USAF Northrop T-38 Talon crashes at Sheppard AFB. The aircraft impacted airport terrain during a takeoff attempt at Sheppard Air Force Base/Wichita Falls Municipal Airport (KSPS), Wichita Falls, Texas.
The airplane sustained substantial damage and the two pilots onboard survived ejection with unspecified injuries.
A T-38C Talon II trainer aircraft crashed after it departed the runway before taking off from Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, Tuesday morning, the base said in a release.
The two pilots of the T-38 ejected from the aircraft. One pilot, U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Charles Walet, was taken to United Regional Medical Center in Wichita Falls and is reportedly stable, according to an update from the base posted on social media Tuesday afternoon. The other, German air force Maj. Christian Hartmann, was taken to the Sheppard Clinic and treated for minor injuries.
Sheppard Air Force Base officially confirms an “aircraft incident “ happened this morning on one of the base runways. Early information suggests the T-38 Talon had a blowout on the plane’s landing gear and the pilots performed a ground ejection. #USAirForce #Airplane pic.twitter.com/VYr47n6FGJ
— Times Record News (@timesrecordnews) September 11, 2018
“We are grateful both aircrew members are safe, and for the outstanding response from our fire, security and medical personnel,” Col. Lendy Renegar, vice commander of the 80th, said in a release. “We also greatly appreciate any expressions of support from leaders and members in our local community.”
The two T-38 crewmembers escaped in ejection seats that were recently upgraded as part of a $185 million improvement program. The new MK US16T ejection seats were installed in the T-38 in 2013. The “zero/zero” ejection seats manufactured by Martin Baker are also used in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the T-6A Texan II trainer.
The Air Force has launched an investigation into the crash
There have been several T-38 crashes in recent months. Fourth T-38 Trainer Accident in Eleven Months for USAF Talon Crews.