Navy Jet Crash: Training Jet Crash-Lands At Pensacola Air Station

By Ben Wolford on November 5, 2013 1:29 PM EST

A Navy jet crashed on approach in Florida during a training flight.
A Navy jet crashed on approach in Florida during a training flight.

A Navy jet crashed as it approached a Florida air base Monday, leaving the crew in stable condition, according to several news reports.

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Two pilots were aboard the T-45C Goshawk during a training flight when it attempted to land at Naval Air Station Pensacola in the Florida Panhandle on Monday morning. What caused it to crash on approach is still under investigation, a Navy spokesman said.

Raw video published at the Navy Times website shows the jet surrounded by emergency crews and SUVs racing to the scene.

Lt. John Supple, the spokesman, called it a routine flight. A spokesman for the Naval air base told the Christian Science Monitor it was fortunate neither pilot was injured. "We can repair or replace an aircraft," he said.

The Navy was withholding the names of the pilots to protect their privacy and wouldn't speculate on the cause of the crash. But the Navy Times reported it was the second training crash in 18 months. A student and an instructor both ejected safely from a T-45C in Texas last year.

The T-45 has been a common Navy pilot training jet since the 1990s. But around 1994, the fighter jet became a point of concern for the Navy after 16 students suffered blown tires on catapult takeoff, according to GlobalSecurity.org. In one of those incidents, a student died in a crash. Later, the Navy upgraded to the T-45C.

In 2005, a student pilot was flying over Meridian Naval Air Station in Mississippi in a T-45C when his plane went down in a wooded area a mile south of the base. Navy Lt. Steven Elledge, 25, of Florida, died in the crash.

A training commander at the time told the Associated Press, "We take young pilots and teach them advanced operations. It's a dangerous business we are in."

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