One Pilot Confirmed Dead, One Hospitalized in Latest USAF Trainer Crash.
One crew member is confirmed dead and another hospitalized in the fifth U.S. Air Force T-38 Talon two-seat, advanced jet trainer crash this year. The condition of the second crew member transported to Val Verde Regional Medical Center in Val Verde, Texas has not been released.
The accident took place at approximately 7:40 PM local time, the exact location of the crash has not been reported although sources suggest it is close to Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas. Initial reports about the accident were released from Laughlin AFB.
Laughlin AFB is home to two T-38 units, the 87th Flying Training Squadron, the “Red Bulls” and the 96th Flying Training Squadron. Both T-38 equipped squadrons are part of the Laughlin AFB-based 47th Flying Training Wing. It is not known which of the two squadrons the T-38 involved in the crash originated from.
According to a report on Stars And Stripes.com (stripes.com) published immediately following this latest November 13, 2018 crash, “Late last month, the Air Force removed three top commanders at Laughlin, citing concerns about dangerous and threatening behavior at the major pilot training installation, the service’s Air Education and Training Command announced.”
On September 11, 2018, a USAF T-38C advanced jet trainer from Sheppard AFB suffered an incident when it departed the runway and both crew members ejected. One of the crew members was a German exchange pilot. The September 11 incident at Sheppard AFB was the fourth T-38 accident for the Air Force this year. Click here to read the reports we wrote after the previous crashes.
The ageing T-38 Talon jets will be replaced by the Boeing T-X built in cooperation with Saab: at the end of September, the U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing USD 9.2 billion for the development of the new trainer and supporting systems.
This latest November 13, 2018 accident brings the tally of U.S. Air Force accidents since the beginning of 2018 to 10. The accidents so far in 2018 include the loss of an F-15C Eagle that crashed near Japan on June 11, 2018 and the fatal June 22, 2018 crash of an Embraer A-29 Super Tucano participating the Light Attack Experiment near Holloman AFB. This latest Air Force accident increases the total number of U.S. military aviation accidents in 2018 to at least 17. Earlier this year the U.S. Navy made changes to its official web portal that formerly reported aviation accidents to the public. The crash data has since been moved behind a password protected firewall and can no longer be viewed by media reporters.
Top image: file photo of a T-38 Talon II advanced twin-engine jet trainer at Laughlin AFB, Texas. (Photo: USAF)