The Nellis Air Force base confirmed that the panel was part of an A-4 military plane operated by military aircraft contractor Draken International. The panel became detached during a “routine training mission,” according to Draken officials. However, the official cause behind the incident is unknown and is currently being investigated.
— Sergeant Sara Connor (@FLSpacePort) June 7, 2019
"An access panel fell off a Draken aircraft [Thursday] afternoon shortly after departing Nellis on a routine training mission," Scott Poteet, a spokesperson for Draken International, told media outlets.
"Draken, along with the [US Federal Aviation Administration] FAA, are conducting a thorough investigation to identify the cause,” Poteet added. No one was injured when the panel fell, though debris damaged one resident’s car.
"Draken remains focused on safety in every step of maintenance and flight operations. We appreciate the continued support from Nellis and the surrounding communities, and are thankful no one was injured," Poteet continued.
Several witnesses in the neighborhood heard the crash and described the experience to local news stations.
“I heard a smack. And it smacked over here. And when it hit it was loud. And the first thing I did was run in the house ... I was scared. I thought it was a shooting. That's how loud it was,” Anthony Pitts told KTNV Las Vegas.
Maria Delgado was inside a home with a friend when she heard the crash.
"I heard, like, a loud boom! And then I came downstairs and I looked and there it was, just like a big piece of metal right there," Delgado told KVVU.
"It felt like it bounced from like the roof and then, like, it slide down and then it hit, like, the wall," she added.
"I thought the world was ending or something," resident Alex Lopez told KTVN. "And then I came outside and saw my neighbors all staring at something."