Air Force Pilot Dies In Ground-Operations Accident

Photo by Amir Cohen/Reuters

Samuel Spencer Contributor
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An Air Force instructor pilot died Tuesday morning after a plane’s ejection seat activated during ground operations at the Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas.

The incident occurred Monday morning when the ejection seat in their T-6A Texan II, single-engine, two-seat trainer plane, activated, according to a Sheppard Air Force Base press release. The pilot was taken to United Regional Hospital in Wichita Falls, Texas, where he succumbed to his injuries, CBS News reported. (RELATED: Pair Cheats Death After Plane With Parachute Spirals To Ground In Florida, Video Shows)

Sheppard Air Force Base is investigating the incident. The pilot, left unnamed for now, served with the 80th Flying Training Wing, the press release said.

On April 18, an active-duty Airman was found dead near a railway in Texas. The individual was identified as Second Lt. James Chitika, 24, from Atlanta and stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas.

Chitika served as a student pilot in the 47th Student Squadron, according to a Laughlin Air Force Base media release.

“Our deepest condolences are with the Chitika family, classmates, and friends of James during this difficult time,” said Col Kevin Davidson, 47th Flying Training Wing commander. “As we work through this tragedy, let’s focus on uplifting one another.”