Navy Training Plane Crashes in Alabama; Pilots Eject

A row of T-6B Texan II aircraft.
A row of T-6B Texan II aircraft sits on the flight line at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, June 9, 2014. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Karlton Rebenstorf)

A Navy training plane with two pilots aboard crashed near Foley, Alabama, the sea service confirmed in a statement Tuesday.

Lt. John Lobkowicz, a spokesman for the Navy, told that the plane -- a T6-B Texan II -- took off from Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Florida, on Tuesday morning. The two occupants, a Navy instructor pilot and a student aviator, were forced to eject at around 10:50 a.m. local time.

"The aircrew successfully ejected from the aircraft and are in the process of receiving medical attention," Lobkowicz said in an email, adding that "no significant injuries have been reported at this time."

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The T-6B Texan II is a two-seat turboprop used to train Navy and Marine Corps pilots in flight school. The Navy operates almost the entirety of its 245-plane fleet out of Whiting Field and Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas.

The current version of the aircraft entered service with the Navy in 2010, a relatively recent addition for the military services, which frequently rely on aircraft that are decades old. Textron, the company that makes the plane, announced in the fall of 2022 that it had made 1,000 of the trainers for "13 nations and two North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) flight schools."

The last time this plane model crashed was in 2020 when a T-6B also crashed in the same area of Alabama -- about 45 miles southwest of Whiting Field -- killing both pilots and starting a house fire.

Lobkowicz said the cause of Tuesday's crash is under investigation.

According to the most recently released safety statistics, the Navy suffered 11 "Class A" mishaps involving manned aircraft last year -- the highest total since 2014's 15 mishaps.

The services typically define a Class-A mishap as an incident where someone is killed or the damages exceed $2.5 million.

Tuesday's crash comes one month after a mishap with an F-35B Lightning II at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas. The pilot in that incident, an Air Force major who had been doing performance quality checks on behalf of the Defense Contract Management Agency, had to eject from the craft when a vertical landing attempt went haywire.

That jet had not yet been transferred to the government, according to the Pentagon. Deliveries of new F-35 Lightning II engines, as well as the modern stealth aircraft itself, have been paused as the military investigates what happened at the naval air station.

-- Thomas Novelly contributed to this report.

-- Konstantin Toropin can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @ktoropin.

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