The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Three Cannon airmen killed in crash


Last updated 3/15/2017 at 11:24am

Rebecca Boyles

A military plane crashed about 6:45 Tuesday night in a field south of the Clovis airport.

CLOVIS — Three airmen assigned to Cannon Air Force Base were killed when their U-28A aircraft crashed south of the Clovis Municipal Airport about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, officials said. All were part of the 318th Special Operations Squadron.

Their identities were not immediately released. The cause of the crash was under investigation.

“We are deeply saddened by this loss within our Air Commando family,” Col. Ben Maitre said in a news release. “Our sympathies are with the loved ones and friends affected by this tragedy, and our team is focused on supporting them during this difficult time.”

Capt. Brandon Baccam of Cannon said a news conference has been scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The U-28A “provides a manned fixed wing, on-call/surge capability for improved Tactical Airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of Special Operations Forces,” according to the Air Force website.

Baccam said Tuesday night there were three people on board. He said the accident happened during a training exercise. It was reported at 6:54 p.m. A small fire related to the crash was extinguished at 7:39 p.m., he said.

Clovis City Manager Larry Fry said the accident occurred outside airport property “across 21st Street in the middle of a field.”

The airport was not closed and flights were on schedule, Fry said.

City and Curry County authorities said Cannon Air Force Base officials had secured the scene and were asking all information come from Cannon’s public affairs department.

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