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U.S. Air Force pilot instructor dies after being ejected from plane on ground

Seen here is a T-6A Texan II jet. On Tuesday, a Air Force instructor pilot died after being ejected from a T-6A Texan while on the ground. File Photo by Master Sgt. David Richards/Air Force
Seen here is a T-6A Texan II jet. On Tuesday, a Air Force instructor pilot died after being ejected from a T-6A Texan while on the ground. File Photo by Master Sgt. David Richards/Air Force

May 15 (UPI) -- A U.S. Air Force instructor pilot has died from injuries sustained when the ejection seat of his aircraft was activated during ground operations, the military said.

Capt. John Robertson of the 80th Operations Squadron died early Tuesday, Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas announced.

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"This is a devastating loss for Capt. Robertson's family and loved ones, and for the entire 80th Flying Training Wing," Col. Mitchell Cok, the acting wing commander, said in a statement.

"Capt. Robertson was a highly valued airman and instructor pilot. Our deepest condolences go with all who knew and loved him."

Robertson was severely injured Monday when the ejection seat of his T-6A Texan aircraft was activated while the plane was still on the ground.

Staff on site immediately provided "life-sustaining care," which Cok said made it possible for Robertson's family to be by his side when he died on Tuesday.

Sheppard Air Force Base said an interim safety board investigation has been convened and a full Air Force Safety Investigation Board is expected to be established this week.

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