Tue, May 06, 2008
Investigation Underway Into What Felled Trainer
US Air Force officials at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, TX
identified the pilots killed when their T-38C Talon crashed during
a May 1 training mission.
Maj. Brad Funk, 35, a 90th Flying Training Squadron instructor
pilot, and 2nd Lt. Alec Littler, 23, a student pilot in the 80th
Flying Training Wing's Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program,
died when the aircraft crashed on approach during a training
mission at about 0755 EDT.
As ANN reported, the crash
was the second fatal accident involving a Talon in eight days. Two
pilots were also killed when their USAF T-38C trainer crashed April
23 on the grounds of Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi.
While there's no indication the two accidents were related, the
Air Force has grounded all T-38s pending investigations into what
caused both planes to go down. "Until we have more complete
understanding of the causes of both accidents, it's prudent to
stand down the T-38s," said General William R. Looney III, the
commander who issued the order.
First flown in 1959, the T-38 Talon is a twin-engine,
high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer used in a variety of roles.
The upgraded T-38C (type shown above) incorporates a "glass
cockpit" with integrated avionics displays, head-up display and an
electronic "no drop bomb" scoring system. The instructor and
student sit in tandem on rocket-powered ejection seats in a
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