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Military plane crashes in Alabama leaving two dead

T-38 Talon with 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, Beale Air Force Base, Calif., Oct. 9, 2020. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Dakota C. LeGrand)
February 19, 2021

A military plane crash in Alabama left two people dead Friday evening near Montgomery Regional Airport, executive director Marshall Taggart Jr told WFSA.

Fox News reported that aircraft was a two-seat T-38 jet, Montgomery’s Emergency Management Agency Director Christina Thornton told the news outlet Friday.

Thornton could not confirm if the victims were service members, but the aircraft is used by both the Navy and Air Force for training purposes.

The New York Times reported that the aircraft was Air Force assigned to the 14th Flying Training Wing based out of Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi.

The state’s Air National Guard has three bases across Alabama in Birmingham, Dothan and Montgomery.

According to WFSA, several military personnel arrived at the site of the crash in cars labeled with U.S. Air Force emblem, adding that the aircraft went down roughly 15 miles southwest of Montgomery.

According to Taggart, the plane was on its way to Tallahassee, Florida, prior to the wreck. It did not impact travel at the airport, which handles both military and commercial aircrafts.

The New York Post reported that the crash does not fall under the jurisdiction of the National Transportation Safety Board because it was a military plane, board spokesman Peter Knudson said.

Early reports that NTSB was on the way to the scene were incorrect, Knudson continued.

Reporter Jeff Sanders shared footage of emergency personnel arriving on scene, tweeting, “On the scene of a military plane crash close to the Montgomery Regional Airport. Two fatalities have been confirmed. NTSB on the way to the scene.”

The deadly crash is one of several involving T-38 aircrafts in recent years. In November 2018, an experienced pilot was killed after a compressor stall during a nighttime training session led to a crash at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas.

Almost one year later, two more airmen were killed in a crash involving two T-38 aircrafts during a routine training mission at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma, according to Air Force Times.

“Over the last decade, more active-duty service members died as a result of training-related incidents than in combat operations,” Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe said following the deadly wreck. “While training-related casualties are down this year, even a single instance is too many. We’ve known this is a problem that can’t be solved in a year, and more must be done.”