Military Jet Crashes near Edwards Air Force Base

May 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A military jet on a training mission crashed north of Edwards Air Force base in the desert on Thursday, authorities said. The fate of the two crew members aboard was not immediately known. The T-38 Talon went down at 1:15 p.m. nine miles north of the base, Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes said in a statement. Base officials had no immediate information on the cause of the crash.

It was the second crash of an aircraft from Edwards in less than two months. On March 25, an Air Force F-22A Raptor went down about 35 miles north of the base, killing a test pilot for prime contractor Lockheed Martin Corp.

The T-38 Talon is a twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer used primarily for pilot training.

Test pilots and flight test engineers are trained in T-38s at Edwards, while Air Force Materiel Command uses the jet to test experimental equipment such as electrical and weapon systems. NASA uses T-38s as trainers for astronauts.

The jets are a little more than 46 feet long and have wingspans of about 25 feet.

The Talon, built by Northrop Corp., first flew in 1959. The Air Force acquired more than 1,100 before production ended in 1972.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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