Follow-Up: Air Force Disowns $32 Million T-3 Planes

Air Force Disowns $32 Million T-3 Planes

The Air Force last week grounded forever the training plane that killed three rookie pilots and their instructors at the Air Force Academy. The service spent $32 million on 110 of the prop-driven T-3 Fireflies in the early 1990s. Its goal: to put fledgling pilots into acrobatic maneuvers that would screen out pilots who would have later failed at more demanding--and costlier--jets.

But after the six deaths at the academy, from 1995 to 1997, the Air Force "temporarily suspended" the T-3 training program and spent $6 million trying to fix the plane's engine woes. Air Force headquarters ordered a thorough investigation...

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