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AF Trainer Aircraft 'Perilous,' Report Says

January 05, 1998|From Times Wire Reports

A British-made plane used to train Air Force pilots may be too dangerous to fly, Time magazine reports. Six people--three fledgling pilots and three instructors--have been killed in three crashes of the T-3 Firefly since it was put into use in 1995, according to the Jan. 12 issue of Time. "The T-3's crash record is all the more startling because from 1964 to 1994, cadets flew the trainer's predecessor, the T-41, without a single fatality," Time said. The article said evidence obtained through interviews and documents suggests that switching from the T-41 to the T-3 was a mistake and that the plane is "too perilous for veteran pilots, much less beginners, to fly." Air Force spokeswoman Virginia Pribyla said in a telephone interview that "obviously, we're concerned about the number of engine stoppages and we did ground the aircraft. We also have a broad area review of T-3 programs in progress," she said.

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