Nevada governor orders flags lowered for Thunderbirds pilot

April 6, 2018

In this March 14, 2018, photo released by the U.S. Air Force, Maj. Stephen Del Bagno, Thunderbird 4/Slot Pilot, left, and Staff Sgt. Michael Meister, Thunderbird 4 Dedicated Crew Chief, await the signal to start their F-16 Fighting Falcon during a practice show at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Del Bagno was killed when his aircraft crashed on the Nevada Test and Training Range during a practice aerial demonstration on April 4, 2018. (Master Sgt. Christopher Boitz/U.S. Air Force Photo via AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The governor of Nevada ordered flags to be flown at half-staff to honor a U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pilot who died this week in a training flight crash.

Gov. Brian Sandoval’s executive order calls the Friday gesture a mark of respect and remembrance for Maj. Stephen Del Bagno (del BAG’-noh).

Del Bagno was 34 and lived in Valencia, California.

He died Wednesday when his F-16 Fighting Falcon known as Thunderbird 4 crashed in the Nevada Test and Training Range north of Nellis Air Force Base.

Del Bagno was in his first season with the elite Thunderbirds flight demonstration team.

He previously served as an F-35A stealth jet evaluation pilot with the 58th Fighter Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

The Air Force says the crash is being investigated.

Update hourly