F-22 Fighter Jet Crashes on Test Flight in Desert

March 26, 2009

(ChattahBox) — An F-22 Raptor, theĀ  Air Force’s most advanced and expensive fighter, crashed Wednesday morning in the Mojave desert near Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California, killing the pilot. The pilot, David Cooley, 49, was a 21-year Air Force veteran who joined Lockheed Martin in 2003.

The twin-engine jet is generally regarded as the world’s dominant fighter because of its maneuverability, speed and advanced electronics systems. Wednesday’s crash comes amid a debate in Washington over the fate of the F-22 program. The Air Force has 134 of the stealth aircraft, which cost about $145 million each. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said production should stop at 183, but members of Congress have pressed for at least 20 more. The Air Force says the jet is vital to the 21st-century Air Force.”


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