By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 22, 2004; Page E01
The Air Force suspended testing of its Lockheed Martin F/A-22 Raptor fighter jets yesterday, a day after one of the stealth aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
The pilot, who was conducting a training mission, ejected safely and was unharmed in the crash near Las Vegas on Monday afternoon, according to Air Force officials. It marked the first loss of a non-prototype version of the F/A-22 Raptor, designed to replace the F-15 as the nation's most powerful air-to-air fighter, according to Air Force and industry officials.