The cause of that crash of a T-6A Texan II trainer in a field behind Rolling Oaks Mall on Tuesday has been blamed on 'engine failure on final approach at low altitude,' News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
A full U.S. Air Force investigation is underway, but Col. Mark S. Robinson, the commander of the 12th Flying Training Wing at Randolph AFB says that is the initial indication.
He said problems with the oxygen system in the trainer, which led to the plane being briefly grounded earlier this year, don't appear to have been a problem.
“It appears the aircraft experienced engine failure on final approach at low altitude, configured for landing before our Airmen ejected,” Robinson said, speaking of the T-6 crash.
“The interim safety board will be looking at all aspects of the aircraft, to include the engine components, to determine the cause of the crash,” Robinson said.
The Air Force praised the skills of Lt. Col Lee Glenn, the Active Guard and Reserve T-6 instructor pilot who was at the controls, and managed to bring the plane down without any injuries on the ground.
Lt. Col. Glen and the trainee, 1st Lt. Nicholas Donato, were not injured.
The T-6A Texan II operations paused following the crash, but training has resumed using other trainers, including the T-38C Talon and the T-1A Jayhawk.
“I have established an interim safety board to preserve evidence until a formal safety board is established this week,” said Robinson. “It’s important that we give the safety board the time and resources needed to complete the difficult task ahead,” Robinson said.
Col. Robinson says the Wing conducts some 30,000 sorties a year, and was the recipient of an Air Force safety award for 2017.
PHOTO; SPECTRUM NEWS