Losses and Aviation Safety

Two USAF Airmen Killed After T-38 Formation Takeoff went Allegedly Wrong

Two T-38 training aircraft, each with two airmen inside, were performing a mission when the incident occurred, Vance said in a statement.

On Nov. 21, 2019 two airmen at Vance AFB, Okla., were killed in a “mishap” during a routine training flight at the base, according to a US Air Force news release.

Two T-38 training aircraft, each with two airmen inside, were performing a mission when the incident occurred, Vance said in a statement.

As noted by Air Force MagazineVideo from local TV station KOCO shows one T-38 upside down on the side of the runway. No additional details on the incident have been released.

Emergency personnel are on scene to treat casualties and assist in recovery efforts, the base announced. The names of the airmen are being withheld until next of kin have been notified, Vance said in a statement.

According to Scramble Magazine, unconfirmed reports mention that the aircraft performed a formation take-off when things went terribly wrong. One of the T-38s went off the runway and rolled over. This is the aircraft in which both pilots got killed. The Talon that is still upright shows damage to the right wing, it’s not clear if this was caused by a collision on the runway or if this damage was caused by the fact it went off the runway.

During 2018, USAF T-38Cs were involved in crashes too. Scramble Magazine lists three write-offs (23 May, 17 August and 13 November 2018) and a fourth damaged (11 September 2018).

Vance is home to the 71st Flying Training Wing, which operates T-1s, T-6s, and T-38s for pilot training.

Photo credit: Enid News & Eagle Facebook Page and KOCO5

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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