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Raptor Down

March 26th, 2009 - 9:02 am

Saw the headline on Google News last night, that an F-22A Raptor had gone down outside of Edwards AFB in California. Read Melissa the details, including that the plane had crashed mid-morning, but that the pilot’s condition was unknown.

“Oh, no,” Melissa said. “They know. That just means they haven’t been able to notify the family.”

Sure enough, the memo went out to Lockheed employees this morning:

I am deeply saddened to inform you that one of our test pilots, David Cooley, was killed yesterday in the crash of an F-22A near Edwards Air Force Base, California.

David, 49, was an outstanding pilot who joined Lockheed Martin in 2003 after a 21-year career with the U.S. Air Force. He worked with our customers at the 411th Flight Test Squadron, 412th Test Wing at Edwards. He was part of the F-22 Combined Test Force, where a team of Lockheed Martin and Air Force pilots conduct F-22 aircraft testing. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Our thoughts and prayers are with David’s family and friends during this difficult time. We will remember David with great admiration for his courage, his dedication, and his many contributions to our company and our nation.

Damn.

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