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Published: Sunday, 3/16/2008

Toledo Air National Guard student pilot dies in crash


A Toledo Air National Guard student pilot died when his F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed south of Alamo Lake, Ariz., officials confirmed on Sunday.

Second Lt. David J. Mitchell, 26, a member of the 180th Fighter Wing, was on an air-to-air training mission on Friday out of Arizona s Luke Air Force Base when the crash occurred.

Lt. Col. Thomas R. Gee from the 180th Fighter Wing said Sunday night that Lieutenant Mitchell was learning to become a fully qualified pilot when the "tragic event" occurred. Lieutenant Colonel Gee said the student pilot located in Toledo in 2006.

Lieutenant Mitchell was temporarily assigned to the 62nd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base as part of the basic qualification course within the initial pilot training program.

A traditional member of the Ohio Air National Guard, he was scheduled to complete initial pilot training in June, 2008.

A native of Lorain, he attended Bowling Green State University, and was graduated in 2005 with a degree in aircraft maintenance.

Lieutenant Mitchell, who was the son of David M. Mitchell of Sandusky and Jo Anne Nagy of Parma, enlisted in the Ohio Air National Guard in October, 2001, and joined the 180th Fighter Wing s maintenance squadron as a jet engine shop mechanic.

He was selected for a commission in 2006 and completed the Air National Guard s Academy of Military Science Commissioning program, earning the rank of second lieutenant. After his commission, he attended and was graduated from the undergraduate pilot training and the fighter bomber course in 2007, held at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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