A United States Air Force T-6A Texan II trainer aircraft crashed in the northern part of San Antonio during a training flight on 18 September.
USAF confirmed through social media, that the two-seat, single-engine turboprop aircraft was assigned to the 12th Flying Training Wing, which is situated in Randolph Air Force Base. The air base is less than 10 miles away from the crash site, Rolling Oaks Mall, located in the northern part of San Antonio, Texas. The two crew members ejected and suffered only minor injuries. There were no injuries on the ground.
The commander of the 12th Flying Training Wing, Col. Mark Robinson said it appears that the aircraft experienced an engine failure during final approach in landing configuration, and that examinations have already begun to determine the cause of the crash. The wing grounded its whole T-6A fleet at least for the coming few days.
The type itself faced numerous groundings in recent years because of hypoxia events where pilots have become disoriented due to the malfunction of the aircraft’s oxygen system. Last November, the 71st Flying Training Wing based in Oklahoma grounded its T-6s for nearly three weeks after several pilots reported hypoxia-like symptoms. In January, the 19th Air Force suspended solo flights in T-6s, and authorized pilots to fly without oxygen masks, to reduce the risk of hypoxia. Later on, the entire T-6 fleet has been grounded for a month by the commander of the 19th Air Force Maj. Gen. Patrick Doherty, after several unexplained psychological events in three different bases. The Air Force recently announced that the malfunctions were mainly caused by the fluctuating concentration of oxygen in the cockpit, and that the issue has been fixed. The aircraft involved in Tuesday’s crash had a proven record of airworthiness.