A U.S. Air Force (USAF) T-38 Talon supersonic jet trainer has crashed in a remote area near the Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi at about 8:30 a.m. on May 23, 2018.
Both pilots ejected safely from the aircraft and are both currently undergoing medical evaluation in a local hospital, according to Air Force officials.
“Local law enforcement and first responders are on scene. First responders have extinguished the fire and are securing the area. There are no houses or other structures in the immediate area of the crash”, the USAF’s 14th Flying Training Wing said in a statement.
According to the Fox News report, the crash took place hours before Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is scheduled to deliver a commencement address at U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. This is the fifth Air Force non-combat aviation crash of 2018 versus 7 for all of last year.
Northrop T-38 Talon
Northrop T-38 Talon is a two-seat, twinjet supersonic jet trainer. It was the world’s first supersonic trainer and is also the most produced. The T-38 remains in service as of 2018 in several air forces.
The United States Air Force (USAF) operates the most T-38s. In addition to training USAF pilots, the T-38 is used by NASA. The U.S. Naval Test Pilot School is the principal US Navy operator (other T-38s were previously used as USN aggressor aircraft until replaced by the similar Northrop F-5 Tiger II). Pilots of other NATO nations fly the T-38 in joint training programs with USAF pilots.
As of 2018, the T-38 has been in service for over 50 years with its original operator, the United States Air Force.