Test Pilot School Trainee Lost In Talon Accident
As previously reported, an Air Force test pilot student died May
21 when his jet trainer crashed north of Edwards Air Force
Captain Mark P. Graziano, 30, died when the T-38A Talon he was
piloting crashed about nine miles north of the base here, near
California City, Calif. Captain Graziano was assigned to the U.S.
Air Force Test Pilot School, where he was undergoing training to
become a test pilot.
His crew member, Maj. Lee V. Jones, was injured upon ejecting
from the aircraft. He was transported to Kern Medical Center in
Bakersfield, Calif., where he is listed in stable condition. Major
Jones, a senior navigator, is also assigned to the U.S. Air Force
Test Pilot School, undergoing test navigator training.
"We are shocked and saddened by this sudden loss and our hearts
and prayers go out to Mark's family and loved ones," said Col.
Terry M. Luallen, U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School commandant. "We
are doing all we can to support Mark's family during this trying
At approximately 1:15 p.m. Thursday the base was notified that a
TPS aircraft had gone down near California City. Emergency
responders from the base and Kern County arrived at the scene where
they found Jones near the crash site, and transported him to Kern
Medical Center. Graziano was pronounced dead at the scene.
The T-38 Talon is a twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet
trainer used in a variety of roles because of its design, economy
of operations, ease of maintenance, high performance and
exceptional safety record. Air Education and Training Command is
the primary user of the T-38 for joint specialized undergraduate
pilot training. Air Combat Command, Air Force Materiel Command and
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration also use the
T-38A in various roles. Test pilots and flight test engineers are
trained in T-38s at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards
Air Force Base, Calif. Air Force Materiel Command uses the T-38 to
test experimental equipment such as electrical and weapon
A board of officers is investigating the accident.