Eglin mourns Air Force instructor pilot’s tragic death off Destin coast

The U.S. Air Force captain who went missing and was found deceased off the coast of Destin was identified as an instructor pilot based out of Eglin Air Force Base. […]


The U.S. Air Force captain who went missing and was found deceased off the coast of Destin was identified as an instructor pilot based out of Eglin Air Force Base.

  • The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office issued an aqua alert Friday night for Nicholas Brown. An update Saturday said Brown’s body had been found.

On Sunday, the 33rd Fighter Wing said Brown was 34-year-old Capt. Nicholas Brown of the 58th Fighter Squadron at Eglin.

Col. Dave Skalicky, commander of the fighter wing, said in a statement that “our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to Capt. Brown’s family, friends, fellow Nomads, and all those affected by this tragic loss.”

  • “Our focus right now is ensuring we care for those closest to him and provide all the support and resources we can to our Nomads and families during this difficult time.”  

Brown was an F-35 instructor pilot from Austin, Texas. Details surrounding his death remained under investigation.

The U.S. Coast Guard assisted the sheriff’s office in searching for Brown after he went missing while free diving in the Gulf of Mexico near Destin.

A GoFundMe page set up to assist Brown’s family said he was a devoted father and husband. As of Sunday it had raised over $85,000.

6 Responses

  1. His active duty benefits are going to support that family almost for the rest of their lives, so a GFM is not needed.

    1. That $400k death benefit doesn’t go very far these days and they also have 2 young kids where he was the sole provider. So that’s incorrect bamafan.

      1. @britt- there is additional pay and benefits. She will need to talk with FSS to make sure there isn’t any tax implications from the additional GFM. It could harm rather than help. The “death tax” was eliminated recently for SGLI, but this GFM could cause issues on its own.

    2. Bamafan,

      In what world does $400,000 last a family of three 40 years or longer? The Capt. was earning upwards of $100,000 per year, and would have likely earned in excess of 3-million dollars over the next 15 to 20 years of his USAF career as he increased in grade. Add to that retirement benefits of $75,000 or more per year and probably new employment income as well. The monetary loss to his family, resulting from his untimely death, is probably close to 5-million dollars. Please don’t even try to ignorantly suggest that USAF death benefits will come anywhere close to financially compensating his family for their loss. It is simply not accurate.

  2. Our U.S. Army Defense Intelligence Agency families offer our most sincere condolences to this amazing and heroic U.S. Air Force Pilot’s family and USAF Squadron. May Christ accept you into His Kingdom.
    From “Pilot”
    Daughter of
    Fallen U.S. Army Military Police Officer/U.S. Army Defense Intelligence Agent/U.S. Army West Point Honor Guard
    Kirtland USAF Base Albuquerque NM

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