A U.S. Air Force Northrop T-38 Talon two-seat, twin-engine, advanced supersonic jet trainer was damaged in a mishap at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in Virginia today, Friday, November 28, 2018.
The trainer aircraft from Joint Base Langley experienced a loss of directional control and subsequent runway excursion upon landing at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (KPHF), Newport News, Virginia. The sole pilot was injured. The aircraft was shut overnight.
This incident occurred at around 11:15 AM local time on Dec. 28, 2018. Only one pilot was on board. The accident shut down the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport’s main runway and was expected to impact a small number of commercial flights, spokesperson Jessica Wharton told the Associated Press.
A U.S. Air Force T-38 Talon jet trainer went skidding off the runway but thankfully no one was injured. This is the latest in a series (Sixth) of major accidents for the T-38 community, which has suffered multiple crashes, including one that led to the death of a pilot, this year already.
On September 11, 2018, a USAF T-38C advanced jet trainer from Sheppard AFB suffered an incident when it departed the runway and both crew members ejected. One of the crew members was a German exchange pilot.
The T-38 Talon is expected to be replaced by the new Boeing T-X next generation advanced jet trainer by 2023. The Air Force plans to buy 351 of the new Boeing T-X trainers according to a September 27, 2018 official announcement. In addition to replacing the aging T-38 Talon trainer fleet the new Boeing T-X advanced trainer will facilitate a more integrated transition to the Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.
The aircraft damaged in today’s incident had the tail code “FF” indicating it was assigned to the 71st Fighter Training Squadron, 1st Fighter Wing out of Langley AFB, VA.
This latest mishap brings the total of U.S. Air Force accidents involving the 57-year old T-38 to six in little more than one year.