Two T-38C Talon trainer aircraft collided at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma on Thursday, according to U.S. Air Force statement.
“Two Vance Air Force Base Airmen were killed in an aircraft mishap at approximately 9:10 a.m. today,” the service message states. “At the time of the accident, the aircraft were performing a training mission.”
The incident involved two T-38C Talon twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer. Normally, two personnel ride in the cockpit of the training planes, the training pilot and an instructor.
Video shot by Oklahoma City’s KOCO News shows one T-38 flipped over a few hundred feet off of a runway with markings in the ground that indicate its path from the runway. A second T-38 was resting upright several hundred feet from the flipped jet and just off the runway, according to the video footage.
Names of the deceased will be withheld pending next of kin notification.
A safety investigation team will investigate the incident.
Five T-38s crashed between November 2017 and November 2018, including one from Vance AFB in August 2018. Two of those crashes during that time were fatal, Stars and Stripes reported.
The Northrop Grumman’s website said the T-38 Talon was is the world’s first supersonic trainer. Nearly 1,200 Talons were produced from 1961-72, and more than 500 are currently operational with the Air Force and NASA. Also noted that more than 72,000 U. S. Air Force pilots have trained in T-38 Talon.
Currently, the T-38 is being replaced by the newest T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer aircraft. In 2018, Boeing was awarded a $9.2 billion contract to build T-X aircraft to replace the Air Force’s T-38Cs. That contract calls for 350 of the new trainer jets to be ready for full operational deployment by 2034.