night.

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The pilot’s identity has not yet been released. No other personnel was on board.

Multiple federal and local emergency crews responded to the scene, which was reported at 2245 N. Christy Lane, according to KVVU-TV. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. 

"We heard the jet. It was really loud and it just stopped. Classes outside saw it," a local school employee told the outlet. Other witnesses reported seeing heavy smoke in the area.

"My team and I are saddened to hear reports of a plane crash near Nellis Air Force Base," U.S. Rep Steven Horsford tweeted. "As we closely monitor the situation and await further details from base authorities, my thoughts are with all those involved."

This story was reported from Los Angeles.