3 airmen dead after Cannon AFB crash

The airmen were killed when the U-28A plane they were flying in crashed less than a mile from a municipal airport

Aaron Martinez
El Paso Times, Texas

Three airmen were killed in a plane crash Tuesday night during a training flight at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, officials said.

The airmen, who were assigned to the 318th Special Operations Squadron, were killed when the U-28A plane they were flying in crashed less than a mile from the Clovis Municipal Airport, Cannon Air Force Base officials said.

The wreck occurred at about 6:50 p.m. Tuesday.

“We are deeply saddened by this loss within our Air Commando family,” Col. Ben Maitre, the installation commander, said in a statement. “Our sympathies are with the loved ones and friends affected by this tragedy, and our team is focused on supporting them during this difficult time.”

The cause of the crash is under investigation and no other details have been released.

Officials said they will not release the names of the airmen until 24 hours after their next of kin have been notified.

This is the second incident involving the death of an airman to occur at the base in 2017.

Senior Airman Deanna Richards, 26, died after she collapsed during a physical training exercise Jan. 20, the El Paso Times previously reported.

Richards, who was originally from Ashland, Mass., worked as an operations management journeyman at Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron, officials said.

At the time of Richards’ death, base officials said the “cause and details surrounding the death are under investigation.” No update has been given on the investigation.

The base is located just outside of Clovis.

———

©2017 the El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service