Air Force training jet crashes in Mississippi, but pilots eject safely

ABC News
ABC News

(COLUMBUS, Miss.) — An Air Force training jet crashed near Columbus, Mississippi Wednesday, but both pilots aboard were able to safely eject from the aircraft.

The crash occurred just days after the Air Force completed a one-day safety review that grounded aircraft so units could focus on safety procedures sparked by a series of recent fatal aviation accidents.

“An Air Force T-38C Talon II crashed at about 8:30 a.m. today in a remote area near Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi,” said an Air Force statement. “Both pilots ejected from the aircraft safely.”

The pilots were transported to a local hospital for evaluation. No houses or other structures were impacted by the crash of the aircraft.

The Talon T-38 is the Air Force’s primary aircraft for training new pilots. Columbus Air Force Base is one of the bases used to train new Air Force pilots.

The crash occurred two days after all Air Force active-duty units with flying and maintenance functions completed an operational safety review to reinforce safety procedures.

Active-duty units had until May 21 to complete the one-day review, which was triggered after a series of fatal Air Force aviation accidents this year.

Air National Guard and Reserve units have until June 25 to complete the review.

The safety review came after the deadly crash in Georgia of a WC-130 aircraft, from the Puerto Rico Air National Guard, that killed nine airmen.

That crash followed another deadly accident where a pilot from the elite Thunderbird air demonstration team last month after a F-16 crashed outside of Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

In March, seven airmen died when an HH-60 Pave Hawk crashed into a power line in western Iraq.

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