A T-45 trainer jet with an instructor and student pilot crashed late Sunday night. Both pilots ejected safely and were transported for medical evaluation.
Officials with Naval Air Station Kingsville state the jet went down 17 miles southwest of the airfield at approximately 9 p.m. local time. NAS Kingsville is one of the US Navy’s primary training bases for the jet training pipeline. The base trains 50% of the Navy and Marine Corps tactical pilots each year.
The T-45 is the primary trainer jet for the US Navy. Based off the British Aerospace Hawk aircraft, the Navy T-45 is the workhorse of the advanced training fleet. It has been in service since the early 1990’s.
The pilots are assigned to squadron VT-21 from Training Wing 2 at NAS Kingsville and were on a training mission over Brooks County, according to NASK officials. Emergency medical personnel treated the pilots on scene before transporting them to a local medical facility.
There have been no reports of any ground damage done due to the crash and investigators have secured the crash scene.
This is the third crash for Navy and Marine Corps aircraft in the past three weeks. On July 28th, an F-18C from MCAS Miramar, CA crashed near Twenty-Nine Palms, CA killing Major Sterling Norton. On August 2nd, an F-18C from the same squadron (VFMA-232) crashed during a functional check flight near NAS Fallon, NV. The pilot ejected safely.
Operational tempo at the training squadrons have been extremely high recently. Instructors and students have been flying 6 days a week in an effort to complete students through the intermediate and advanced training programs. Once students complete advanced training, they move on to the Fleet Replacement Squadrons for final training in their operational aircraft.
The cause of all three crashes are still being investigated by the Department of the Navy.
You can see the local news release here.
Top photo credit: Two Plane Formation Flight – A T-45 from Training Air Wing TWO flies above a T-45 from Training Air Wing ONE at NAS Meridian, MS over the skies of Kingsville during a routine training flight (US Navy).
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