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A Texas Air National Guard pilot and his weapons...

PASADENA, Texas -- A Texas Air National Guard pilot and his weapons officer died in the crash of their jet fighter on takeoff for a training mission from Ellington Air Force Base.

Killed in the crash Wednesday were pilot Gregory F. Dull, 32, of League City, and weapons officer Jerry L. Griffith, 34, of Houston.

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Officials said the F-101 Voodoo was taking off when it crashed in a field north of the base. Witnesses said it appeared the pilot steered the plane away from a housing development.

'It looked to me like the pilot intentionally turned away to avoid hitting those houses,' said Glenn Ellis, who was driving on a street when he saw the plane falling.

'We heard this loud pop and saw two pieces of something coming off the plane,' witness Elgin Rennefield said. 'It was just taking off and I'm not sure if it was the pilot ejecting or what.

'The plane just kind of rolled over on its side and fell. There was a boom and then a big huge fireball. I never saw a parachute.'

The two-seat supersonic interceptor, a type formerly used by the U.S. Air Force, was assigned to the 147th Fighter Group of the Air National Guard.

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Officials said an investigation board was convened to determine the cause of the crash.

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