Glenwood native dies in military jet crash in Texas
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
WICHITA FALLS, Texas ” A 23-year-old Glenwood Springs native died in a jet crash at the Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas Thursday.
A T-38 twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet crashed on approach during a routine training mission around 7:55 a.m. Second Lt. Alec Farquhar Littler, 23, a student pilot in the 80th Flying Training Ward’s Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program, and Maj. Brad Funk, 35, a 90th Flying Training Squadron instructor pilot, were both killed. Witnesses said they saw one person eject.
The training program produces future combat pilots for NATO.
Littler spent his childhood in Brisbane, Australia and returned to attend Glenwood Springs High School. He participated in extracurricular activities such as the student council, mock trial and cross country. He attended the Air Force ROTC at the University of Colorado at Boulder before getting accepted into the Euro-NATO training program.
Family members couldn’t be immediately reached.
GSHS teacher Bryan Whiting remembered Littler as a motivated, personable and mature student and said the crash was a tragedy.
“He was always a very dedicated, focused student that knew what he wanted to do and was anxious to get on doing it,” he said.
Two others died in a training jet April 23 at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. The Air Force suspended all T-38 flights pending the investigations into what caused the planes to go down. The jet has been linked to 138 fatalities and about 189 crashes since it was first deployed in 1959, according to the Air Force Safety Center. There were 16 fatalities related to crashes at Sheppard Air Force Base since 1967. All but six involved T-38s.
Sheppard Air Force Base is about 135 miles northwest of Dallas.
A public memorial service will be held but details have not been release yet. Donations for the family of his deceased instructor pilot will be accepted, on Alec’s behalf, at the funeral home.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO
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