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Female Air Force jet pilot dies in crash

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May 28, 1997
Web posted at: 10:20 p.m. EDT (0220 GMT)

TUCSON, Arizona (CNN) -- One of the few women flying fighter jets for the Air Force died as the A-10 Thunderbolt plane she was flying crashed at a desert training range, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Capt. Amy Lynn Svoboda, 29, a 1989 graduate of the Air Force Academy, was killed while on "a routine training flight" Tuesday, the Air Force said.

"Fragmentary remains have been recovered" from the crash site, a spokesman told CNN. They were flown to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. for positive identification.

The cause of the crash was not confirmed. Investigators picked through the wreckage at the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range, about 50 miles southwest of Phoenix.

map of crash

Svoboda, of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, was about two hours into a training flight with another A-10 when her plane went down, said Capt. Andy White, a base spokesman.

It was the Air Force's first deadly crash involving a female pilot, Pentagon spokesman Lou Timmons said.

After graduating the academy Svoboda went to pilot training at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas, and then remained as an instructor pilot in the T-37 trainer aircraft.

She went to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base for A-10 training in 1996, and was a member of the 354th Fighter Squadron of the 355th Air Wing.

Svoboda was one of six women qualified to pilot an A-10 ground attack aircraft. She had more than 1,400 hours piloting jets, said Maj. Edward Worley, a Pentagon spokesman.

It is the fifth crash of an A-10 Thunderbolt, also known as the "Warthog," in the last eight months. The $8.8 million aircraft is designed to attack ground targets, including tanks, and was used extensively during the Persian Gulf War.

The last A-10 crash was in April, when Capt. Craig Button was at the controls when his plane disappeared. The debris was later found at a crash site in the Colorado Rockies. The cause is still under investigation.

 
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