VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — Flight operations are scheduled to resume at Vance Air Force Base after they temporarily were halted in the wake of a fatal training mishap on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019.
The mishap, which occurred at approximately 9:10 a.m. Thursday, claimed the lives of Lt. Col. John “Matt” Kincade, 47, an instructor pilot assigned to the 5th Flying Training Squadron, and 2nd Lt. Travis B. Wilkie, 23, a student pilot assigned to the 71st Student Squadron.
Col. Corey Simmons, commander of the 71st Flying Training Wing at Vance, halted flight operations through the weekend, as the Air Force commenced its investigation of the accident, which involved two T-38 Talons in the landing phase of a formation training flight.
Vance public affairs announced Monday limited flight operations would resume for aircraft returning from other fields, with normal training expected to resume Tuesday, weather permitting.
One of the two aircraft ended up inverted in the Thursday incident. The other plane was able to land, and its aircrew were uninjured. Simmons said during a Thursday press conference both aircraft came to rest "off the runway." Additional names were not released Friday, and Vance public affairs said the names of the airmen in the second aircraft would be withheld during the investigation.
One runway at the base sustained minimal damage, which is not expected to hinder flight operations, Vance public affairs said Monday.
In its press release, the 71st Flying Training Wing thanked the community for its support "as we continue to grieve our fallen."
Base officials are working with the families on memorial details, according to the press release, with a likely on-base event the first week of December.
"The airmen, civilians and family members of Team Vance are grateful for the outpouring of support and prayers," according to the press release.
Neal writes for the Enid News & Eagle, a CNHI News Service publication.