Civilian jet trainer crashes in California desert; crew safe


MOJAVE, Calif. (AP) — A military-style jet trainer operated by a civilian test pilot school crashed in California’s Mojave Desert on Friday and the two-member crew ejected safely, the school said.

The Aermacchi MB-326 Impala went down around 10:10 a.m., according to a statement from the National Test Pilot School at Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California.

A statement from nearby Edwards Air Force Base said the crash site was in an uninhabited area of the base.

“The aircraft was providing flight test training. Two aircrew members were on board. Both ejected safely,” the school said.

The National Transportation Safety Board was notified.

The National Test Pilot School is a nonprofit civilian institution established in 1981 to meet the flight test training needs of the U.S. and international aerospace communities, according to its website.

The MB-326 is a single-engine jet trainer designed in Italy that was produced in the 1960s and ’70s and used by the air forces of multiple countries.

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