Officials at Sheppard AFB, Tex., have identified the two pilots who died May 1 when their T-38C trainer aircraft crashed during a training flight from the base. Maj. Brad Funk, 35, an instructor pilot with the 90th Flying Training Squadron, and 2nd Lt. Alec Littler, 23, a student pilot in the 80th Flying Training Wing’s Euro-NATO joint jet pilot training program, were killed when their aircraft crashed on approach at about 7:55 a.m. local time, according to a May 2 release from the base. An accident board is investigating. More information will be released as it becomes available, the statement said. The mishap is the second fatal accident involving a T-38C since April 23 when two pilots died in a crash at Columbus AFB, Miss. The two crashes led Air Education and Training Command to suspend flight operations of all T-38Cs. Further, Maj. Gen. Irving L. Halter, commander of 19th Air Force, has ordered the one-day, safety stand-down today (May 5) of all AETC flying training operations, according to a May 2 release from Randolph AFB, Tex.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.