Two T-38 Talon Air Force jet trainers crashed in an accident at Vance AFB in Enid, Oklahoma. One jet ended up on its back on the ground with the gear still deployed. A scar can be seen on the ground where the jet skidded on the ground before coming to a stop. The other Talon was sitting on the ground with its gear down nearby.
Two pilots killed
There were a total of four pilots flying, with two airmen in each T-38. Two of the pilots from the jet that ended up inverted on the ground died. The accident happened during a training mission. The mishap happened around 9:10 a.m.
Emergency response personnel was dispatched from Vance to treat casualties and to assist in the recovery procedures. As always, when there is an accident a safety investigation team will be deployed to investigate. Such investigations typically take 30-60 days to complete in the Air Force.
News conference with the Training Wing Commander
In a post-accident news conference, Colonel Corey Simmons declined to speculate on the cause of the accident. Simmons also said that he did not know if the planes collided. Colonel Simmons is the Commander of the 71st Flying Training Wing. There is about 1,200 military personnel at Vance AFB.
The T-38 crash is the second accident at Vance AFB in a year
In another military airplane accident at Vance last year the jet took a birdstrike, developed engine trouble, and crashed. However, the pilot ejected safely before the jet hit the ground.
The Northrop T-38 Talon
Unfortunate tragedies occur in any type of flying we do, whether civilian or military flying. U.S. Air Force pilots have all gone through their UPT (Undergraduate Pilot Training) learning to fly on the T-38 Talon. However, the T-38 is fairly easy to fly jet for an experienced pilot. One of the most difficult phases of T-38 undergraduate pilot training involves formation flying.
The plane is a two-seat twin-jet supersonic jet trainer. Flying since 1959 the plane is about to be replaced with a new primary Air Force trainer in the near future.
T-38 Talon training videos
Curious as to what that looks like from the T-38 student pilot’s view? Then watch these videos. Come along for the ride.
Featured Image: T-38 Talon. Photo: USAF.