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Air Force instructor pilot dies after ejection seat activates during ground operations

5/14: CBS Morning News
5/14: CBS Morning News 20:36

An Air Force instructor pilot died Tuesday morning from injuries sustained after an ejection seat activated during ground operations Monday afternoon. 

On Wednesday, the Air Force identified the pilot as Capt. John Robertson of the 80th Operations Support Squadron at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. 

On Monday, at around 1:55 p.m., he was severely injured when the ejection seat of the T-6A Texan II aircraft he was in activated during ground operations. 

Robertson was transported to United Regional Hospital in Wichita Falls, Texas, before succumbing to his injuries. 

The Air Force is conducting an investigation into the incident. 

"This is a devastating loss for Captain Robertson's family and loved ones, and for the entire 80th Flying Training Wing," said Col. Mitchell J. Cok, the acting wing commander. "Captain Robertson was a highly valued Airman and instructor pilot. Our deepest condolences go with all who knew and loved him."

According to the Air Force, the aircraft is a single-engine, two-seat trainer designed to train students in basic flying skills required of Air Force and Navy pilots. 

The 80th Training Flying Wing at Sheppard Air Force Base leads the multinational Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) Program that trains combat pilots for NATO. 

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