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Kenneth Dalga: Northern Kentucky native killed in Air Force plane crash

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Posted at 7:55 AM, Mar 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-24 07:55:13-04

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — A Northern Kentucky native was among the three service members killed last week during a plane crash in New Mexico.

Air Force Capt. Kenneth Dalga, 29, grew up in Union, Kentucky, according to his obituary. He attended the University of Kentucky and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity.

Dalga is survived by his wife, Sarah Segers Dalga, of Louisville; his son, Noah; his mother, Tracey Dalga; his brother, Nolan Dalga; and his grandparents, Florence Dalga and Ken and Judy Dearwester, his obituary reads.

Dalga's funeral and visitation is Friday morning in Burlington, according to Linnemann Funeral Homes Burlington. He'll be buried at Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. The Dalga family asks for donations to the Wounded Warrior Project in lieu of flowers.

Dalga was a member of the 318th Special Operations Quadron at Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, New Mexico, the Associated Press reported.

The crash happened last Tuesday night; a reconnaissance and surveillance plane crashed during a training flight, killing Dalga and two others. Cannon Air Force Base officials told the Associated Press the 33-year-old pilot, Capt. Andrew Becker from Novi, Michigan, and 26-year-old co-pilot, 1st Lt. Frederick Dellecker from Daytona Beach, Florida, were also killed.

Col. Ben Maitre, commander of the 27th Special Operations Wing, said the unit's thoughts and prayers are with families and friends of those killed. He said the community has been hit hard by the tragedy.

"Our focus is to also support our larger Air Commando community as we prioritize safe mission accomplishment in both our training and operational commitments," Maitre said in a statement.

The cause of the single-engine U-28A's crash near the Clovis Municipal Airport is under investigation, and officials have said there was no indication of any problems with the plane before it went down in a field about 3 miles from the base.

Investigators were combing over the wreckage and reviewing everything from documents related to the preparation of the training flight to maintenance records for the plane.

Maitre described the U-28A as reliable, saying that type of aircraft is used for thousands of hours a year and that crew members fly hundreds of hours annually to maintain their proficiency with the plane and its systems.

Flights by the 318th squadron were put on hold following the crash, and base officials said Thursday that they did not know when they would resume.

A Go Fund Me page was set up to help with funeral costs for the Dalga family. You can access it here.