MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The U.S. Air Force said Sunday that a flying instructor and a student pilot from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force were killed when a trainer jet crashed in Alabama.
The Air Force released the name of the instructor who died when the T-38C Talon trainer aircraft crashed near Montgomery, Alabama. He was identified as Scot Ames Jr., a 24-year-old instructor pilot with the 50th Flying Training Squadron at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. He was from Pekin, Indiana.
The name of the student pilot is not being released at this time, and will be provided according to Japan’s process.
The Columbus Air Force Base is home of the 14th Flying Training Wing, The wing’s mission is specialized undergraduate pilot training.
“We are a close-knit family and the loss of two of our teammates affects us all,” Col. Seth Graham, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, said at a Saturday press conference.
“The strength of our bond is what will help us get through it together. My thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends and our teammates today.”
The cause of the incident is under investigation. The pilots were flying a training mission.
The jet crashed at about 5:30 p.m. near Dannelly Field in Montgomery.
Marshall Taggart, executive director of the Montgomery Regional Airport, told news outlets that the aircraft crashed in a wooded area near the airport. Taggart said there are houses in the area, but the jet did not hit any structures.