Just before 7 am this morning, a T-38 trainer jet based at Sheppard AFB crashed just east of Wichita Falls near the intersection of Horton Lane and Pecanway Drive.

Sheriff David Duke and Chief Deputy Derek Meador were first on the scene. Both pilots are reported to have ejected safely. An unidentified deputy suffered a broken leg trying to reach the rural area of the crash.

One of the pilots told a Wichita County Deputy that they encountered a large flock of birds just before they were forced to eject. Shortly after the crash, Sheppard issued a warning about 'flocks of Egrets from ground level to 300 feet'.

Photo credit: Barry Levy

The pilots have been identified as instructor pilot Maj. Christopher Thompson and student pilot German 1stLt. Julius Gressbach. One of the pilots was transported to United Regional Hospital with unspecified injuries. No homes were struck in the crash and no other injuries have been reported.

Photo credit: Barry Levy

According to the aviation site ejection-history.org, this is the 16th ejection crash of a T-38 style aircraft based at Sheppard since 1967.

Photo credit: Barry Levy
Photo credit: Barry Levy