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Sun, Aug 10, 2008

USAF Releases Report on Columbus AFB T-38 Accident

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 investigation board.



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