Two Navy pilots are dead following a Sunday crash of a jet trainer in the deep woods of Tennessee, the service announced Monday morning.
On Sunday night, local officials said a military aircraft had crashed in the Cherokee National Forest in Tellico Plains, Tenn. The Navy confirmed the T-45C Goshawk trainer was assigned to Training Air Wing One operating from Naval Air Station Meridian, Miss.
“Two pilots were aboard the aircraft, an instructor and a student,” according to a release from the service.
“The pilots did not survive the incident. Names of the pilots are being withheld until 24 hours after next of kin notification.”
The crash occurred in a remote area that was difficult to access.
“All indications are that there are no survivors. We were unable to all the way to the cockpit area of the site,” David Chambers, Monroe County EMS director, told local television station WATE.
“There were no signs of survivors. “
Navy search and rescue personnel were unable to able to access the site until Monday morning, a service official told USNI News on Monday.
The Goshawk is one of several aircraft types that have suffered ongoing challenges related to physiological episodes suffered by pilots. However, loss of consciousness, aircraft mishaps and other serious effects due to physiological episodes are very rare. As a result of PEs, though, the Navy ordered a pause in T-45C flights and then implemented flying restrictions when flights were allowed to resume, and so the service is now behind in pilot production. While the Goshawks have been affected by the PE issues, there is no indication yet that there is a connection to the Sunday crash.
“An investigation will commence to determine the cause of the mishap,” according to the Navy statement.
The following is the complete statement from the service.
Training Air Wing ONE Confirms T-45 Mishap in Tennessee
MERIDIAN, Miss. – At approximately 9:40 a.m., Training Air Wing ONE, based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, Miss., confirmed the T-45 belonging to Training Squadron SEVEN (VT-7) that went missing yesterday afternoon has crashed in East Tennessee.
Two pilots were aboard the aircraft, an instructor and a student. The pilots did not survive the incident. Names of the pilots are being withheld until 24 hours after next of kin notification.
An investigation will commence to determine the cause of the mishap.
Training Air Wing ONE is one of five training wings that belong to CNATRA.
For information updates, contact the CNATRA Command Public Affairs Office.