Laughlin Air Force Base identifies student pilot killed in T-38C mishap Friday
Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas has identified the pilot killed in the mishap involving two T-38 Talons Friday as a student aviator.
Laughlin Air Force Base has identified the pilot killed in a mishap Friday morning involving two T-38C jets as a student in training.
Second Lt. Anthony D. Wentz, 23, of Falcon, Colo., a student pilot with the 47th Student Squadron, was killed in the mishap on a runway of the Texas base.
Wentz was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
Two other pilots were injured, one critically, in the accident Friday.
The pilot in critical condition was airlifted to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, the 47th Flying Training Wing said in a Friday evening release. The other injured pilot was treated and released from Val Verde Regional Medical Center in Del Rio, where the base is located along the border with Mexico.
“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,” said Col. Craig Prather, 47th Flying Training Wing commander. “Our focus remains on supporting the families involved and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with them and our teammates today.”
In a May 2016 article about Falcon High School students who had been accepted to military academies, which appeared in in The Gazette of Colorado Springs, Wentz said he was eager to join his brother, who was finishing his freshman year at West Point.
“One of the perks is that it’s free,” Wentz said. “You get a paycheck every month and a really good education.”
Wentz’s father was in the Air Force, according to The Gazette. At the time the story was published, Wentz wanted to study mechanical engineering, like his brother, and become an Apache helicopter pilot.
“I’ve always wanted to serve in the military,” he said.
The Air Force hasn’t disclosed information about the circumstances of the accident, which occurred around 10 a.m. Friday and is under investigation.
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Laughlin hosts the 47th Flying Training Wing, one of the service’s three hubs for teaching American airmen the basics of flight.
Nearly 3,000 employees run specialized undergraduate pilot training for around 500 students from the U.S. and allied countries each year using the T-1A Jayhawk, T-6A Texan II and T-38C Talon.