Former Sheppard Instructor Pilot Dies in Private Plane Crash

A former instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base was killed in a plane crash over the weekend.

35-year-old US Air Force Major Richard Schafer was flying his private aircraft while on vacation with his family. His 28-year-old brother Matthew was also killed in the crash. There were two other passengers aboard. His sister-in-law is now in fair condition while his 2-year-old nephew was released from the hospital Tuesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board says Schafer took off Sunday from Abilene Regional Airport and someone in the plane called for an emergency landing. The plane crashed on a golf course just after 6 pm Sunday.

Schafer had been a T-38 instructor at Sheppard. He was currently a pilot instructor at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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