Laughlin AFB Identifies Pilot Killed in T-38C Crash
DEL RIO, TX — Officials at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio released the name of the pilot who was killed Monday afternoon while flying a training sortie in a T-38C.
The deceased, Capt. Paul J. Barbour, was a flight commander and instructor pilot in the 47 Operational Support Squadron. We was from Van Nuys, California and is survived by his wife, mother and sister.
Barbour joined the U.S. Air Force in 2009 and was 32 years old. According to his professional profile on LinkedIn.com, he was a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona.
The other pilot who was hospitalized following ejecting from the T-38 was Capt. Joshua Hammervold. He is a line IP in the 87th Flying Training Squadron called the “Red Bulls.” He was released from the hospital Tuesday and in good condition, Laughlin AFB Public Affairs said.
Only one parachute was reported from eyewitnesses who talked to San Angelo LIVE! who were also on the ground near the crash when it happened.
The T-38 crashed near Lorena’s Cantina and the intersection of U.S. 90 and Spur 454 northwest of Del Rio. The crash location, 14 miles northwest of the base, indicated when the aircraft crashed, it was near long final for runway 13 at Laughlin AFB. No one on the ground was reported injured.
“Tragic events like this are difficult for everyone – family, friends, co-workers, supervisors and our entire Air Force,” said Col. Charlie Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander. “Every day, our pilots take a risk as they step into the cockpit, and every day they operate with the utmost skill, professionalism and dedication to train the next generation of flying Airmen and to ensure the safety of this great nation.”
The cause of the crash is under investigation by the U.S. Air Force. “Rest assured, we are doing everything we can to support the investigation and prevent future incidents,” said Velino.
Yesterday, Velino suspended all flying operations at Laughlin AFB until Monday after the Thanksgiving break.
The photos in the gallery above commemorate the 87 FTS's 100th Anniversary which happened in August 2017. Photos courtesy of Laughlin AFB.