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2 US Navy training jets collide in midair in Texas

A T-45 Goshawk training aircraft painted in a pre-World War II tactical aircraft paint scheme flies over Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Gabe Pincelli)
May 17, 2021

Two U.S. Navy T-45 Goshawk training jets from Naval Air Station Kingsville collided in air near Highway 77 in Ricardo, Texas on Monday morning.

One of the aircraft landed safely at NAS Kingsville. A trainer pilot and student pilot ejected from the other aircraft before it crashed. One of the pilots was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

“One aircraft was able to safely land at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas, and the other aircraft’s instructor and student pilot safely ejected about nine miles south of Kingsville in Ricardo, Texas. One pilot was taken to CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Kleberg for minor injuries,” Chief of Naval Air Training said in a statement.

Kingsville Police Chief Rick Torres confirmed the crash to local 3News and said two pilots ejected from the jet before it crashed.

Kleberg County Judge Rudy Madrid told local KRIS 6 News that both pilots were found with non-life-threatening injuries on a ranch and were being transported to a hospital in Kingsville.

Local journalist Paul Mueller shared photos from resident Bill Rogers showing a smoke cloud lingering in the sky where an apparent explosion took place.

Kingsville Police Department and the Kleberg County Sheriff’s Office responded to the incident. The Navy is now investigating the situation.

Local resident Corderro Mejia told KRIS 6 that he heard “two loud explosions” and then saw two “fireballs” in the air with no smoke.

NAS Kingsville says it trains half of the Navy and Marine Corps tactical jet pilots.