Two pilots were rushed to the hospital Thursday
“At approximately 11:25 a.m. this morning a Mirage F1B aircraft contracted through Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) crashed off the end of the flight line,” Col. Gregory Moseley, the 325th Fighter Wing commander, said in a statement. “First responders were dispatched to the scene immediately, and both pilots were taken to a hospital in Panama City, Fla., to assess injuries sustained during the crash.”
ATAC told Military.com that one of the pilots ejected before the crash.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the pilots and their families,” Moseley said.
Their names and conditions were not immediately released.
The Mirage is a French fighter jet, and refurbished models are attractive for training purposes due to their low cost and high-tech compatibility, according to The Drive.
The Air Force has deals with contractors like ATAC and its competitors to provide the jets for aggressor training – simulated air-to-air combat operations.
The crash comes just days after two young T-38 pilots were killed in a crash just outside Montgomery, Ala. One was Scot Ames Jr., 24, a U.S. Air Force instructor from Indiana, and the other was Renshi Uesaki, a 25-year-old student pilot from Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force attending training at Columbus Air Force Base.
In that incident, the aircraft was flying a training mission out of Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. It went down near Dannelly Field in Montgomery. Other pilots had complained about the sun in the area around the time of the incident, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.