T-38 Talon at Columbus Air Force Base
Around 17:30 on February 19, 2021, near Montgomery Danelli Field Airport in Alabama, USA, the T-38 Talon, on which the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s second class lieutenant was on board, crashed. Two pilot instructors belonging to the United States Air Force who were on board died.
The crashed T-38 Talon is believed to belong to the 50th Flight Training Corps “Strike Snake” deployed at Columbus Air Force Base under the control of the 14th Flying Training Wing. The 50th Flight Training Corps is a training course consisting of 69 sorties for nearly 100 hours using the T-38C, including more than 100 hours of classroom lectures, about 70 hours of ground training, and training in a simulator.
According to media reports, the location of the crash was around a forest about 3 kilometers in front of Montgomery Airport. It seems that there was no damage to private houses due to the crash. The US Air Force has also commented that the training flight was carried out normally. In response to this crash, the 50th Flight Training Corps temporarily suspended flight training. The US Air Force has also begun investigating the accident, but the cause of the crash is unknown at this time.
The T-38 Talon is a jet trainer developed by Northrop, now Northrop Grumman. The U.S. Air Force is training on the T-38C, which has been upgraded from the early introduction of the T-38A, upgraded avionics, has a glass cockpit, and is equipped with a head-up display. Since the T-38 has been in operation for nearly 60 years since 1961, the development of a new advanced training aircraft “T-7A Red Hawk” proposed by Boeing and Saab as a TX program is underway.