The pilot who was killed in the aircraft collision involving two T-38C Talon trainer aircraft at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Nov. 19, has been identified as 2nd Lt. Anthony D Wentz, 23 years old according to USAF.
Wentz was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York
Wentz said in 2016 that 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. The teen wants to study mechanical engineering, like his brother, and become an Apache helicopter pilot.
“I’ve always wanted to serve in the military,” he said, as the Gazette reported upon his Air Force Academy graduation in 2016.
Wentz was a student pilot with the 47th Student Squadron and he is from Falcon, CO.“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.” The cause of the incident is under investigation, an Air Force press release said.
UPDATE: LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – One pilot was killed and two pilots injured during a mishap involving two T-38C Talon trainer aircraft here at approximately 10:00 a.m. Nov. 19.
One of the injured pilots was transported to Val Verde Regional Medical Center in Del Rio, Texas, where they were treated and released.
The other pilot is in critical condition and was evacuated by air to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
“Losing teammates is unbelievably painful and it is with a heavy heart I express my sincere condolences,” said Col. Craig Prather, 47th Flying Training Wing commander. “Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with our pilots involved in this mishap and their families.” The names of all the pilots involved are being withheld until 24 hours after the next of kin notification has been made. An investigation into the mishap is still ongoing.
Previous release: One pilot was killed and two pilots injured during a mishap involving two T-38C Talon trainer aircraft here at approximately 10:00 a.m. Nov. 19. One of the injured pilots was transported to Val Verde Regional Medical Center in Del Rio, Texas, where they were treated and released. The other pilot is in critical condition and was evacuated by air to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. “
The T-38 Talon is a twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer used in a variety of roles because of its design, economy of operations, ease of maintenance, high performance and exceptional safety record. Air Education and Training Command is the primary user of the T-38 for joint specialized undergraduate pilot training. Air Combat Command, Air Force Materiel Command and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration also use the T-38A in various roles.
The T-38 has swept wings, a streamlined fuselage and tricycle landing gear with a steerable nose wheel. Two independent hydraulic systems power the ailerons, rudder and other flight control surfaces. Critical aircraft components are waist high and can be easily reached by maintenance crews.
The T-38C incorporates a “glass cockpit” with integrated avionics displays, head-up display and an electronic “no drop bomb” scoring system. The AT-38B has a gun sight and practice bomb dispenser.
The T-38 needs as little as 2,300 feet (695.2 meters) of runway to take off and can climb from sea level to nearly 30,000 feet (9,068 meters) in one minute. T-38s modified by the propulsion modernization program have approximately 19 percent more thrust, reducing takeoff distance by 9 percent.
The instructor and student sit in tandem on rocket-powered ejection seats in a pressurized, air-conditioned cockpit.