T-38 Crashed Near Sheppard Air Force Base - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

T-38 Crashed Near Sheppard Air Force Base

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The man who tried to help one of the pilots in last Friday's T-38 plane crash is home awaiting a series of surgeries.

Lt. George E. Robinson Jr. is undergoing an operation Thursday to reconstruct his ankle, but it won't be his last surgery.

There are many problems with his leg because of the fall Robinson had while climbing over a tall fence to get to the injured pilot.

The T-38 plane crashed near Sheppard Air Force Base around 6:50a.m. last Friday.  Sheppard officials confirmed both pilots on-board survived, although one was taken to the hospital.

Nearly 10 Texoma emergency crews joined forces after a two seat, twin engine T-38 crashing in a wooded area around Pecanway Dr. and Horton Ln. in Wichita Falls.  James Evans, a construction worker who witnessed the crash from the Wichita Falls Regional Airport said, immediately after take-off from SAFB, he heard a thump from the engine.  Evans said it sounded like the pilot was trying to restart the engine.

"Then there was a third thump as if it was losing altitude and then it went behind the trees and then crashed.  I watched the who thing and it was a feeling of helplessness just watching it drop from the sky like knowing what's going on and there's nothing you can do," said Evans.

Sheppard officials said pilot instructor Maj. Christopher Thompson and student pilot German 1stLt. Julius Dressbach were on board.  Both of them ejected safely from the jet.  One of them landed in a wooded area and the other on a dry pond.

Sheppard officials said the Safety Investigation Board will study how and where they landed to learn from the accident so it doesn't happen again.

"We'll look at all the data that we have both from the radar tapes from traffic control and we'll look at the history of the aircraft.  Then we'll look at all aspects of the flight to see if they can determine the cause," said Col. Lance Bunch, SAFB's 80th Flying Training Commander.

Sheppard officials said the rescue was a team effort.

"It just highlights the great relationship we have between our base and the local community that we're able to respond together to these types of events," said Col. Bunch.

It will take investigators around 30 days to interview witnesses and gather all the information from the crash.

Sheppard officials confirmed that one of the pilots was take to United Regional Hospital to be treated for non life threatening injuries.  He's is in fair condition. 

Stay with Newschannel 6 as we bring you the latest updates as they become available.