Air Force Identifies Two Pilots Killed in Crash

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) - The U.S. Air Force has identified the two pilots killed when a T-38C trainer crashed on takeoff Wednesday.

Maj. Blair Faulkner, an instructor pilot with the 43rd Flying Training Squadron, and his trainee, 2nd Lt. Matthew Emmons, were killed in the crash, the Air Force said Thursday afternoon.

Faulkner is a married father of two who used to live in Florence, Ala., the TimesDaily of Florence reported. The Air Force did not release Emmons' hometown.

An investigation into the cause of the crash has been opened.

The deaths were the first aircraft-related fatalities at the base in eastern Mississippi in 24 years. There have been six crashes since then, including three since January 2007.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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