Crash of two USAF Northrop T-38 Talon trainers kills two pilots

U.S. Air Force photo

Two Northrop T-38 Talon aircraft of the United States Air Force crashed during a training mission in northeastern Oklahoma. Two pilots were killed in the accident.

The T-38 Talon trainers were performing a routine mission, with two pilots onboard each aircraft, according to Vance Air Force Base. The crash killed both pilots of one of the jets. The two occupants of the other one were unharmed. Vance emergency response personnel intervened to treat casualties and assist in recovery efforts. Footage of the crash site shows one aircraft by the runway and another one upside down on the soft ground. An Air Force safety board will investigate the incident. 

It is the second trainer to crash in Oklahoma this year. On August 17, 2019, another Northrop T-38 Talon, also stationed at Vance Air Force Base, crashed during a training mission. Its pilot, an instructor, managed to eject and was only slightly injured. The investigation determined that the aircraft had suffered a bird strike.

Vance Air Force Base hosts the 71st Flying Training Wing. It provides training to pilots of the United States military, as well as officers from allied countries.

The Northrop T-38 Talon is a twin-engine, two-seater supersonic training aircraft. It has been in operation within the United States Air Force since 1961. In September 2018, the Boeing T-7 Red Hawk, designed in partnership with the Swedish manufacturer Saab, was selected as a replacement. It should be operational by 2024.


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