USAF Pilot Safe After A-29 Crashes in Afghanistan

A U.S. Air Force pilot flying an Afghan Air Force A-29 Super Tucano safely ejected before the aircraft crashed during a July 9 training flight in Afghanistan.

U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said the pilot was recovered after the crash. While the cause of the mishap is under investigation, preliminary indications show mechanical issues are to blame. USFOR-A did not disclose where the crash occurred.

The turboprop A-29, provided by Embraer and Sierra Nevada Corp., is the Afghan Air Force’s main light attack aircraft used for close air support. A-29s have two seats, but can be flown by one pilot.

USAF leads Kabul-based train, advise, and assist efforts that are building up the AAF’s capabilities in the A-29. Afghan forces have 25 A-29s in-country, with 10 more at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., for training. Nearly 30 Afghan pilots are qualified to fly the airframe.

This is the first A-29 crash since a pilot died in a June 22, 2018 incident near Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., during the Air Force’s own experiment with light attack aircraft.