Two Killed in T-34C Mishap

Discussion in 'Modern' started by mkloby, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    Two killed in T-34 crash


    Michael Stewart
    [email protected]

    Two Whiting Field Naval Air Station pilots were killed Friday afternoon when their trainer airplane crashed into the side of an Alabama mountain.

    The plane was assigned to Training Squadron Six based out of Milton. The names of the pilots were not released pending notification of next of kin.

    When something like this happens, it hits very close to home, Whiting Field Public Information Officer Lori Aprilliano said. We are a small base, and we are like one big family.

    The aircraft reportedly crashed into the side of Chandler Mountain in northern St. Clair County, Ala., about 60 miles north of Birmingham. Rescuers were working in the rain on the mountain last night to secure the crash scene.

    The T-34C Turbomentor, a two-seat, single-engine training plane, was on a routine mission when it crashed about 3:45 p.m., Whiting officials said.

    People who called in said they heard this big loud ... explosion and when they looked up, they could see fire on the side of the mountain, said St. Clair County´┐Żs 911 director Bill Richvalsky. One of the people said that (the aircraft was) pretty well tore up.

    Although reports say the area was extremely foggy at the time of the crash, authorities have not confirmed if weather was a contributing factor in the crash.

    About an hour after the crash was reported, a Chinook military transport helicopter passed over Chandler Mountain and hovered over a small column of smoke rising from below a mountain ridge, witnesses reported.

    With no good access to the crash site available, members of a specialized rescue unit from the Springville Fire Department were prepared to rappel down the mountain to approach the wreckage late Friday afternoon.

    Although no details about the crash have been confirmed, Aprilliano said the single-engine planes typically are flown by an instructor pilot and a student.

    She did not know where the plane where the plane was flying from, nor its destination. She said Whiting Field has 14 outlying fields used by trainers, with some as far north as Evergreen, Ala.

    It is not known how long it will take to recover the plane.

    We have dispatched personnel up there to set up a command post until the aircraft is brought back, Aprilliano said.

    News of the crash stunned the Milton community.

    Anytime there is a loss of Whiting Field's military personnel, it is a sad day in Santa Rosa County, said Don Salter, a county commissioner and chairman of the county's military affairs and economic development committee.

    Whiting Field and the men and women at that base mean so much to us, not just for the economy, but as people, he said. When we lose those people, it is a sad day.

    Milton Mayor Guy Thompson said he sympathizes with the families left mourning their loved ones.

    It is tragic, he said. This whole community is a military community. When this happens, it affects our entire community.


    :salute:
     
  2. wilbur1

    wilbur1 Active Member

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  3. v2

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    :salute: Damn, hate to see this happen.
     
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    It's been a pretty bad year so far...
     
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