The pilot who was killed Friday in a tragic accident at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas has been identified. The 23-year-old 2nd Lieutenant was involved in a mishap with a training T-38 Talon aircraft. His name was Anthony D. Wentz. The aircraft are typically used as training tools for pilots who are on the path to fly fighter jets. The demise of the young airman is still being investigated.
Two others were also injured in the accident and taken to local hospitals to be treated for their injuries. One of the airman was taken to Val Verde Regional Medical Center in Del Rio. The other, in more serious condition, was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio where he is still in critical condition.
Wentz was a student at the 47th Student Sqaudron and was from Falcon, Colorado.
“A loss such as this affects us all, but one thing we never fail to do in times of crisis is come together, support one another, and respond,” Col. Craig Prather said in a statement, according to Fox News. “Our focus remains on supporting the families involved and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with them and our teammates today.”
The incident is still being investigated and details of the crash haven’t been released publicly.
The commander of the 47th Flying Training Wing, Col. Craig Prather released a statement after the initial accident saying, “Losing teammates is unbelievably painful and it is with a heavy heart I express my sincere condolences,” he stated. “Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with our pilots involved in this mishap and their families.”
Air Force Jets Crash in Alabama
In another grave incident earlier this year, two training pilots were killed after their T-38 went down in a field near Montgomery, Alabama. The jet was assigned to the 14th Flying Training Wing in Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi.
One of the pilots was U.S. Air Force instructor while the other pilot was a Japanese Air Force student. The pilots were working on maneuvering procedures when the accident occurred.
While the pilots were attempting to land, their jet crashed in a wooded area near a residential neighborhood. Though no one else was injured in the crash, the accident was still being investigated at the time.
Further, the identities of those pilots had not been released at the time of their demise. Additionally, no other structures were damaged when the plane crashed on the ground.
During a training mission, the T-38 jets typically carry one student and one instructor. Each flight path is planned beforehand and the student pilot is usually training to become a fighter pilot.