USAF Identifies Pilot Killed in T-38 Crash

The USAF pilot killed in the Feb. 19 T-38C Talon crash near Montgomery, Ala., is 1st Lt. Scot Ames Jr., 23, the Air Force said Feb. 22.

Ames and a student pilot from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force were killed when the Talon crashed near Dannelly Field as part of a multi-leg training mission originating from Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. The JASDF has not identified the student pilot yet, and the name will be provided “according to Japan’s established process,” the 14th Flying Training Wing said in a statement.  

Ames, from Pekin, Ind., was an instructor pilot with the 50th Flying Training Squadron at Columbus.

“We are a close-knit family and the loss of our teammates affects us all,” said Col. Seth Graham, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, in the statement. “The strength of our bond is what will help us get through it together. My thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends, and our teammates today.”

The Air Force is investigating the cause of the crash. The 14th FTW halted flying operations following the incident.

“Our Air Force investigators are performing their time-tested process used to investigate mishaps like this, and they will ensure the integrity of the investigation,” Graham said. “The Air Force is committed to providing the safest working environment for its people. The safety of our people and the surrounding communities is our foremost concern.”

The incident was the second involving a T-38 within days, after a Talon from Beale Air Force Base, Calif., made a gear-up landing in Mather, Calif., on Feb. 18. No one was injured in the incident. The Feb. 19 crash is the first fatal T-38 mishap since two USAF pilots from Vance Air Force Base, Okla., were killed when their Talons collided on Nov. 21, 2019.