Ejection Seat Tragedy: Air Force Instructor Pilot Dies After Ejection Seat Malfunction at Texas Base

Ejection Seat Tragedy: Air Force Instructor Pilot Dies After Ejection Seat Malfunction at Texas Base

Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas said that an Air Force instructor pilot died Tuesday when the plane’s ejection seat went off while the plane was still on the ground.

Base officials said in a statement that Capt. John Robertson of the 80th Operations Support Squadron was badly hurt in the incident on Monday and died early Tuesday morning.

The T-6A Texan II’s ejection seat went off while he was in it, the statement said.

This is a teaching plane called the T-6A Texan II. It has one engine and two seats. It was reported that no one else was hurt. The accident took place while “ground operations” were going on, the statement said.

“This is a devastating loss for Captain Robertson’s family and loved ones, and for the entire 80th Flying Training Wing,” Col. Mitchell J. Cok, the acting wing commander, said in the statement. “Captain Robertson was a highly valued Airman and instructor pilot. Our deepest condolences go with all who knew and loved him.”

The base said that a temporary safety board was set up right away to look into the situation. Later this week, a full Air Force Safety Investigation Board should be in place.

When Robertson died, his family was able to be with him at the hospital, which Cok said was because of the medical work of staff in the area as well as other first responders and hospital staff who helped him.

Waco-Sheppard Air Force Base is not far from Wichita Falls, Texas. It is a training base for the Air Force, and its website says it is the only base in the Air Force that gives both flying and technical training.

The T-6A Texan II is a turboprop plane that is used to teach people how to fly. People in ejection seats are pushed out of moving planes that are having trouble so they can jump to safety.

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