New information released about pilots killed in Air Force jet crash

Military jet reported from Columbus, Miss. crashes near Alabama airport, killing two
Military jet reported from Columbus, Miss. crashes near Alabama airport, killing two(WTOK)
Updated: Feb. 21, 2021 at 12:31 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The U.S. Air Force has released new information about the pilots killed in a T-38 trainer jet crash near Montgomery Regional Airport Friday.

The public affairs office said one of the pilots was Scot Ames Jr., 24, from Pekin, Indiana. He was an instructor pilot with the 50th Flying Training Squadron at Columbus Air Force Base in Columbus, Miss.

The student pilot was from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force, according to the Air Force. The student pilot’s name is not being released at this time and will be provided according to Japan’s established process.

“We are a close-knit family and the loss of our teammates affects us all,” said 14th Flying Training Wing commander Col. Seth Graham in a press conference Saturday. “The strength of our bond is what will help us get through it together. My thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends and our teammates today.”

The crash happened around 5:30 p.m. The jet was assigned to the 14th Flying Training Wing at Columbus Air Force Base.

Graham said the flight wasn’t unusual. Student pilots are sent to do a “cross-country training mission.”

Montgomery Regional Airport Executive Director Marshall Taggart Jr. the crash site was in a wooded area near but not on the airport’s property in the area of Lamar Road and Selma Highway.

There are houses in the area, including a mobile home park, but Taggart said the jet did not hit any structures.

Taggart said the jet was flying from Columbus to Tallahassee, Fla. at the time of the crash. However, Graham said it he is not positive where the plane was heading.

The Air Force will be investigating the crash.

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