The Deadly Trainer

Air Force cadets are dying in a new aircraft with a dubious mission and many mechanical problems

Terri Weber's last conversation with her son Pace took place just as his dream of becoming an Air Force pilot was taking off. But she heard something besides excitement in her son's voice. "Our planes are having a lot of mechanical problems," Pace told his mom from his Air Force Academy dorm last June, four days before he was due home on his summer break. His plane's engine had unexpectedly conked out in mid-flight, forcing the instructor to grab the controls and make an emergency landing. "Sometimes it's scary," Pace said over the phone. "When we land, I'm really sweating." Terri...

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