2 T-6 Texan II crash near MS/AL state line.

An investigation continues in the wooded area near Shuqualak where two Columbus Air Force Base planes crashed to the ground early Wednesday afternoon.

The two T-6 Texan II trainer planes, which each held one instructor pilot and one student pilot, collided at 12:47 p.m. while conducting traffic pattern training at the base’s auxiliary airfield in Shuqualak.

The names of the pilots involved have not yet been released, though base officials hinted their identities would be made public by this afternoon.

All four pilots ejected and parachuted safely, where they were transported to the base for medical examinations, though early reports indicated none of the pilots were seriously injured.

With the pilots recovered and largely unharmed, the base turned its attention to managing the crash sites.The first site, about one mile north of Mahorner Road, is a treeless alley of tall brush about 40 feet wide sandwiched between woods on both sides.

Marcus Anderson, who owns the farmland near the first site, said he saw one of the planes coming down after he looked skyward to discern the cause of a loud crashing sound just before 1 p.m. Wednesday.

I heard something, and I looked up over the tree line, said Anderson.

He saw a plane, he said, turning quickly into a fireball as it neared the ground.

There was fire coming out the back end of it. The next thing, it just exploded, and I thought, Oh, Lord, I’m dead.’ … I’ve never seen such an explosion. It just shook the ground.

Anderson and his son, Marc, saw the pilots eject before the fireball hit the ground and found two of them - one of whom got his parachute tangled in a treetop and had to wait for far-reaching fire truck ladders to pull him down, said Anderson.

Around 3 p.m. the following afternoon, the scene was far more tranquil. A survey team combed the site, placing orange flags at points where parts and pieces of equipment debris lay scattered. As the team gestured southward, the gentle drone of insects and the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot were the only audible sounds, with little left but ground scars to remind onlookers of the violence of the crash that had occurred there only a day earlier.

Several dozen yards away, nestled just inside the eastern tree line, a junked ejector seat rested on the ground, mangled from impact and half-hidden by fallen branches.

The seats, which base officials had warned contain active rockets used for ejection, were all recovered Thursday.

The second crash site, reachable only by foot, said base officials, is two miles further into the woods, a mess of scarred trees and parts scattered and concealed amidst the dense foliage.

It will take several days to recover all the parts, said Sonic Johnson, chief of Public Affairs for CAFB.

After the Jan. 18 crash of a CAFB trainer aircraft near Batesville, he noted, the plane was on the ground for five days before the initial investigation team was able to inventory all the parts, find the ejection seats and accurately map out the area where the parts were located.

With two planes involved, the recovery and mapping process will likely take even more time.

At both sites, security remains tight, with Air Force security officers controlling a site entry point off Mahorner Road and patrolling the crash sites with M-16 rifles.

The sanctity of the sites, explained a base official, is crucial to expediting the investigation process.

With the sites mapped and the parts recovered, an Air Force investigation board will attempt to recreate the particulars of the Wednesday collision and determine what caused the accident.

Concrete answers, though, may take many long weeks to come to light. Specifics from the Batesville crash were released about two months after the incident.

Until more information becomes public, base officials are satisfied none of the pilots were seriously injured during the accident.

The next steps for CAFB are to find the cause of the collision, piece the facts of the incident back together from scrap and do what can be done to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

My uncle saw the planes explode in the air and fall to the ground with the pilots in parachutes on the way down. He said, “I looked up and saw a giant fireball and the planes falling with the pilots ejecting.” They still haven’t realesed any information on the case.

Holton :smiley:

Air Force Planes Collide, but Crews Safe

SHUQUALAK, Miss. (AP) Two Air Force training planes collided Wednesday during flights over eastern Mississippi and crashed, but all four crew members ejected safely, an Air Force spokesman said.

The T-6A Texan II primary trainers collided around midday and crashed near a Columbus Air Force Base auxiliary airfield in Shuqualak, a wooded area about 10 miles from the Alabama line, said 2nd Lt. Craig Rasley, a base spokesman.

Air Force investigators are probing the cause of the crash of the turboprop planes, Rasley said.

The Air Force’s first T-6As went into service in 2000 and cost about $4.3 million apiece. The two-seat, single-engine planes can reach 320 mph, according to the Air Force.

USAF Fact Sheet T-6A Texan II

Glad everyone is ok. I want one! (They used to market a civilian version).

Just in time for Christmas, this one is on the market for $1.305.000.oo

Close, but not exactly the same.
That’s a pilatus PC7. The Texan II is based on the PC9 (see below), though it looks very much alike, it is a different bird altogether.

The PC-9 looks very much like a PC-7, though it is clearly larger and heavier, and has a distinctive stepped tandem cockpit with a raised canopy, giving the back-seater a good forward view. The canopy hinges open to the right. The PC-9 has only about 10% commonality with the PC-7. It is powered by a PWC PT6A-62 turboprop engine with 860 skW (1,150 SHP), downrated to 710 skW (950 SHP), driving a four-bladed Hartzell propeller. The cadet and flight instructor sit on Martin-Baker Mark CH11A ejection seats, ejecting through the canopy. The machine is fitted with hydraulically-operated landing gear and a hydraulically-operated ventral airbrake. The PC-9 retains the six underwing hardpoints of the PC-7, with the inner two being “wet” for carriage of 145 liter (41 US gallon) or 248 liter (66 US gallon) external tanks.

The Texan II is itself very different under the skin than the PC9.

he T-6A looks clearly like a PC-9M externally, the only immediately visible change being a separate windscreen, but it is very much different in detail, with only about 30% commonality with the PC-9. It has a strengthened fuselage; pressurized cockpit; and state-of-the-art avionics, including GPS, a collision avoidance system, and provision for a HUD. It is powered by a PWC PT6A-68 turboprop engine, normally rated at 1,275 skW (1,708 SHP) but limited to 820 skW (1,100 SHP), driving a four-bladed Hartzell propeller. It has three hardpoints under each wing.

Close, but no cigar!

The Texan II is built by Raytheon Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas. Although the design is heavily based on the Pilatus PC-9, the T-6 is a complete redesign from the ground up, and is considerably more sophisticated and powerful.

The T-6 is a version of the Pilatus PC-9, modified significantly by Beechcraft in order to enter the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) competition in the 1990s.

Beat you to it Dad!

Photo finish Spud!

As the engines are built here in Canada, and Bombardier owns 24 T-6 Texans that they lease to the Canadian ‘military’, I am familiar with the differences between the PC-7 and PC-9.

However I don’t know of any privately owned PC-9’s anywhere in the world. I believe they serve in the Military in 19 countries, as either PC-9/PC-9M’s/ T-6A/T-6B (glass), and Harvard II’s, and manufactured in at least 3 countries. BAE Systems have 2, and German company have 10, but used for military contracts.

So I agree that it is clearly not the same plane, but in the spirit of Christmas, I could only find a single PC-7 for sale.

I’ve always had a theory that Raytheon traded a single engine King Air plan as part of the deal with Pilatus. Raytheon Beechized the PC-9 and the Swiss Pilatusized the King Air.

While the T-6 is a hellava bird…This is the SH*T…PC-21

Dear Santa…I’ve been a really, really good boy… :wink:

LOL :laughing:

Sweet ride, the 0-0 ejection seats are what do it for me. :laughing:

Yes. A very sweet ride.

I miss flying the T-6. It’s a sports car with a glass cockpit for instruments. Does pretty well on gas too.

That’s it??? C’mon you gotta have more than that! Please??? :stuck_out_tongue:

Sure…I’ll answer whatever you want. Just ask.

As far as inside info, I didn’t go to Columbus, but a buddy tells me that the VFR entry point to one of their patterns at an aux field was pretty sketchy. Essentially…they may have been stacking the odds for something like this to happen.

At Vance I thought the pattern was pretty safe so long as everyone played by the same rules.

Slovenia grounds Pilatus PC-9 trainers after ejection seat incident
By Igor Bozinowski

The Slovenian army has grounded its fleet of 11 Pilatus PC-9/9M advanced trainer and light attack aircraft, pending the results of an investigation into a 10 March incident which saw a student pilot inadvertently ejected from his aircraft.

Participating in an advanced flying course, the co-pilot suffered minor injuries after departing the PC-9 turboprop at an altitude of around 9,840ft (3,000m) during a flight between Sevnice and the aircraft’s home base at Cerklje ob Krki. The other pilot managed to land the damaged aircraft.

Army chief of the general staff Gen Albin Gutman says the accident is being investigated by a defence ministry commission, with assistance coming from Slovenian civil aviation experts. The incident comes four years after a Slovenian PC-9 crashed after its pilot suffered a heart attack.

In addition to supporting advanced flying training, Slovenia’s PC-9/9Ms can also be used for air-to-ground fire support operations, using freefall bombs, machine gun pods and unguided rockets.