In September, two Air Force pilots safely ejected from a T-38C Talon training jet that crashed after takeoff at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. The base previously spent $185 million upgrading the T-38’s ejection seats in 2013. In August, a T-38C Talon crashed outside Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Okla. Only one pilot was on board during the training mission, and they safely ejected before the plane crashed, the Air Force Times had reported. Similarly, the Air Force has had numerous issues with the T-6 Trainer resulting in crashes – several of them fatal. The Department of Defense awarded a contract to Boeing in September to create a new T-X Trainer training jet for the Air Force that would replace the T-38 Talon. However, the $9.2 billion project will take more than a decade. The Air Force will purchase at least 351 of the training jets, although it could eventually acquire up to 600. It will take time for an investigation to determine the cause of this week’s crash. Laughlin recently experienced a shakeup when three top commanders were removed from their command two weeks ago after “chronic leadership failures” were identified from an investigation. The commanders were from the 47th Flying Training Wing, operations group and flying training squadron. “The prior command team chronically failed to appropriately care for people and the mission,” said Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, chief of the Air Education and Training Command. “They failed to correct an evolving situation that led to an environment where some airmen did not feel safe or respected.” This article has been updated to reflect that the crash happened Tuesday evening, not “late” Tuesday evening. The base made the announcement late Tuesday evening. The article has also been reflected to note that the training plane is a supersonic jet trainer.
Yet another USAF T-38 Talon trainer has crashed, the fifth in 12 months:https://t.co/tWD1sdwslu— The War Zone (@thewarzonewire) November 14, 2018
November 14, 2018