Top Gun pilot feared exposure of gay affair

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The Independent Online
Craig Button, the US Air Force pilot who crashed into a mountain range for no apparent reason, was reportedly afraid that his gay affair with another pilot would be made public.

Leaked details of reports compiled by accident investigators indicate that Captain Button feared that he would be dismissed from the military because of the relationship.

During a training exercise last month, the 33-year-old, who had followed a childhood dream to become a USAF "Top Gun", broke formation with two other tankbuster A-10 aircraft and flew off towards mountains in Colorado.

For two weeks, the American authorities were unable to trace the plane and could only report that the aircraft appeared to have vanished without a trace.

The wreckage of the pounds 6m jet, which was loaded with four high-explosive bombs, was finally found on the 13,000-feet Gold Dust Peak. Captain Button had made no attempt to eject.

Investigators reportedly believe that Captain Button had planned the crash and intended to die at a place bearing his own forename and the name of his home state. They think he intended to crash into Craig Peak on New York Mountain, which was immediately behind Gold Dust Peak.

The pilot was buried last week at a military cemetery in New York.