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SAFB Investigating T 38 Jet Crash

<br><font size="2">A training flight by a Sheppard Air Force Base student pilot and instructor takes a terrifying turn this morning. <p>The T-38 Talon crashed just south of the base just before 7 a.m. </p> <p>We have in-depth coverage of the crash and begin with Mechell Dixon, who is in East Wichita County with the latest.</p> <br></font>

I'm at Pecan Way and Horton Road and the T-38 went down in a heavily wooded area not far from here.

The two pilots, an instructor and a student from Sheppard Air Force Base, are amazing okay and only suffered minor injuries.

The jet was destroyed and now officials are going though the tedious task of finding out what caused the crash.

Before rescue crews arrived at the site of the military jet crash in East Wichita County, some already knew something terrible had happened.

"My chief deputy and I was actually at the MPEC center and we observed a big black plume of smoke that indicated that either an explosion or something had just occurred," says Wichita County Sheriff David Duke.

What occurred just before 7 a.m. was the crash of a T-38 Talon jet in the Horton Road area of East Wichita County.

Amateur video shows black smoke billowing from a wooded area.

Officials say the student pilot and instructor pilot on board both ejected before the jet crashed.

Wichita County Sherif's officials were the first on scene.

"We got in the back of this property and found the 1st pilot. He was okay. He parachuted out of his jet and was in a dry stock tank," says Sheriff Duke.

Duke says the second pilot actually got hung up in trees .

"Fell through the trees to get down... while trying to get out of it. He was covered with jet fuel but then again, from the crash and their ejection and coming down through it and the fire.. he had made a comment that he was involved in the fire ball when he went through it and he had some minor burns on his face and neck," Sheriff Duke explain.

Duke says first responders had the task of finding the pilots and getting them to safety.

Then Sheppard crews rolled in and started processing the scene.

According to Sheriff Duke, one of the pilots said their plane had flown through a flock of birds just before the crash but Sheppard officials have not confirmed that yet.

"It's too early to determine or make any speculation of what the cause may be but we'll convene a Safety Investigation Board and they'll be looking into it in detail," says col. Lance Bunch with the 80th Flying Training Wing at SAFB.

It's a process that's expected to take several weeks.

During that time, officials will be on site recovering all pieces of the jet to piece together what caused the crash.

The student pilot is been identified as German 1st Lt. Julius Dressbach, who was taken to united regional for further evaluation.

The instructor pilot is Maj. Christopher Thompson with the 97th Flying Training Reserve Squadron.

He was released to Sheppard's flight medical staff for further evaluation.

As for the crash site, officials say this scene is off limits to anyone without proper authorization.

And they say anyone who tries to come to get a look at the crash site will be arrested.

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