Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Navy T-45 crash renews concerns about the trainer aircraft
by James Laporta
Washington (UPI) Oct 5, 2017

As the names of two dead U.S. Navy pilots are released following the Sunday crash of a military training jet in a remote area of Tennessee, lawmakers and military commanders face troubling questions.

Lt. Patrick L. Ruth, 31, of Metairie, La., and Lt. j.g. Wallace E. Burch, 25, of Horn Lake, Miss., died when their T-45C Goshawk, a military jet-training aircraft manufactured by Boeing since 1997, crashed in the Tellico plains of the Cherokee National Forest, some 45 miles southwest of Knoxville, officials said this week.

It was third incident this year involving the T-45C Goshawk and first since the trainer fleet was briefly grounded to investigate concerns about its CRU-123 oxygen monitoring system. The T-45C that crashed most recently, like the ones in the previous incidents, also had the oxygen system installed, the Navy said Friday.

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., called for an immediate investigation.

"I am deeply saddened to learn that two of our nation's best have been taken from us. I offer my condolences to their families and fellow service members," Wicker said in a statement Tuesday. "May God grant peace to their loved ones during this very difficult time. The Navy should conduct an immediate investigation into what caused this tragedy."

Wicker, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, serves as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Seapower, which has oversight jurisdiction for the Navy and naval aviation. The plane that crashed Sunday was based a Naval Air Station Meridian in Mississippi, one of five naval air training wings.

Wicker conducted hearings in April with Navy officials and pilots at Meridian to discuss issues related to a lack of flowing oxygen for pilots operating the T-45C. About 100 Navy instructor aviators were opting out of training student pilots over safety concerns, which contributed to the cancellation of training flights at the time.

In the same month, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran ordered a review of "physiological episodes" occurring in T-45s and F/A-18 Super Hornets as additional reports surfaced of hypoxia-related incidents that could incapacitate its crew during flight as the Navy temporarily grounded its T-45C trainer aircraft fleet.

Former Navy fighter pilot and F/A-18 standardization instructor and flight operations director Benjamin Kohlmann told UPI that hypoxia-related incidents were rare during his time in the Navy from 2004 to 2013, lamenting that the problem has only risen to prominence in the last few years.

"I don't know what's causing it, maybe more attention is being paid to the issue, perhaps errors or mishaps that occurred in the past were not attributed to hypoxia-related incidents, but now are," Kohlmann said. "It's a mystery as to what the full extent of it is."

Hypoxia-related incidents occur when there is an inadequate amount of partial pressure of oxygen in the air.

"At a certain attitude, the concentration of air is insufficient to provide someone with human cognition," Kohlmann said. "The rule of thumb is that above 10,000 feet, prolonged exposure isn't going to give you enough oxygen to do the day-to-day things that you need to survive, so we rely heavily on those oxygen systems."

This year's defense bill includes a provision that was successfully added by Wicker and designed to assist military commanders in identifying the cause of physiological episodes. The plan would give authorization to Defense Secretary James Mattis to award a $10 million defense contract to think tanks, academic institutions or private industry professionals to investigate the cause of the phenomenon.

Details surrounding the cause of the crash in Tennessee are still preliminary amid an ongoing investigation, with Navy investigators arriving the day after the crash. The U.S. National Forest Service has closed parts of the Tellico Ranger District from public access until the investigation is completed.

Both pilots were assigned to the "Eagles" of Training Squadron SEVEN, or VT-7. Ruth was a seasoned naval aviator with nine years of service and was instructing his student, Burch, who had joined VT-7 in 2016 and had been in the Navy for almost three years.

Student pilots begin training on the T-45C after logging adequate flight hours on propeller aircraft and is used for the ultimate purpose of preparing naval pilots for operating the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet or the F-35 Lighting II, the Pentagon's latest joint strike fighter. Graduating the training course with more than 150 flight hours on top of additional training hours, according to Kohlmann.

Officials face a debris area that is roughly the size of almost nine football fields, that is spread across remote, arduous terrain made up of dense forest wilderness, making access to aircraft parts difficult and the investigation road to answers long.

Britain's RAF receives intelligence aircraft
Washington (UPI) Sep 29, 2017
The third and final R-135V/W signals intelligence aircraft has been delivered to Britain's Royal Air Force by L3 Technologies. The delivery on Thursday marks the completion of hardware deliveries of the Airseeker program of the U.S. Air Force and the Royal Air Force. "This groundbreaking agreement gives the U.K. access to future innovative technology and presents a very high leve ... read more

Related Links
Aerospace News at

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

OECD calls for tourism to be more sustainable

Fast-moving space industries create new ethical challenges

Space Cooperation Between China, Russia Needs Long-Term Mechanism

NASA's New Hubble E-Book Series Dives into the Solar System and Beyond

Arianespace to launch COSMO-SkyMed satellites manufactured by Thales

New Zealand opens first rocket launch site

Arianespace signs contract for 10 Vega and Vega C launchers

Launch Vehicle and Missile Ascent Trajectories

Lockheed Martin Reveals New Details to its Mars Base Camp Vision

Lockheed Martin unveils reusable water-powered Mars lander

SpaceX's Musk unveils plan to reach Mars by 2022

Research sheds new light on how Earth and Mars were created

China launches three satellites

Mars probe to carry 13 types of payload on 2020 mission

China's cargo spacecraft separates from Tiangong-2 space lab

Work on China's mission to Mars 'well underway'

Private companies are launching a new space race

GomSpace and Luxembourg to develop space activities in the Grand Duchy

Spacepath Communications Acquires Tango Wave

Brodeur Partners Launches Entrepreneurial Space Group

Saab supplying radar to U.S. Coast Guard

CONFERS to Establish "Rules of the Road" for On-Orbit Servicing of Satellites

Microlasers get a performance boost from a bit of gold

Atomistic simulations go the distance on metal strength

MATISSE to Shed Light on the Formation of Earth and Planets

Glenn Tests Thruster Bound for Metal World

Searching for Distant Worlds With a Flying Telescope

Scientists propose new concept of terrestrial planet formation

Helicopter test for Jupiter icy moons radar

Solving the Mystery of Pluto's Giant Blades of Ice

Global Aerospace Corporation to present Pluto lander concept to NASA

Pluto features given first official names

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement