F-22A crash claims life of Edwards pilot, a U.S. Air Force veteran

The U.S. Air Force community sends its condolences to the family of Lockheed Martin test pilot David Cooley, who was killed during an F-22 test mission near Edwards Air Force Base, California. Below is the statement from Lockheed Martin and the press release from Edwards AFB. We will keep you posted on any updates.

LOCKHEED MARTIN STATEMENT – F-22 ACCIDENT

FORT WORTH, Texas, March 25, 2009 – Lockheed Martin test pilot David Cooley, 49, was killed today at about 10 a.m. Pacific time in the crash of an F-22 aircraft flying on a test mission from Edwards AFB, California.  We are deeply saddened by the loss of David and our concerns, thoughts and prayers at this time are with his family.  David joined Lockheed Martin in 2003 and was a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force.  He worked at the F-22 Combined Test Force, where a team of Lockheed Martin and Air Force pilots conduct F-22 aircraft testing.
Questions about the aircraft accident should be addressed to the Edwards Air Force Base Public Affairs Office at 661-277-3511.

F-22A crash claims life of Edwards pilot
March 25, 2009
Release # 090325002 – 1800L
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — An Air Force F-22A crash today claimed the life of a USAF veteran and Lockheed Martin test pilot.

David Cooley, 49, of Palmdale, Calif., died when the F-22A he was piloting crashed northeast of Edwards AFB.  Cooley worked as a test pilot with Lockheed Martin, and was employed at the 411th Flight Test Squadron, 412th Test Wing, on Edwards AFB.  Cooley joined Lockheed Martin in 2003 and was a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force.  He worked at the F-22 Combined Test Force, where a team of Lockheed Martin and Air Force pilots conduct F-22 aircraft testing. 

“This is a very difficult day for Edwards and those who knew and respected Dave as a warrior, test pilot and friend,” said Maj Gen David Eichhorn, Air Force Flight Test Center commander.  “Our thoughts and prayers are with Dave and his family as we struggle through, and do all we can to support them.”

At approximately 10 a.m. this morning Edwards received word that the F-22A had gone down 35 miles northeast of the base.  First responders transported Cooley from the crash scene to Victor Valley Community Hospital in Victorville, where he was pronounced dead.

A board of officers is investigating the accident through an Accident Investigation Board, whose findings will be released to the public upon completion. 

Base officials stress that the accident site is remote and may contain hazardous materials released from the crash, and ask that individuals refrain from entering the area until the full investigation has been completed, and debris removed from the scene.
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