Santa Fe (New Mexico): At least 3 pilots were killed when their tactical airborne intelligence plane crashed on a training mission near a small airport in eastern New Mexico, media reports said.

According to the Air Force on Wednesday, the single-engine U-28A crashed at at 6.50 p.m. (local time) on Tuesday in a field near Clovis Municipal Airport, the Texas border, NBC News reported.

Director of the airport Kyle Berkshire said that the plane crashed a half-mile from the airport's property. He said it was performing "touch and go's" -- practice maneuvers in which an aircraft will touch the runway and take off again.

"We are deeply saddened by this loss within our Air Commando family," Colonel Ben Maitre, installation commander at Cannon, said in a statement. "Our sympathies are with the loved ones and friends affected by this tragedy, and our team is focused on supporting them during this difficult time."