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Environmental cleanup ends after May crash of Navy jet

Environmental cleanup near Kingsville, Texas, has ended, the U.S. Navy said, after a T-45 Goshawk training plane, similar to the one depicted, crashed in May. Photo by MCS Anthony Hilkowski/U.S. Navy
Environmental cleanup near Kingsville, Texas, has ended, the U.S. Navy said, after a T-45 Goshawk training plane, similar to the one depicted, crashed in May. Photo by MCS Anthony Hilkowski/U.S. Navy

June 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy announced the end of an environmental cleanup after a plane crash near Ricardo, Texas, in May.

A Navy T-45C Goshawk jet trainer aircraft assigned to Training Squadron 22 of Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas, struck another aircraft in a mid-air collision and crashed on May 17.

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Two aboard the T-45 were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, while the other plane, also a T-45, safely returned to the base.

The wreckage was removed on May 22, and returned to NAS Kingsville for examination. Monday's statement by the Navy said the environmental cleanup was concluded on June 16.

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Members of the Navy On-Scene Coordinator program for Navy Region Southeast, headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., assisted safety and investigation teams, and evaluated the site to determine if the remote area required special equipment for remediation.

The area received a record 13 inches of rain in the days following the crash.

"Soil samples were taken and lab tests conducted as part of the environmental cleanup," the Navy statement said. "The Navy OSC team walked through acres of land, picking up visible debris and conducted additional soil testing on site."

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The T-45 Goshawk is a tandem-seat jet trainer, used since 1991 to train Navy and Marine Corps pilots in the intermediate and advanced stages of their instruction, with an emphasis on tactical strike missions and arrival and departure on aircraft carriers.

Built by Boeing and BAE Systems, the plane is 39 feet long with a wingspan of nearly 31 feet. The aircraft is powered by a Rolls-Royce turbofan engine, and can approach speeds of 625 miles per hour.

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