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Two pilots die in Air Force training jet crash

/ Source: The Associated Press

An Air Force training jet crashed at Columbus Air Force Base on Wednesday, killing both pilots aboard, base officials said.

The base said in a news release that the T-38C Talon crashed about 12:30 p.m., and that the pilots' names were being withheld until relatives could be notified. A base official said no other information would be made available until another news release is issued Thursday afternoon.

WCBI-TV in Columbus reported that witnesses saw a large plume of smoke coming from the base. The runways were closed and some other Air Force planes were diverted to nearby Golden Triangle Regional Airport, which usually handles commercial flights.

Three other aircraft from the base have crashed since January 2007, but no one was killed in those crashes.

Two T-6 Texan II primary trainers, which are propeller driver aircraft, collided and crashed in November during training flights over rural east Mississippi, but all on board parachuted to safety.

In January 2007, two airmen aboard a T-38C ejected safely before their plane crashed in rural Panola County.