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: 350070

Reported Deaths: 7590
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24512449
DeSoto23513283
Harrison21172335
Rankin15798293
Jackson15735254
Madison11171227
Lee10903180
Jones9223169
Forrest9027163
Lauderdale8087244
Lamar724890
Lowndes7199152
Lafayette6631125
Washington5661140
Pearl River5357154
Oktibbeha503198
Bolivar5004134
Warren4817128
Panola4812112
Marshall4739106
Pontotoc452473
Hancock440388
Neshoba4401181
Union438979
Monroe4369138
Lincoln4228116
Pike3739114
Leflore3676125
Alcorn355374
Tate354988
Sunflower351094
Adams347490
Scott346677
Yazoo342977
Copiah330869
Simpson327191
Itawamba317281
Coahoma315685
Tippah312869
Prentiss302563
Covington302384
Marion289882
Leake288676
Wayne280945
George277351
Grenada272188
Newton266864
Tishomingo240770
Winston238084
Stone235338
Jasper234748
Attala228674
Chickasaw221460
Holmes202574
Clay201954
Clarke189580
Tallahatchie185642
Calhoun183232
Smith183036
Yalobusha173641
Walthall150449
Lawrence145426
Greene141935
Amite139144
Noxubee137235
Perry136138
Montgomery133944
Carroll127031
Webster124332
Jefferson Davis119834
Tunica116127
Benton107825
Claiborne105931
Kemper104429
Humphreys102333
Franklin88424
Quitman86319
Choctaw83119
Wilkinson79332
Jefferson72228
Sharkey51918
Issaquena1746
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 592417

Reported Deaths: 11542
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson861091591
Mobile49771865
Madison37714533
Shelby27501259
Tuscaloosa27344465
Montgomery26343628
Baldwin25860329
Lee17336181
Calhoun15498334
Morgan15225291
Etowah15060370
Marshall13198236
Houston12191293
Elmore10977219
St. Clair10852252
Limestone10816158
Cullman10610206
Lauderdale10305254
DeKalb9594192
Talladega9005188
Walker7840288
Autauga7615114
Jackson7431117
Blount7417139
Colbert6752142
Coffee6443132
Dale5723117
Russell482243
Chilton4810117
Covington4804125
Franklin462781
Tallapoosa4571156
Escambia451083
Chambers3987125
Dallas3751163
Clarke372263
Marion3470107
Pike334079
Lawrence3277100
Winston300773
Bibb292865
Geneva288383
Marengo262967
Barbour253761
Pickens247762
Butler242472
Hale236778
Fayette228165
Henry216545
Monroe204541
Randolph202844
Cherokee200748
Washington186839
Macon171552
Crenshaw170658
Clay167159
Cleburne161845
Lamar151938
Lowndes146255
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh122132
Coosa119529
Perry111228
Sumter110633
Greene99337
Choctaw64425
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