Details remain very thin, but according to Laughlin Air Force Base a T-38 Talon crashed on base at approximately 7:40pm local time. We have no information at this time on the circumstances surrounding the mishap or if the pilot (or pilots) onboard made it out.
This is the fifth Talon crash in the past 12 months and the type has made up roughly half of USAF aircraft losses this year, which have been disturbingly numerous. The last major mishap involving a T-38 occurred just last September when a T-38C veered off the runway at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. In that instance, both pilots onboard were able to escape safely.
The T-38C force has received a number of major upgrades over its lifetime, but the average age of jets is approaching 50 years. The USAF has announced the aircraft’s replacement, Boeing’s entrant into the T-X program, but the new jets won’t arrive at training bases until well into the coming decade.
We will update this post with more info as it comes available.
Update: 11pm PST—
I hate writing this, but Laughlin AFB has officially announced that one of the pilots is dead and one is receiving treatment at a nearby hospital. See the official statement below.
We still have no information as to the circumstances surrounding the accident at this time.
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