US Air Force instructor pilot tragically dies after ejector seat goes off

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By Asiya Ali

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A US Air Force instructor pilot has tragically died after he was ejected from a plane on the ground.

Captain John Robertson of the 80th Operations Support Squadron was in a T-6A Texan II aircraft at Sheppard Air Force Base near Wichita Falls, Texas on Monday (May 13).

Tragedy occurred when Robertson was suddenly ejected from the plane, causing him severe injuries, according to a press release from Sheppard Air Force Base.

Sadly, the US Air Force instructor succumbed to his injuries on early Tuesday (May 14) morning, Air Force officials confirmed.

Read the press release below:

Local news station NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth reported a student was in the plane with the captain, and they did not eject and were uninjured.

Acting wing commander Col. Mitchell J. Cok issued a tribute statement that read: "This is a devastating loss for Captain Robertson's family and loved ones, and for the entire 80th Flying Training Wing.

"Captain Robertson was a highly valued Airman and instructor pilot. Our deepest condolences go with all who knew and loved him," he said.

Cok expressed gratitude to those who responded to the incident, adding: "We are thankful for the M1 maintenance team who immediately provided live-sustaining care and for the heroic efforts of the security forces, fire and medical personnel here on base and at United Regional Hospital.

"Their efforts allowed time for Captain Robertson's family to be at his side when he passed," he concluded.

Robertson's loved ones also shared posts on social media, remembering their beloved relative.

His aunt, Julie Grier, described her late nephew as “smart, talented [and] always smiling” in a Facebook post, adding: “He will be truly missed. Please pray for his family, especially his loving parents."

Robertson was suddenly ejected from the T-6A Texan at Sheppard Air Force Base. Credit: Riccardo Niccoli/Stocktrek Images / Getty

Sheppard Air Force Base is located five miles north of Wichita Falls.

According to its website, the training base was founded in 1941 and "is the most diverse training installation for the Air Force, providing technically trained airmen as well as combat pilots for the Nato Alliance".

The T-6A Texan II is a single-engine, two-seat primary trainer designed to train students "in basic flying skills common to US Air Force and Navy pilots," the Air Force website noted.

In the press release, the Air Force Base confirmed that an interim safety board investigation is currently underway, noting: A full Air Force Safety Investigation Board is expected to be in place later this week."

They also added that "the board will release its report when the investigation is complete".

Featured image credit: Riccardo Niccoli/Stocktrek Images / Getty

US Air Force instructor pilot tragically dies after ejector seat goes off

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

A US Air Force instructor pilot has tragically died after he was ejected from a plane on the ground.

Captain John Robertson of the 80th Operations Support Squadron was in a T-6A Texan II aircraft at Sheppard Air Force Base near Wichita Falls, Texas on Monday (May 13).

Tragedy occurred when Robertson was suddenly ejected from the plane, causing him severe injuries, according to a press release from Sheppard Air Force Base.

Sadly, the US Air Force instructor succumbed to his injuries on early Tuesday (May 14) morning, Air Force officials confirmed.

Read the press release below:

Local news station NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth reported a student was in the plane with the captain, and they did not eject and were uninjured.

Acting wing commander Col. Mitchell J. Cok issued a tribute statement that read: "This is a devastating loss for Captain Robertson's family and loved ones, and for the entire 80th Flying Training Wing.

"Captain Robertson was a highly valued Airman and instructor pilot. Our deepest condolences go with all who knew and loved him," he said.

Cok expressed gratitude to those who responded to the incident, adding: "We are thankful for the M1 maintenance team who immediately provided live-sustaining care and for the heroic efforts of the security forces, fire and medical personnel here on base and at United Regional Hospital.

"Their efforts allowed time for Captain Robertson's family to be at his side when he passed," he concluded.

Robertson's loved ones also shared posts on social media, remembering their beloved relative.

His aunt, Julie Grier, described her late nephew as “smart, talented [and] always smiling” in a Facebook post, adding: “He will be truly missed. Please pray for his family, especially his loving parents."

Robertson was suddenly ejected from the T-6A Texan at Sheppard Air Force Base. Credit: Riccardo Niccoli/Stocktrek Images / Getty

Sheppard Air Force Base is located five miles north of Wichita Falls.

According to its website, the training base was founded in 1941 and "is the most diverse training installation for the Air Force, providing technically trained airmen as well as combat pilots for the Nato Alliance".

The T-6A Texan II is a single-engine, two-seat primary trainer designed to train students "in basic flying skills common to US Air Force and Navy pilots," the Air Force website noted.

In the press release, the Air Force Base confirmed that an interim safety board investigation is currently underway, noting: A full Air Force Safety Investigation Board is expected to be in place later this week."

They also added that "the board will release its report when the investigation is complete".

Featured image credit: Riccardo Niccoli/Stocktrek Images / Getty