Two pilots were killed when a T-45 training jet crashed in Eastern Tennessee on Sunday, the U.S. Navy confirmed in a statement.

The two pilots, an instructor and a student, did not survive the crash, according to the Navy’s statement. Their names are being withheld until 24 hours after next of kin notification.

MERIDIAN, Miss. (NNS) — At approximately 9:40 a.m. Oct. 2, Training Air Wing ONE, based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, Miss., confirmed the T-45 belonging to Training Squadron SEVEN (VT-7) that went missing yesterday afternoon has crashed in East Tennessee.

Two pilots were aboard the aircraft, an instructor and a student. The pilots did not survive the incident. Names of the pilots are being withheld until 24 hours after next of kin notification.

An investigation will commence to determine the cause of the mishap.

Training Air Wing ONE is one of five training wings that belong to CNATRA.

For information updates, contact the CNATRA Command Public Affairs Office.

“UPDATE: Training Air Wing ONE confirms T-45 crashed Sunday in Tennessee. Two pilots did not survive – (File photo)”

The U.S. Navy had grounded all 197 training jets after an exclusive Fox News report in April that pilots were refusing to fly the jets because they complained of poison in the oxygen system.

“The pilots don’t feel safe flying this aircraft,” one instructor pilot told Fox News.

Among the hundreds of student pilots affected is Marine 1st Lt. Michael Pence, son of Vice President Pence – a factor that could put added pressure on the Pentagon to resolve the dispute.

Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, head of naval aviation, told Fox News in an exclusive interview that the training jet issue is the “number one safety priority” across naval aviation right now.

“Right now we don’t have the smoking gun,” he cautioned.

In the last five years, physiological episodes, caused in part by problems with the oxygen system, have nearly quadrupled on the T-45 training jet, according to Capitol Hill testimony last week by senior naval aviators.

The Navy is now looking at grounding the entire fleet of T-45s for the next few days, according to multiple pilots.

“There is no question that there are problems that are being covered up,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said. “I am very concerned about the issue. It’s been getting worse over time and if you look at the statistics, the older airplanes are having bigger problems than newer airplanes.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in a statement that the Navy “must address these safety concerns swiftly and decisively.”

Fox News interviewed multiple Navy flight instructors who say incidents of oxygen poisoning in the 30-year old T-45 Goshawk have “skyrocketed.”

“Histotoxic hypoxia” is the medical term associated with the disorientating disorder which can put pilots’ lives at risk, as well as those of civilians on the ground below. Two instructor pilots say the training jets are now averaging three incidents a week, as the Navy struggles to get to the bottom of the contamination.

“They sent our squadron six tubes,” one pilot said. “That’s part of the frustration. They are doing the absolute minimum.”

The senior Navy officials say they understand the pilots’ frustration and will soon issue more advanced hydrocarbon sensors which can be analyzed on-site, speeding up the investigation.

The dangers with the oxygen system are not limited to the T-45 training jets either. U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets have been known to suffer similar problems.

Rest in peace brothers…



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