July 10, 2009
An aircraft containing one student pilot from Columbus Air Force Base crashed in Webster County near Mantee, west of West Point, Thursday evening, but the pilot parachuted safely, officials said.
The aircraft, a T-6 Texan II primary trainer, a single-engine two-seater used across the Air Force and Navy, crashed at about 5:50 p.m., during initial flight training. It landed in what was described as "a sparsely populated area" in a CAFB news release.
The identity of the pilot was unavailable at press time. He had a scratch on his cheek and was taken to a local hospital "just to check him out to make sure that he didn''t have any concussion," said Darla Murphree, a dispatcher with the Webster County Sheriff''s Office. He was released the same night, said Sonic Johnson, director of CAFB public affairs.
"He''s in great shape," Johnson added.
According to the news release, the base will establish a board to investigate the incident.
The T-6 Texan II entered service in 2000, replacing T-34 and T-37 training aircraft. The aircraft, valued at $5 million, is built by Raytheon.
The last crash of CAFB aircraft came April 23, 2008, when instructor pilot Maj. David Faulkner and student pilot 2nd Lt. Matthew Emmons were killed when their T-38C Talon trainer aircraft crashed on the base''s runway.
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