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Air Force Stops T-38 Formation Landings After 2019 Fatal Crash

The night before an instructor and student pilot died while attempting a T-38 formation landing, the instructor and two superiors at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., had a conversation about the maneuver.

At the time, student pilots were required to complete two formation landings—when more than one aircraft land at the same time—as part of the T-38 Air Education and Training Command syllabus. But, the Combat Air Force, which the pilots enter after graduation, has almost completely ended the practice of formation landings, and as a result, instructor pilots are no longer as proficient in the maneuver.

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