Thursday, May 21, 2009
"T-38" crashes near Edwards
CALIFORNIA CITY, California — A military jet on a training mission
crashed north of Edwards Air Force base in the desert on Thursday,
authorities said. The fate of the two crew members aboard was not
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. Base officials
had no immediate information on the cause of the crash.
It was the second crash of an aircraft from Edwards in less than two
months. On March 25, an Air Force F-22A Raptor went down 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 Air Force Materiel Command uses the jet to test experimental
equipment such as electrical and weapon systems. NASA uses T-38s as
trainers for astronauts.
The jets are a little more than 46 feet long and have wingspans of
about 25 feet.
The Talon, built by Northrop Corp., first flew in 1959. The Air Force
acquired more than 1,100 before production ended in 1972.