CALIFORNIA CITY, Calif. (AP) — A military jet on a training mission crashed Thursday north of Edwards Air Force base in the Mojave Desert, killing one of two crew members, authorities said.
The T-38 Talon went down at 1:15 p.m. nine miles north of the base, Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes said in a statement.
A Kern County fire official told the AP one body was picked up by the coroner and the other crew member was airlifted to a hospital with undisclosed injuries. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.
Base officials have not released the cause of the crash or the crew members’ names or conditions.
It was the second crash of an aircraft from Edwards in less than two months. On March 25, an Air Force F-22A Raptor crashed about 35 miles north of the base, killing a test pilot for prime contractor Lockheed Martin Corp.
The T-38 Talon is a twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer used primarily for pilot training.
Test pilots and flight test engineers are trained in T-38s at Edwards, while the Air Force Materiel Command uses the T-38 to test experimental equipment such as electrical and weapon systems. NASA uses T-38s as trainers for astronauts. The Navy and other air forces around the world also use them.
T-38s are just over 46 feet long and have wingspans of just over 25 feet.
The Talon, built by Northrop Corp. in Hawthorne, Calif., first flew in 1959. The Air Force acquired more than 1,100 before production ended in 1972. More than half are still flying, according to the manufacturer, now Northrop Grumman.
The company said that the average T-38 has flown 15,000 hours and about 75,000 pilots have trained in them.
In April, the 50th anniversary of the first Talon flight was celebrated at a Northrop Grumman facility in El Segundo, Calif.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense