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Military Aircraft Crashes Near Fort Worth, Injuring 2 Pilots

Caution tape, a parachute and other debris lie in a grassy area behind a brick building.
Amanda McCoy
/
Star-Telegram via AP
A parachute and other items remain outside an Ole Donut where one pilot landed after ejecting from a military training jet before it crashed Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Lake Worth. The two pilots were injured and three homes were damaged, but no one on the ground was seriously hurt.

A military training aircraft crashed in a backyard of a Lake Worth neighborhood on Sunday morning. Authorities say two pilots were injured, but residents were safe.

No deaths have been reported. One pilot has been released from the hospital. The other pilot is in critical condition and will remain at Parkland Hospital.

Lake Worth Police Chief J.T. Manoushagian said the call for the downed training jet, in a backyard between the 4000 block of Tejas and Dakota, came in just before 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Police responded and found the pilots had ejected from the plane. One was caught in some power lines, and the other was found nearby.

The crash damaged three houses. Lake Worth Fire Chief Ryan Arthur said it was lucky the plane crashed in a backyard and not into a home.

"This incident could have been much worse, knowing that this plane went down in a residential area," Arthur said.

Lake Worth officials have prepared for a day like this. The plane went down just north of the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, in one of the base's identified "accident potential zones."

Fire Chief Arthur said they run drills for these types of crashes regularly, although he has not seen one happen.

"Through our Office of Emergency Management, that is one of our highest priorities," he said. "Other cities in Texas, it could be natural disasters such as tornadoes and even ice storms, but for us, it is a downed military aircraft."

The Chief of Naval Air Training announced on Twitter that the plane was a Navy T-45C Goshawk jet trainer aircraft, assigned to Naval Air Station in Kingsville, Texas. One pilot was an instructor, and the other was a student naval aviator. They were taking a routine training flight that originated from Corpus Christi International Airport.

Manoushagian asked the public not to touch any debris they find, but to call the non-emergency number at (817) 237-1224. Federal officials will collect and catalog the debris and use it to figure out what happened, he said.

This is a breaking story that will be updated.

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Got a tip? Email Miranda Suarez at msuarez@kera.org. You can follow Miranda on Twitter @MirandaRSuarez.