An Air Force T-6 Texan II trainer aircraft crashed Tuesday afternoon during a training flight in San Antonio, and the student and instructor pilot both “sustained minor injuries,” the Air Force confirmed.
Local San Antonio television station KSAT reported that the plane went down in a grassy area near a local mall and that both crew ejected safely.
Two spokeswomen for Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph confirmed that the T-6 was assigned to the 12th Flying Training Wing at the base. Both crew members “sustained minor injuries” but ejected safely, the officials said.
The Air Force is fixing the problems with the T-6 Texan II that led to fluctuations in the oxygen concentration and caused hypoxia.
The cause of Tuesday’s crash is still under investigation.
It is the latest in a series of crashes that have plagued the Air Force’s training aircraft. Last week, a T-38 Talon II crashed at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. Both pilots ejected and were treated for injuries. It was at least the third T-38 crash in a span of just months.
The T-6 has been struck by a series of hypoxia events where pilots have become disoriented due to malfunctions in the aircraft’s oxygen system. Over the past year the incidents have resulted in several groundings. Last November, the 71st Flying Training Wing at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma grounded its T-6s for nearly three weeks after five pilots reported hypoxia-like symptoms during four flights.
In January, the 19th Air Force suspended all solo flights in T-6s, and authorized pilots to fly with their masks down to breathe cockpit air in an attempt to lessen the risks of hypoxia-related problems. The following month, Maj. Gen. Patrick Doherty, the 19th Air Force commander, grounded the entire T-6 fleet for about a month after a cluster of unexplained physiological events at three bases in the last week of January.
Last week the Air Force announced the malfunctions were primarily caused by fluctuating concentrations of oxygen in the cockpit, and that the issue had been resolved.
This story is developing and will be updated.