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Air Force Identifies Instructor Pilot Killed In Laughlin T-38 Crash

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The pilot killed when a T-38 from Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, crashed on Tuesday has been identified as Capt. John F. Graziano, Air Force officials have announced.

  • The 28-year-old instructor pilot was assigned to the 87th Flying Training Squadron at Laughlin, according to a news release from the 47th Flying Training Wing. Graziano was originally from Elkridge, Maryland. He is survived by his parents, sister, brother.
  • Another instructor pilot, Capt. Mark S. Palyok, was injured in the crash. He was treated for his injuries and released Wednesday from Val Verde Regional Medical Center.
  • “Knowing how everyone is affected by this tragedy, my immediate concern is making sure that every member of our Laughlin family is okay,” Col. Lee Gentile, commander of the 47th Flying Training Wing, said in the news release. “Together, we are Laughlin and now is the time that we stand together to take care of one another.”
  • Tuesday’s incident marks the fifth time a T-38 has crashed since Nov. 20, 2017, when Laughlin pilot Capt. Paul J. Barbour was killed and Capt. Joshua Hammervold, was injured in a crash in Del Rio Texas.
  • T-38 flight operations were suspended for both Wednesday and Thursday at Laughlin, said Marilyn Holiday, a spokeswoman for Air Education and Training Command.
  • “Halting flying operations after any accident is normal procedure to pay respect to the deceased and is a part of the Air Force safety investigation process,” Holiday told Task & Purpose.

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