Air Force: Bird strike caused wreck of $8M jet

Posted - Dec. 10, 2013 at 1:48 p.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (AP) - U.S. Air Force investigators have confirmed that a bird strike caused an $8 million jet to crash in Texas during a training flight in July.

Two pilots suffered minor injuries when they ejected from the T-38 Talon before it plummeted to the ground south of Sheppard Air Force Base and burst into flames.

Maj. Christopher Thompson was instructing a member of the German Air Force at the time. They were part of the base's Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program. The program trains students from nine NATO countries.

Sheppard officials said Tuesday the bird struck the jet's canopy, shattering it and sending fragments into an engine that then failed.

The incident was compounded by the pilots' attempts to execute a turn that increased drag. The jet lost airspeed, then stalled.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast