Air Force pilot dies after aircraft ejection seat goes off while on the ground

The incident happened Monday at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, according to The Associated Press.

An Air Force instructor pilot died Tuesday after the ejection seat of a training plane he was in activated while the aircraft was on the ground, Air Force officials said.

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The incident happened Monday at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, according to The Associated Press.

Capt. John Robertson of the 80th Operations Support Squadron was seriously injured in the incident Monday and died Tuesday morning, base officials said in a statement.

Robertson was in the seat of the T-6A Texan II aircraft – a turboprop training plane -- that was on the ground when the ejection seat deployed, according to ABC News.

“This is a devastating loss for Captain Robertson’s family and loved ones, and for the entire 80th Flying Training Wing,” Col. Mitchell J. Cok, the acting wing commander, said in the statement. “Captain Robertson was a highly valued Airman and instructor pilot. Our deepest condolences go with all who knew and loved him.”

Air Force officials said that an interim safety board investigation was immediately formed and that a full Air Force Safety Investigation Board is expected to be in place later this week, according to the AP.

The T-6 fleet and other Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps jets were grounded in 2022 after a potential defect with one component of the ejection seat’s cartridge actuated devices, or CADs, were found, the AP reported.

The fleet was inspected and in some instances the CADs were replaced. The seat in a plane is ejected when a pilot pulls the ejection lever and the CAD explodes to initiate the process.

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