Apr. 19, Rydall, Ga. / Beech T-34A Mentor


At 12:46 EDT, a Beech T-34A operating as part of a commercial combat dogfighting simulation lost a wing and crashed, killing the pilot and customer. The operator reported that the accident airplane and another T-34 entered the training area near Rydall to complete the pre-briefed simulation mission as outlined in phase two of the four-phase combat simulation program. Approximately 45 minutes into the mission, both airplanes set up a beyond visual range engagement. Both airplanes initiated the engagement at a predetermined altitude and direction. After the initial turn toward each other, the accident airplane started a descending turn, followed by a rapid reversal. The pilot of the second T-34 said that the right wing separated during the reversal. The aircraft was equipped with three cameras and a video recorder; the tape was recovered for examination.


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