Col. Mark Robinson, commander of the 12th, allowed the planes to start flying again after deciding the engine failure that led to Tuesday’s T-6 crash was an isolated incident, and that there aren’t larger problems with the entire fleet of trainers. Robinson consulted with experienced aircraft maintainers and pilots, and reviewed the planes' performance history, before making his decision.
“Our T-6 crews and maintainers are the most professional, knowledgeable, and experienced in the Air Force,” Robinson said. “I have full confidence that our T-6 aircraft are safe to fly and that our pilots are eager to get back to their mission — training airmen.”
The formal safety investigation board to look into Tuesday’s crash was set up Thursday.
“The aircraft experienced an engine failure on final approach at low altitude, configured for landing before our airmen ejected,” Robinson said. “The [board] has been established and is currently evaluating all aspects of the aircraft, including the engine components, to determine the cause of the crash.”
Both pilots — Lt. Col. Lee Glenn, an active Guard and Reserve T-6 instructor pilot from the 559th Flying Training Squadron, assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at Randolph, and 1st Lt. Nicholas Donato, a pilot in the 559th on temporary duty to Randolph for instructor training — safely ejected.
Glenn and Donato were evaluated for minor injuries at the medical clinic at Randolph and released that evening. No civilians were injured or killed in the crash.