The US Air Force (USAF) has issued an operational pause for all T-6 Texan II aircraft following several unexplained physiological events at the Columbus Air Force Base (AFB) in Mississippi, the Vance AFB in Oklahoma, and the Sheppard AFB in Texas.
The 19th Air Force commander major general Patrick Doherty directed the operational pause on the trainer aircraft in order to ensure the safety of the aircrew.
During this period, the USAF will focus on evaluating the primary causes of the incidents, in addition to educating and listening to the aircrew. It will also develop and deliver mitigation solutions.
Doherty said: “The safety of our instructors and student pilots is paramount and has been our priority and focus.
“We’re acting swiftly, making temporary, but necessary changes to everyone’s training, general awareness, checklist procedures, and possibly modify aircrew flying equipment to mitigate risk to the aircrew while we tackle this issue head-on to safeguard everyone flying T-6s.”
Earlier this year, the USAF set up a general officer-led team that would focus on the integration and coordination of efforts across the airforce in order to address the unexplained physiological events.
The new team is led by USAF brigadier general Bobbi Jo Doorenbos who will work in close collaboration with the 19th Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, as well as other major commands, to investigate the causes of the incidents.