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Two US Navy T-45 Goshawk Training Jets Collide Mid-Air

These infrequent accidents can cost lives and millions of dollars.

Two US Navy T-45 Goshawk Training Jets Collide Mid-Air
T-45 Goshawk Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Navy's Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) announced that two T-45 Goshawk training aircraft collided mid-air over Ricardo, Texas, on Monday, May 17. 

The incident took place at approximately 11:00 AM EST, wrote the CNATRA on its Facebook account. One of the two training jets was able to safely land back at Naval Air Station Kingston, while the other aircraft's student pilot and instructor safely ejected themselves. 

Luckily, no major injuries were reported, and currently only one pilot has been sent to hospital to treat minor injuries.

Little else is yet known about the accident, and the Navy said an investigation is underway to get to the root cause of it. 

The T-45 Goshawk is a tandem seat training aircraft used by the U.S. Navy to train its and the Marine Corps' pilots. It's manufactured by the Boeing Company, reports Military.com, and has an airspeed of 645 mph (1038 km/h), and a range of 805 statute  miles (1288 km). 

Jet crashes and how to avoid them

Generally, T-45 Goshawks' operations are quite safe, explains USNI News. The last reported fatal accident involving a T-45 training jet was in 2017, when both naval aviators died. 

And just earlier this year in March, the U.S. Navy announced that a T-45 Goshawk had crashed in Texas. That time, the pilot student and the instructor on board were able to safely eject from the aircraft, and no major injuries were reported.

Jet accidents do occur now and again, as can be seen with the aforementioned T-45 aircraft. Further afield back in 2019, two German air force Eurofighter jets collided, killing one of the two pilots involved, per the BBC. And earlier this year, two Taiwan air force F-5E fighter jets also collided and crashed into the ocean, reported Travel Radar.

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There are a number of different reasons why figher jets or training jets might collide or crash when undergoing friendly training exercises. 

As the AOPA points out, mid-air collisions have, in fact, been steadily increasing in the past years. There are a number of ways to avoid collisions, such as checking traffic when taking off and landing, as well as scanning the skies continuously. However, there are some unfortunate times when collisions are near to impossible to avoid, resulting in the loss of aircraft, and at times, pilots.

New tech is also paving the way for fewer collisons or crashes, for example, F-16 fighter jets are now being kitted out with software that takes over when a pilot passes out mid-flight.

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