Two Columbus Air Force Base pilots who ejected from a T-38C Talon II before it crashed outside the base Wednesday morning have been released from Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, CAFB spokespeople confirmed.
The two pilots, who CAFB officials identified only as a student pilot and an instructor, were flying a routine training sortie Wednesday morning when the plane crashed at about 8:30 a.m.
“We value so much our instructor and student pilot force,” said Lt. Col. Marc Deshaies, 14th Operations Group deputy commander at CAFB. “These men and women sacrifice to serve and it’s absolutely at the forefront of the (CAFB) mission to care for them and for their families throughout all this and we are extremely, extremely thankful that they were able to eject safely from the aircraft.”
CAFB suspended flying operations for the rest of the day following the crash. Deshaies said an interim safety board was convened to gather and preserve evidence from the crash.
The T-38 was manufactured in 1968. It crashed in a wooded area just outside the base near the Lowndes-Monroe County line.
Authorities from the base, along with local law enforcement and fire departments, responded to the scene. They have extinguished the fire and secured the area, the press release said. No houses or other structures were near the crash, which occurred near the base.
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