Air Force officials have completed their investigation of the
April 23 T-38C Talon (file photos, below) accident at Columbus Air
Force Base, Miss., which resulted in the deaths of two pilots and
destroyed the airplane.
Maj. Blair Faulkner, a 43rd Flying Training Squadron instructor
pilot, and 2nd Lt. Matthew Emmons, a student pilot assigned to the
50th Flying Training Squadron, were taking off from Columbus AFB
when their T-38 began an uncommanded roll to the left.
The crew briefly recovered the aircraft to level flight, but as
the aircraft gained airspeed the roll intensified. Unable to regain
controlled flight, the crew attempted to eject from the aircraft
but were too low and the aircraft was inverted. Both were killed on
impact with the ground.
The accident investigation board determined the cause of this
mishap to be mechanical failure of the right aileron, which failed
in the full down position before takeoff.
There were no other casualties from this mishap and other than
the aircraft, there was no property damage.
Brig. Gen. Dean J. Despinoy, the 434th Air Refueling Wing
commander at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind., headed the accident