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Cadet Wing

Class of ‘13 graduate dies in N.M. plane crash

U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs / Published March 16, 2017.  

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. —

An Air Force Academy graduate was one of three special operators killed March 14 when their U-28A aircraft crashed near the Clovis Municipal Airport in Clovis, New Mexico, during a training mission.

First Lt. Frederick Dellecker was a combat systems officer and the aircraft’s copilot. He was assigned to Cadet Squadron 13 and graduated in 2013 with bachelor of science degree.

Also killed were pilot Capt. Andrew Becker, and Capt. Kenneth Dalga, a combat systems officer.

The three Airmen were assigned to the 318th Special Operations Squadron at Cannon.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and friends of those involved in this tragic accident,” said Col. Ben Maitre, commander of the 27th Special Operations Wing. “In doing so, our focus is to also support our larger air commando community as we prioritize safe mission accomplishment in both our training and operational commitments.”

The crash occurred just before 7 p.m. March 14. The cause is under investigation.

“Our thoughts and wishes go out to these Air Force families who have suffered an incredible loss,” said Col. John Price, the commander, commandant of cadets at the Academy. “Our cadets recognize their sacrifice and also mourn the loss of a former cadet who did great things for the Air Force.”

Dellecker, 26, is survived by his mother Karen, and father William. He was from Daytona Beach, Florida.

Becker, 33, is survived by his spouse, mother and father. He was from Novi, Michigan.

Dalga, 29, is survived by his spouse, son and mother. He was from Goldsboro, North Carolina.

The U-28A is used by special operators during intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

The 318th SOS is attached to the 27th Special Operations Group at Cannon. The group conducts combat support and other missions.