Air Force Training Crash Kills 2, Including Newlywed Pilot, 24: 'This Can't Be Us,' Says Wife

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Rachel DeSantis
·2 min read
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Facebook Scot Ames Jr.

Two Air Force pilots, one a newlywed and the other a student from Japan, were killed in a plane crash near Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama on Friday.

The accident occurred around 5:30 p.m. local time, when a T38-C Talon assigned to the 50th Flying Squadron crashed in a wooded area, Col. Seth Graham, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, said in a press conference.

"There were two pilots on board, and tragically, neither of them survived the accident," said Graham. "We here are a close-knit team, and the loss of two of our teammates is something that affects us all. That said, the strength of our bond is what will help us get through this together."

Graham said that the plane was carrying an instructor pilot and a student pilot, the latter of whom was from Japan and was part of the Japanese Air Self Defense Force.

The instructor pilot was identified as Scot Ames Jr., a 24-year-old newlywed Air Force instructor from Indiana, NBC/ABC affiliate WTVA reported.

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"I won't ever be able to go to the Virgin Islands again without feeling the loss of her," Kenney Chesney wrote of his late friend, Maria Rodriguez

He was reportedly married in June, and his wife Audra confirmed her husband's death in a heartbreaking Facebook post.

"I cannot comprehend how this happened. He was a smart pilot. He was a safe pilot. Every morning before work I'd hug him for as long as possible before he'd leave. I'd give him many kisses and tell him to 'please be so safe.' He replied every time with an 'always,'" she wrote. "Scot is the love of my life, he is my world, and my everything. I love him with every ounce of my being. We got so little time together and I'm truly at a loss for words. This can't be me. This can't be us. This can't happen to him."

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The Air Force said that the student pilot would be identified "according to Japan's established process," WTVA reported.

The doomed plane took off from Columbus, Mississippi and was headed for Tallahassee when it crashed, according to The New York Times. Columbus Air Force Base is where the 14th Flying Training Wing is based. The Wing reportedly specializes in training undergraduate pilots.

"An investigation into the cause of the mishap has been initiated, and therefore further details will be release as the investigative process allows," Graham said.