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Friday, July 19, 2013

USAF Aircraft Plane Crashed Near Sheppard Air Force Base Runway, T-38 Talon Pilots Eject Over Wichita Falls, Texas

A T-38 Talon plane crash in Texas caused an instructor pilot and a student to receive minor injuries when they were ejected from there aircraft early Friday morning. 

Two pilots suffered minor injuries after ejecting from their jet aircraft, a T-38 Talon trainer, moments before it crashed in Wichita Falls Friday morning, Air Force officials say.

The aircraft went down near Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, approximately 6:48 a.m., near Pecanway Drive and Horton Lane in Wichita County, after a bird reportedly struck it. Instructor pilot Major Christopher Thompson and student pilot German 1st Lt. Julius Dressbach were both ejected safely.

An excellent job was conducted by the Sheppard AFB FES firefighters after the crash of a T-38 about a mile from the USAF air base. Outstanding skill in positioning the USAF Striker Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicles into very tight quarters--a single lane dirt road with one way in/out. Lots of congestion with fire vehicles, sheriff's cars, ambulance, and the news vehicles. One pilot landed in a dry lake bed and the other student pilot landed in a heavily forested area and took some time to find. It's reported that it took 5 hours to find a ejection seat. A local Deputy sheriff broke a leg falling from a fence at the crash site.

Witnesses reported hearing a loud noise at 6:48 a.m.

"All of a sudden you hear a big loud noise, it sounded like a blow torch and then just a big loud bang, so we flew out of bed, threw shoes on went outside and you just see a big mushroom cloud everywhere," Melissa Baker stated.

This isn’t the first time a T-38 Talon, which is used as part of the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program, has crashed near Sheppard. In 2009, an instructor and a student were killed after their aircraft crash-landed.

An investigation into the crash is underway, Air Force officials said Friday, and more information is expected to be released at a later time.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

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