July's T-38 Crash Investigation Complete

Published 12/10 2013 09:26AM

Updated 12/10 2013 10:12AM

A bird is to blame for the July T-38 plane crash near Sheppard Air Force Base.

The investigation team has determined a bird strike shattered the T-38C Talon canopy -- sending fragments through the number two engine.

Officials say the shattered canopy also increased the drag of the plane.

The pilot made a turn that increased the drag on the aircraft -- forcing it to lose airspeed and lift, stalling the engine.

Officials say the pilot delayed ejection to avoid flying over the city.

The instructor pilot and student pilot, both assigned to the 80th Flying Training Wing, were doing planned touch-and-go drills when the bird struck the jet.

Once the reached a clear area near the base, both pilots were able to safely eject from the plane and sustained non-life threatening injuries.

The loss of the plane amounted to around $8 million.

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