By: Courtney Mabeus
A fire that broke out in the engine of their trainer jet forced a Navy flight instructor and student to make an emergency landing Monday in Texas, officials said.
Lt. Michelle Tucker, the spokeswoman for Chief of Naval Air Training, told Navy Times that the T-45C Goshawk tandem-seat jet landed safely with no injuries to the Training Squadron 21 passengers or damage to Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Orange Grove property.
“Safety is the number one priority,” Tucker said. “Our pilots are trained to respond to in-air emergencies and these pilots used their training to make a safe landing.”
Tucker said officials are probing the cause of the incident, which is classified as a Class A mishap because damages will cost at least $2 million to fix.
The Navy pegs the cost of a new training jet at $17.2 million.
NALF Orange Grove helps support flights from Naval Air Station Kingsville-based Training Air Wing 2, which is headquartered about 45 miles southeast of the two Jim Wells County runways.
The wing annually trains about half of all new Navy and Marine Corps fighter pilots.