Losses and Aviation Safety

USAF T-38 Talon Slides Off runway at Virginia Airport

The T-38 from Langley AFB was performing a training exercise when the accident took place

The Newport News/ Williamsburg International Airport reopened around 1:54 p.m. Friday after having been closed for nearly two hours after a U.S. Air Force (USAF) T-38 training aircraft slid off the end of the runway.

As reported by Daily Press, the Talon from Langley Air Force Base (AFB) was performing a training exercise when the accident took place about 11 a.m. Officials said at the time that the airport would be closed for up to two hours.

No injuries were reported, and the Air Force is making arrangements to remove the aircraft while an investigation continues.

Noteworthy this accident follows Nov. 13, 2018 T-38 crash that claimed
the life of instructor pilot Capt. John F. Graziano, 28, of Elkridge, Md., and injured Capt. Mark S. Palyok.

That incident marked the second fatal crash of a T-38 at Laughlin in 12 months, coming almost one year after USAF Capt. Paul Barbour was killed and Capt. Joshua Hammervold was injured when their Talon experienced total hydraulic failure, according to an investigation into the wreck.

It was also the fifth T-38 crash in the last 12 months. Those incidents happened at other locations and the pilots survived.

Other T-38 crashes, in which the pilots safely ejected, occurred during flights out of Columbus AFB in Mississippi on May 23 and at Vance AFB in Enid, Okla., on Aug.17.

The T-38C Talon II is a is a twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer used in a variety of roles. Air Education and Training Command is the primary user of the T-38 for joint specialized undergraduate pilot training. Air Education and Training Command uses the T-38C to prepare pilots for front-line fighter and bomber aircraft such as the F-15E Strike Eagle, F-15C Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, B-1B Lancer, A-10 Thunderbolt and F-22 Raptor.

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force via Daily Press

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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