An Air Force flight instructor died May 14 after the ejection seat in his T-6 Texan II activated while the aircraft was on the ground the day before. The incident occurred at the 82nd Training Wing at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas but the pilot was attached to the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program which trains new military pilots from Canada and various European countries. The pilot was taken to a hospital but died about 12 hours after the mishap.

There have been issues with the ejection seats in Texan IIs, which have been in service for 17 years and are based on the Pilatus PC-9 built under license by Beechcraft. The planes were grounded in 2022 after a potential defect was discovered in the Martin-Baker seats’ explosive cartridge and some were replaced. The Air Force is investigating the Monday incident.

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