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: 296745

Reported Deaths: 6783
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19731230
Hinds18881393
Harrison16780282
Rankin12787265
Jackson12643229
Lee9703161
Madison9484203
Jones8005147
Forrest7250138
Lauderdale6847227
Lowndes6033140
Lamar590980
Lafayette5747113
Washington5229130
Bolivar4620124
Oktibbeha442194
Panola432396
Pearl River4193132
Warren4138115
Pontotoc410771
Marshall404492
Monroe3993128
Union396474
Neshoba3822170
Lincoln3564104
Hancock350277
Leflore3389119
Sunflower319286
Tate303374
Pike301796
Scott295271
Alcorn292463
Yazoo290865
Itawamba290275
Coahoma282069
Tippah279565
Copiah279259
Simpson276680
Prentiss271158
Wayne254541
Leake253172
Marion252778
Covington249780
Grenada248578
Adams235078
George232445
Newton231252
Winston221979
Jasper213845
Tishomingo212965
Attala206870
Chickasaw201453
Holmes182770
Clay179251
Stone173029
Tallahatchie171439
Clarke169672
Calhoun158528
Smith153033
Yalobusha145536
Greene127933
Walthall124540
Noxubee123131
Montgomery122939
Perry122235
Lawrence120621
Carroll119025
Amite112235
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102731
Tunica99523
Claiborne99129
Benton93924
Humphreys93027
Kemper90423
Quitman77414
Franklin76219
Choctaw69817
Jefferson62827
Wilkinson62427
Sharkey49117
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 498076

Reported Deaths: 10094
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson716711387
Mobile36294737
Madison32616468
Tuscaloosa24340421
Montgomery22739519
Shelby22174218
Baldwin19873289
Lee15039157
Calhoun13832293
Morgan13753254
Etowah13390325
Marshall11448211
Houston10124264
Elmore9483190
Limestone9420138
St. Clair9022227
Cullman8984182
Lauderdale8612214
DeKalb8489175
Talladega7606165
Walker6585259
Jackson6545104
Autauga632492
Blount6236127
Colbert6001121
Coffee5264103
Dale4671107
Russell406933
Franklin399878
Covington3993106
Chilton3898103
Escambia379173
Tallapoosa3622143
Clarke344053
Chambers3431111
Dallas3422142
Pike293373
Marion288695
Lawrence284985
Winston258368
Bibb246160
Geneva240370
Marengo238857
Pickens225457
Barbour213651
Hale212269
Fayette202057
Butler201466
Henry183541
Cherokee178039
Monroe166739
Randolph164840
Washington156836
Macon147745
Crenshaw146255
Clay145954
Cleburne139841
Lamar133733
Lowndes132751
Wilcox122925
Bullock117336
Conecuh107024
Perry106127
Sumter99732
Coosa90224
Greene88532
Choctaw55323
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