Navy Training Aircraft Crashes in Gulf of Mexico

May 1, 2014 2:38 PM - Updated: May 1, 2014 3:29 PM
Two sailors in a T-34C Turbomentor before a training flight. US Navy Photo
Two sailors in a T-34C Turbomentor before a training flight. US Navy Photo

A previous version of the post indicated the instructor and pilot had “ejected” from the T-34C Turbomentor that crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. The aircraft isn’t equipped with ejection seats and the term “ejected” has been replaced with “bailed out.”

A two-seater Navy training aircraft crashed Thursday morning in the Gulf of Mexico during a training flight, officials with the service’s Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) told USNI News Thursday afternoon.

The Beechcraft T-34C Turbomentor trainer went down around 10:20 a.m. CST in the Gulf of Mexico about two miles off shore during a training flight originating from Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, Lt. j.g. Brynn Olson told USNI News.

The instructor and student, both assigned to Training Squadron 28 “Rangers” (VT-28), safely bailed out of the Turbomentor and were rescued by Coast Guard units stationed at Sector Corpus Christi after being spotted by a P-3 Orion operated by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

The pair was in the water for about 30 minutes before being rescued.
“They’re perfectly fine,” Olson said.

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The Turbomentor — based on the Beechcraft Bonanza — has been in use by the Navy since the 1970s. The aircraft is currently being phased out by the service in favor of the Beechcraft-designed T-6B Texan II.

A previous Turbomentor crash killed an instructor and student from NAS Corpus Christi in 2006. An instructor from NAS Whiting Field, Fla. died in a separate T-34C crash in 2010.

The Navy is currently conducting an investigation into the Thursday crash.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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