Pilots ID'd In T-38 Crash

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The Air Force has released the names of the two pilots involved in the T-38 Talon crash at Laughlin Air Force Base on Monday. Captain Paul Barbour, 32, from Van Nuys, California, was killed in the crash of the twin-engine supersonic trainer. The Air Force identified the surviving pilot earlier this week as Captain Joshua Hammervold. Hammervold successfully ejected and was released from the Val Verde Regional Medical Center on Tuesday in good condition. The Air Force has not released any information on the purpose of the fatal flight. Both pilots were instructors in Laughlin’s 87th Flying Training Squadron.

“Tragic events like this are difficult for everyone ― family, friends, co-workers, supervisors and our entire Air Force,” said Colonel Charlie Velino, commander of the 47th Flying Training Wing. “Every day, our pilots take a risk as they step into the cockpit, and every day they operate with the utmost skill, professionalism and dedication to train the next generation of flying airmen and to ensure the safety of this great nation. Rest assured, we are doing everything we can to support the investigation and prevent future incidents.” Official determinations on the cause of accidents by an Air Force accident investigation board generally take six to nine months.

The T-38 is used primarily by the Air Force as an advanced trainer to introduce pilots who have been selected for fighter/bomber training to the flight characteristics of high-performance jet aircraft. The 1960s-era supersonic trainers are due for replacement as part of the Air Force T-X contract. A winner has not yet been selected for the many-billion-dollar contract.

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