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Sun, Apr 04, 2004

Military Aircraft Down In Georgia

T-6A Crashed Just After Take-Off

A single-engine military trainer carrying two Air National Guard instructors crashed shortly after take-off at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport Saturday, killing both airmen on board. Both were attached to the 39th Flying Training Squadron out of Moody AFB (GA). The aircraft belonged to the 479th Flying Training Group at Moody.

"The plane just basically crashed right after takeoff," said Maj. David Simons, spokesman for the 165th Airlift Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard. "From what I understand there's very little left of the aircraft. It hit very hard and there was a great deal of damage and fire."

Simons described the mission, which had originated in Valdosta (GA) as a "routine training" exercise. The crash resulted in a "great deal" of fire, which virtually destroyed wreckage of the T-6A Texan II, Simon said.

The USAF has yet to release the identities of the two pilots on board. The cause of the crash is now under investigation. Savannah/Hilton Head was shut down for about 30 minutes after the Texan went down just west of the runway.



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