March 25 2009

F-22a Raptor Crashes In California

f-22A United States Air Force F-22a Raptor crashed in California on Wednesday morning.

At approximately 10 AM Wednesday morning, an F-22a Raptor crashed around 35 miles northeast of the Edwards Air Force Base in California. (link takes you to an interactive map)  The fighter was conducting a test mission at the time, and the cause of the crash, as well as the fate of the pilot, is unknown at this time.

The plane officially entered service in 2005, and costs $137.5 million each, hence why we’ve only built 135 of them thus far. Due to the advanced nature of the fighter, and its perceived superiority over everything else in the sky, the government does not allow them to be sold to any of the countries we normally sell weapons to.

This is the second of these fighters to crash, the first being in December 2004, and luckily the pilot in that case ejected to safety.  Hopefully the pilot in the latest crash is okay, but only time will tell.  Search and rescue teams are currently working in the area.

If the fighter looks vaguely familiar to you, by the way, it’s because it’s the basis for Starscream in the Transformers movies.

UPDATED: Unfortunately, the pilot, David Cooley, 49, was killed in the crash.

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