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Air Force says engine failure likely caused North Side crash

September 20, 2018

The Air Force said Wednesday the crash of a T-6A Texan II training plane near Rolling Oaks Mall on the city’s North Side likely was due to engine failure.

The pilots, Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Lee Glen and 1st Lt. Nicholas Donato, escaped with minor injuries in the Tuesday afternoon crash. No one was hurt on the ground. The T-6A has been grounded at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

“It appears the aircraft experienced engine failure on final approach at low altitude, configured for landing before our airmen ejected,” Col. Mark Robinson, commander of the 12th Flying Training Wing, said of the T-6 crash, according to a press statement. “The interim safety board will be looking at all aspects of the aircraft, to include the engine components, to determine the cause of the crash.”

Amateur video posted on Facebook and YouTube shows two parachutes deploying at around 800 feet as the plane streaked toward the earth in a fast dive. Around eight or nine seconds later, the T-6 hit the ground, breaking in two as it ripped a long gash through the grass in a large field surrounded by suburban development just inside the San Antonio city limits.

The pilots ejected from the turboprop, slowly drifted to earth and escaped with scratches and bruises after landing in the field near Nacogdoches Road just outside Loop 1604. While the T-6 remained grounded at least through the end of Wednesday, Robinson allowed flying operations with the base’s other training aircraft, the T-38C Talon and T-1A Jayhawk, to resume early in the afternoon.

Check back with ExpressNews.com or Thursday’s Express-News for more on this story.

Sig Christenson covers the military and its impact in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | sigc@express-news.net | Twitter: @saddamscribe

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