F-16 Pilot Identified in Fatal Nevada Crash

Capt. Eric Ziegler, 30, an operational test and evaluation instructor pilot with the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nev., is the airman who died last week when his F-16C crashed in the desert near Caliente, Nev., during a training mission, announced Air Force officials. “Words can’t express how much we’ll miss Eric,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Suttlemyre, 422nd TES commander in a Nellis release. “He was a special friend, a phenomenal husband and father, and a terrific aviator and officer. Our hearts go out to his family during this difficult time.” A native of West Fargo, N.D., Ziegler graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2003. He was an experienced pilot with more than 1,200 flight hours, primarily in the F-16, including more than 300 flight hours in combat. Ziegler recently had been selected to attend the elite Air Force Weapons School at Nellis. (See also Grand Forks Herald report.)