Air Force pilot fatally injured as ejection seat activates while aircraft is grounded

An Air Force instructor pilot tragically lost his life when the ejection seat on his aircraft unexpectedly activated while the plane was on the ground, according to officials.

On Monday, an incident took place at Sheppard Air Force Base near Wichita Falls, Texas. During ground operations, Capt. John Robertson of the 80th Operations Support Squadron was unexpectedly ejected from a T-6A Texan II aircraft, resulting in severe injuries. Sheppard Air Force Base released a statement on Tuesday detailing the incident.

According to Air Force officials, Robertson succumbed to his injuries sustained in the accident and passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

“This tragic event is a heartbreaking loss for Captain Robertson’s family, loved ones, and the entire 80th Flying Training Wing,” expressed Col. Mitchell J. Cok, the acting wing commander. “Captain Robertson was an esteemed Airman and instructor pilot, highly valued for his skills and expertise. We extend our deepest sympathies to all those who had the privilege of knowing and loving him.”

According to Sheppard Air Force Base, an interim safety board investigation was promptly initiated after the incident. Additionally, a full Air Force Safety Investigation Board is anticipated to be established later this week.

The board will release its report once the investigation is finished, although they haven’t mentioned a specific timeline for its completion.

“We express our gratitude to the M1 maintenance team for their prompt and life-saving assistance. We are also grateful for the heroic efforts of the security forces, fire and medical personnel stationed at the base and United Regional Hospital,” Cok acknowledged. “Their collective efforts ensured that Captain Robertson’s family could be by his side during his final moments.”

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