Two Killed in Military Training Jet Crash Near Montgomery Regional Airport
Columbus Air Force Base officials confirmed Friday night that the two people on board the fighter jet that crashed near the Montgomery Regional Airport have died.
According to a spokesperson from Columbus Air Force Base, the aircraft was a T-38 trainer jet assigned to the 14th Flying Training Wing. The pilots were on a training mission at the time of the crash.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two pilots involved in this incident,” said Col. Seth Graham, 14th Flying Training Wing commander. “There are no words that can describe the sadness that accompanies the loss of our teammates.”
Montgomery Regional Airport Executive Director Marshall Taggart, Jr. tells Alabama News Network the fighter jet was flying from Columbus, Mississippi, to Tallahassee, Florida.
The airport received a distress call just after 5PM. The fighter jet crashed in a woods near Old Lamar Road and U.S. Highway 80 at 5:17PM.
Taggart says no runways were impacted due to the crash happening in a wooded area away from the airport.
A spokesperson with the National Transportation Safety Board said that since it was a military aircraft on a military mission, the NTSB has no jurisdiction to investigate. The spokesperson for Columbus AFB says a safety investigation board will convene to investigate the accident.
The Montgomery County EMA is asking that people avoid the area.
Air base officials said the names of those who died in the crash are being withheld at this time, pending next of kin notifications.
Columbus Air Force Base officials plan to hold a press conference in Columbus Saturday. Alabama News Network will have more as soon as it becomes available.