US Air Force releases identity of instructor pilot killed in Montgomery plane crash

The Columbus Air Force Base instructor pilot who died in the crash of the T-38C Talon trainer aircraft near Montgomery, Alabama on Feb. 19 has been identified.

One of the deceased, Scot Ames Jr., 24, was an instructor pilot with the 50th Flying Training Squadron. Ames, Jr., was from Beijing, Indiana.

The name of the second pilot, a student pilot with the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, is not disclosed at this time and will be provided in accordance with Japan’s established process.

On Saturday, Col. Seth Graham, commander of the 14th Flying Training Wing at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, held a brief press conference at the base to express sympathy to the families of the pilots and answer questions. .

The pilots were flying a T-38C Talon from Columbus Air Force Base on what Graham called a cross-country training mission when they crashed late afternoon yesterday off the coast of Old Lamar Road near US Highway 80 in Montgomery.

They were part of the 50th Flying Training Squadron, he said.

Graham says the pilots’ families have been notified.

ALABAMA NEWS NETWORK COVERAGE OF THE CRASH SCENE
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE T-38C TALON TRAINER JET

Columbus Air Force Base is one of four U.S. Air Force undergraduate pilot training bases, Graham said. He says about 365 pilots are trained each year.

Graham says the two pilots were on the first leg of a training mission that would have required them to spend the night. While it didn’t say where the two pilots would land, Montgomery airport officials said the plane was en route to Tallahassee, Florida.

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“With a heavy heart, I express my condolences,” Graham said. He says those on the base are in mourning along with families and friends of the pilots. He says it’s a close-knit team.

Graham says an interim safety board will look into the cause of the accident. He says a timeline varies depending on the complexity of the circumstances involved, but he says it usually takes around 30 to 60 days to fully investigate an accident like this.

He says the investigation will be led by the military and not by the National Transportation Safety Board, which reviews civilian plane crashes.

About Tracy G. Larimore

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