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Nevada military plane crashes in Las Vegas, pilot killed

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — A pilot died after Nellis Air Force Base officials said an aircraft operated by a military contractor crashed in a nearby residential area in Las Vegas.

A base spokesman confirmed the crash happened about 2:30 p.m. Monday just outside the southern edge of the base, shortly after the plane took off.

The Florida-based company Draken US owned the Dassault Aviation Mirage F1 aircraft that crashed and said the pilot, who was not identified, had died and no one else was on board. It was unclear whether anyone on the ground was hurt.

A resident of the neighborhood told the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper that he heard a loud thump as the plane crashed into a residential yard across the street, and he saw black smoke billowing from near the home.

No information was made available on the cause of the crash, but the National Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating.

At Nellis, Draken maintains a number of aircraft, including the French-built Mirage F1, a fighter jet, to fly against the U.S. Air Force pilots as aggressor jets in training. According to Draken's website, the company has been serving in this role since 2015.

Nellis Air Force Base is located approximately 8 miles northeast from downtown Las Vegas. The base covers more than 14,000 acres, while the total land area occupied by Nellis and its restricted ranges is about 5,000 square miles.

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