UPDATED: Air Force grounds popular training aircraft

The U.S. Air Force announced Thursday that it has temporarily grounded a popular training aircraft known at the T-6. There are 99 of those aircraft at Columbus Air Force Base.

Posted: Feb 1, 2018 11:34 AM
Updated: Feb 1, 2018 6:29 PM

UPDATED Thursday, February 1, 2018

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - The U.S. Air Force announced Thursday that it has temporarily grounded a popular training aircraft known at the T-6. There are 99 of those aircraft at Columbus Air Force Base.

The Air Force says it has grounded the T-6 system-wide because of what it calls "a cluster of unexplained physiological events" related to hypoxia. Ten of those events occurred at Columbus Air Force Base. The other three at bases in Oklahoma and Texas.

The Beechcraft T-6 is a two-seater turbo-prop airplane, and it's popular because it's significantly cheaper to operate than the jets the Air Force was using. The T-6 has been operational for about 18 years and it's used widely in North America to train new pilots and give them the foundational skills they need to move on to more advanced aircraft. Hypoxia is a lack of oxygen -- and it can be deadly, especially when this airplane is flying at or near its ceiling of 31,000 feet. The cause of these events isn't clear - so far technicians have been unable to find the root causes.

Authorities at the Air Education and Training Command in Texas told WTVA that a task force has been established to look into these unexplained events. The fleet will remain grounded until that team can develop a plan to reduce or eliminate the risks to pilots.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (Press Release) – The 19th Air Force commander has issued an operational pause for all T-6 Texan II operations to ensure aircrew safety after a cluster of unexplained physiological events occurred at Columbus AFB, Mississippi, Vance AFB, Oklahoma, and Sheppard AFB, Texas within the last week.

Maj. Gen. Patrick Doherty directed the operational pause, beginning Feb. 1, to enable the Air Force to examine the root causes of the incidents, educate and listen to aircrew, develop and deliver mitigation solutions.

“The safety of our instructors and student pilots is paramount and has been our priority and focus,” said Maj. Gen. Patrick Doherty, 19th Air Force commander. “We’re acting swiftly, making temporary, but necessary, changes to everyone’s training, general awareness, checklist procedures, and possibly modify aircrew flying equipment to mitigate risk to the aircrew while we tackle this issue head-on to safeguard everyone flying T-6s.”

The Air Force established a general officer-led team to integrate and coordinate efforts across the Air Force to address aircrew Unexplained Physiological Events in early 2018.  Brig. Gen. Bobbi Jo Doorenbos is leading the team and will work closely with 19th Air Force, AETC, and other MAJCOMs to examine the causes of these incidents and ensure industry and enterprise-wide solutions are given high priority to find root causes and deliver solutions across all weapon systems.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 500709

Reported Deaths: 9977
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34312538
DeSoto32080403
Hinds31924627
Jackson24482379
Rankin21983390
Lee15530235
Madison14574280
Jones13838242
Forrest13447251
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Lowndes11030188
Lamar10508135
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Hancock7728126
Washington7422157
Oktibbeha7142131
Monroe6769176
Warren6682176
Pontotoc6659102
Neshoba6635206
Panola6520131
Marshall6462134
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Union602494
Pike5817152
Alcorn5667101
Lincoln5433135
George496779
Scott472698
Tippah469081
Prentiss466881
Leflore4657144
Itawamba4633105
Adams4586119
Tate4584110
Copiah448592
Simpson4445116
Yazoo443987
Wayne439772
Covington428794
Sunflower4237105
Marion4225108
Coahoma4159104
Leake408288
Newton381679
Grenada3706108
Stone359764
Tishomingo359692
Attala331489
Jasper329965
Winston314291
Clay307976
Chickasaw299667
Clarke292494
Calhoun279346
Holmes267887
Smith263850
Yalobusha233747
Tallahatchie227151
Greene219048
Walthall218763
Lawrence212440
Perry205356
Amite205155
Webster202746
Noxubee186640
Montgomery179656
Jefferson Davis171542
Carroll168838
Tunica159439
Benton148738
Kemper141941
Choctaw133426
Claiborne132437
Humphreys129238
Franklin120028
Quitman106428
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94534
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 817054

Reported Deaths: 15320
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1145501922
Mobile724601333
Madison52172694
Shelby37533348
Baldwin37192547
Tuscaloosa35044606
Montgomery34067734
Lee23195245
Calhoun22205476
Morgan20754376
Etowah19811497
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Houston17345411
St. Clair15983339
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Elmore15161284
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DeKalb12622260
Walker11162369
Blount10162175
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Coffee9195191
Dale8880185
Colbert8826201
Tallapoosa7071198
Escambia6764130
Covington6699183
Chilton6627161
Russell627959
Franklin5955105
Chambers5567142
Marion4982126
Dallas4936200
Clarke474583
Pike4722105
Geneva4566126
Winston4502103
Lawrence4296117
Bibb424086
Barbour356676
Marengo337789
Monroe331463
Randolph328763
Butler325696
Pickens315682
Henry311965
Hale311088
Cherokee301760
Fayette291879
Washington251351
Cleburne247360
Crenshaw244375
Clay241768
Macon232363
Lamar222047
Conecuh185853
Coosa179739
Lowndes174564
Wilcox167939
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Perry138340
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Greene126644
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