Texas Air Force base temporarily suspends flights after deadly crash

Texas Air Force base temporarily suspends flights after deadly crash
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The Air Force’s largest training base on Tuesday suspended all flights following a deadly T-38 Talon aircraft crash a day prior, the service said in a statement.

Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, suspended flying operations through Thanksgiving weekend after one pilot was killed and another injured from a T-38 trainer crash Monday.

The crash happened around 4 p.m. about 14 miles northwest of the base.

The injured pilot was hospitalized and an investigation is underway to look into what caused the crash, according to the Laughlin officials.

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“Our community has suffered the irreplaceable loss of one of our pilots,” Col. Charlie Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, said in a statement.

“The immediate concern is to provide support and love to his family, friends and colleagues. Our Airmen and their families are incredibly important to us, and our top priority. For now, we will focus inward to make sure that our base community rallies around those who are suffering and need our support.”

A problem with the trainer’s gear box has emerged as a possible cause of the crash, Fox News reported.

“We are a close knit family, and when a tragedy like this occurs every member of the U.S. Armed Forces feels it. Our people take top priority, and we are committed to ensuring their safety and security,” Col. Michelle Pryor, a 47th vice commander, said in a separate statement.

The names of the dead and injured pilots have not been released, pending a next of kin notification.

There have been a string of military aircraft crashes over the past several months, including a Navy T-45 crash in October in Tennessee that killed two pilots, a crash in Syria in late September, a Black Hawk Helicopter crash off the coast of Yemen in August, a downed Army helicopter off the coast of Hawaii that killed five the same month and a Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey crash off the coast of Australia that killed three.