Air Force Academy mourns the loss of cadet who died in a plane crash


C2C Nick Duran / Air Force Academy Twitter

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – The Air Force Academy is mourning the loss of Cadet Second Class Nick Duran, 20, of Texas, who died in a plane crash on June 24, 2021.

Duran was one of two people who died in the single-engine crash in Cleburne, Texas. He was at home on leave at the time.

“The Cadet Wing has suffered the loss of a great friend, teammate, and future warfighter with the tragic death of one of our cadets,” said Brig. Gen. Paul Moga, Commandant of Cadets. “We offer our deepest condolences to Nick’s family and friends as we all mourn this loss. Forever to be missed but never to be forgotten.”

According to a news release from AFA, Duran loved flying and dreamed of becoming an Air Force fighter pilot. He was majoring in management with a minor in Spanish and was involved in many activities outside the classroom, including mentoring basic cadets and working to create an aviation club.

Duran, Class of 2023, spent two years in Cadet Squadron 29 and was a member of the 2020 USAFA
baseball team. His friends describe him as a patriot at heart, an inspiration to live selflessly and say he always remembered and honored our fallen heroes.

Academy leaders, the chaplain’s office, and mental health professionals are providing support and grief counseling to cadets, faculty, and staff.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

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