A USAF Instructor and Student Were Lost In The Mishap

A fatal T-38 training mission crash, that took place November 21st, 2019, at Vance Air Force Base, OK, took the lives of LtC. John “Matt” Kincade, 47, an instructor pilot from the 5th Flying Training Squadron, and 2nd Lt. Travis Wilkie, 23, a student pilot from the 71st Student Squadron.

Now, a USAF Accident Investigation Board has finalized a report that details what led to this tragedy. The report notes that the T-38 Talon IP (instructor pilot) failed to take command of the vehicle as his student used a premature aerodynamic braking maneuver shortly after touchdown that launched the jet back into the air, and resulted in a collision with another jet landing in formation with them. As a result of the failure to circumvent the problem, the Talon rolled over and slid to a halt, inverted. Both pilots were killed.

Brigadier General, Evan L. Pettus, President of the Accident Investigation Board concluded that, “I find by a preponderance of the evidence the causes of the mishap were MIP1 (Mishap Instructor Pilot 1) failing to take control of MA1 (Mishap Aircraft 1) as a precarious situation developed and MSP1 (Mishap Student Pilot 1) subsequently making an inappropriate flight control input. Finally, I find by a preponderance of the evidence the following factor substantially contributed to the mishap: MSP1 lacked an effective visual scan during the formation approach.”

FMI: www.af.mil