Pilots Uninjured After U.S. Navy Trainer Plane Crashes in the Gulf

The U.S. Navy is investigating why one of their T-34 Turbo Mentor training planes crashed into the Gulf of Mexico Thursday morning.

It happened at 10:20 a.m., about two miles off the coast and 10 miles north of Bob Hall Pier. Thankfully, the instructor and student who were piloting the plane managed to bail out without injury, and after about 30 minutes in the water, rescue teams from the U.S. Coast Guard managed to pull them out of the water to safety.

Kiii News Reporter Brian Burns spoke to the rescue diver that helped both pilots out of the water, and went Live from Bob Hall Pier with the details.

The U.S. Coast Guard was gearing up for a normal morning training flight when they got word that the T-34 Turbo Mentor, from Training Squadron 28 at Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi, went down for an unknown reason.

"We were getting ready to go to SPI to do some hoisting with boats down there, and then the radio came on and let us know that there was a T-34 that crashed," Coast Guard Diver Jesse Weaver said. "There was at least one person in the water, so we immediately diverted to that instead."

Weaver said the female student pilot was the first to be reached, and the instructor landed a quarter-mile away. They were both uninjured, but were taken to Christus Spohn Hospital Shoreline to be checked out.

A spokesperson for the Chief of Naval Air Training at NAS-CC said they are investigating the cause of the crash.

"They did bail out," CNATRA Lt. J.G. Brynn said. "They did determine that something was wrong and they needed to exit the aircraft."

Not long ago, the U.S. Navy announced that the new T-6 training planes will be replacing the older T-34 Turbo Mentor aircraft, but there is no word that the age of the T-34 plane may have led to the crash. That is still under investigation.


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