The Air Force on Friday released more details from a February plane crash in Montgomery, Alabama, that killed an instructor and a student pilot stationed at Columbus Air Force Base.
Instructor pilot Scot Ames, 24, and student pilot Renshi Uesaki, 25, were flying a T-38C Talon from CAFB on Feb. 19 when it crashed at about 5:30 p.m. near Dannelly Field in Montgomery.
The pilots planned to execute a circling instrument approach at Dannelly Field, then fly to Tallahassee, Florida, for a full-stop landing, according to the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board report.
During the approach at Dannelly, Ames told the student pilot to slow his approach. Rather than slow, Uesaki put the throttle in idle. Eighteen seconds passed before Ames realized the error and attempted to pull out of the descent using the plane’s afterburners. The aircraft crashed 1,800 feet from the approach end of the runway.
The report noted Uesaki had trouble communicating with Air Traffic Control and Ames had to intervene several times. It also noted the sun was in the pilots’ direct field of vision at the time of the crash and could have been a contributing factor.
Ames was from Pekin, Indiana, and assigned to the 50th Flying Training Squadron. Uesaki was one of about 15 Japanese student pilots with the Japan Air Self Defense Force training at CAFB at the time.