March 5, 2021

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Air Force Training Jet Crashes in Alabama, Killing 2 – The New York Times

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An Air Force training plane flying from Columbus, Miss., to Tallahassee, Fla., crashed in a wooded area near the Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama on Friday evening, killing the two people aboard, officials said.

It was not immediately clear what had caused the plane to crash. It was a T-38 trainer aircraft assigned to the 14th Flying Training Wing, which is based at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi, the Wing said in a statement.

The 14th Flying Training Wing specializes in undergraduate pilot training, and the T-38 is one of the planes it uses to prepare pilots for flying fighter and bomber aircraft. The authorities did not immediately release the names of the two people who were killed.

The plane went down at about 5:30 p.m., the Wing said.

Marshall J. Taggart Jr., the executive director of the Montgomery airport, said the plane had crashed in a wooded area near Old Lamar Road and U.S. Highway 80, about 100 yards from the airport. He said firefighters and the police had responded.

The 14th Flying Training Wing said a safety investigation board would convene to investigate the accident.

The crash came less than three weeks after three Idaho Army National Guard pilots were killed when their helicopter crashed in bad weather on Feb. 2 during a routine training mission. The pilots had been in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter when it went down south of Lucky Peak, a park area about 10 miles east of Boise, the National Guard said in a statement.

Last month, a New York Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter on a routine training mission crashed in a rural area south of Rochester, leaving three Guard members dead. It was not immediately clear what had caused that aircraft, a UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter, to go down. Sheriff Todd K. Baxter of Monroe County said during a news conference that people had called 911 and reported seeing a helicopter flying very low and hearing sounds of a sputtering engine.

In October, a Navy plane crashed in a residential area in Southern Alabama, killing its two crew members. The plane went down next to a home near Foley, a coastal area about 30 miles southeast of Mobile, officials said. The plane was a T-6B Texan II, the Navy said. The type of aircraft is often used to train Navy and Marine Corps pilots, according to the Navy’s website.

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