U.S. airman killed in Texas plane crash

Lt. Col. Thomas Allen, 87th Flying Training Squadron commander, lands a T-38C Talon after a formation flight at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, U.S. in this Aug. 18, 2017 handout photo. The T-38 is the training aircraft used to teach student pilots the basics of flying. Airman 1st Class Benjamin N. Valmoja/U.S. Air Force/Handout via REUTERS

By Chris Kenning

(Reuters) – A U.S. Air Force training jet crashed Monday near Lake Amistad, Texas, killing the pilot and injuring another, according to officials at Laughlin Air Force Base.

The two-seat, T-38 Talon jet crashed about 4 p.m. Monday, roughly 14 miles northwest of the air base near U.S. 90 in Del Rio, Texas, officials said.

Some eyewitnesses reported seeing a parachute and one pilot descending to the ground, the Del Rio News-Herald reported.

The surviving pilot was transferred to Val Verde Regional Medical Center in Del Rio. No names were released until family could be notified, according to a base statement.

The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately released, but a board of officers will convene to investigate the incident. Base officials were not available for comment late Monday.

“Our biggest priority at this time is caring for the family and friends of our Airmen,” Col. Michelle Pryor, 47th Flying Training Wing vice commander, said in a statement.

“We are a close knit family, and when a tragedy like this occurs every member of the U.S. Armed Forces feels it. Our people take top priority, and we are committed to ensuring their safety and security.”

The plane is a twin-engine supersonic jet primarily used for training, according to the Air Force website.

A Val Verde hospital spokesperson could not be reached about the condition of the second person involved the crash.

(Reporting by Chris Kenning; Editing by Michael Perry)

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