2020 United States Air Force E-11A crash

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2020 United States Air Force E-11A crash
Photograph of an E-11A
Bombardier Global Express E-11A of the United States Air Force, similar to the accident aircraft.
Date27 January 2020 (2020-01-27)
SummaryUnder investigation
SiteDih Yak District, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan
Total fatalities4
Aircraft typeNorthrop Grumman E-11A
(Bombardier Global Express)
Operator430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron,
 United States Air Force
Fatalities2 crew bodies recovered[1]
Ground casualties
Ground fatalities2

On 27 January 2020, a United States Air Force Bombardier Global Express E-11A aircraft crashed in Afghanistan's Dih Yak District, Ghazni Province. Two people on board were killed, the whole crew according to US military sources. The Taliban claimed to have shot the aircraft down.


The aircraft crashed at 13:10 local time (08:40 UTC) in the Dih Yak District. Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. The crash site is 130 kilometres (70 nmi) south west of Kabul, and near the village of Sado Khelo.[2][3] The Voice of America stated that all five people on board were killed.[4] The DoD only confirmed two fatalities recovered at the crash site.[5][6] Two Afghan locals died on the ground by impact of the crash.[1]

It was originally reported to be an aircraft of Ariana Afghan Airlines,[7][8] but the airline later ruled out this possibility, saying all its flights had been accounted for.[2] A spokesman for the United States military confirmed the identity of the aircraft involved in the accident, which occurred in an area controlled by the Taliban.[3] A Taliban spokesman said to Al-Arabiyah, that Taliban militias shot down the aircraft killing everyone on board, including high-ranking officials. However, these reports remain unconfirmed.[9][10]

On 29 January, Pentagon sources identified the airmen killed in the crash as Lieutenant Colonel Paul K. Voss and Captain Ryan S. Phaneuf.[11]


The incident aircraft was a Bombardier Global Express E-11A of the United States Air Force.[12] Video of the crash scene shows that the aircraft serial number was 11–9358,[13] msn 9358. It had first flown in 2009. The aircraft was operated by the 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron in the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node role.[14] The aircraft involved in the crash was one of only four in the United States Air Force.[2]


American military authorities opened an investigation into the incident.[3] The aircraft's flight data recorder was recovered.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Remains of 2 US service members recovered from E-11A crash by Special Operations Forces". Connecting Vets. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Afghan plane crash: Mystery over crash in Taliban territory". BBC News Online. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Altman, Howard; Miller, Kent. "Air Force E-11A aircraft goes down in eastern Afghanistan; US military investigating". Military Times. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  4. ^ Tanzeem, Ayeesha. "Official: 5 Killed in Afghanistan Plane Crash". Voice of America. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  5. ^ "U.S. forces recover bodies of two U.S. service members from site of plane crash in Taliban territory in Afghanistan". The Washington Post. 28 January 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  6. ^ Everstine, Brian W. "Crew Remains Recovered From E-11A Crash". Airforcemag. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  7. ^ "US army investigating plane crash in Taliban-held area". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Plane crashes in Afghanistan's Ghazni province: Officials". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Taliban says it shot down plane carrying high-ranking US military personnel". Al Arabiyah. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  10. ^ "طالبان مسئولیت سرنگون کردن یک فروند هواپیمای حامل «افسران اطلاعاتی آمریکا» در افغانستان را بر عهده گرفتند" [Response to Downing of 'US Intelligence' Aircraft in Afghanistan]. ار.اف.ای - RFI (in Persian). 27 January 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  11. ^ "DOD Identifies Airmen Killed in E-11 Crash". Air Force Magazine. 29 January 2020. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  12. ^ Hradecky, Simon. "No Afghan Ariana Airlines Crash". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  13. ^ @AirportWebcams (27 January 2020). "UPDATE: Afghanistan crash" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  14. ^ "11-9358 accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 27 January 2020.