Civilian Pilot Killed on a Kfir C-2 Crash in Nevada

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Kfir C-2 (F-21) Operated by ATAC. Photo: ATAC
Kfir C-2 (F-21) Operated by ATAC. Photo: ATAC

51-year-old Carroll LeFon a pilot of the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company was killed after his F-21 Kfir fighter jet crashed at Fallon Naval Air Station in northern Nevada, USA. Approaching Fallon, the base was blanketed in snow. LeFon then diverted to Reno, 60 miles to the west, which was also covered with snow. “The pilot then turned back toward Fallon and stated to air traffic controllers that he was in a critical fuel state,” the NTSB reported. “The pilot descended and maneuvered first toward runway 31, then toward runway 13” On 09:15 the Kfir struck the ground.

The aircraft built by the Israel Aerospace Industries was supporting naval aviation training operations at the base, where the defense contractor provided adversary simulation and target towing for U.S. Navy fighter pilots.

The crash raises questions about the safety of air operations at Fallon, which is home to TOPGUN and other Navy air training despite being plagued by nasty weather. Those conditions contributed to the death of LeFon, a retired Navy captain, a former instructor at TOPGUN