Air Force suspends training flights of PC-38 cyberspace aircraft
5/1/2008 — RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFPN) — Air Education and Training Command officials suspended flights of PC-38C "Micron" cyberpace training aircraft May 1 following a fatal error that led to an operating system crash at Sheppard AFB, Texas.
The crash was the second in two weeks involving a PC-38, following an April 23 hacking incident in which two pilots' avatars were killed when their PC-38 operating system crashed at Columbus AFB, Miss.
General William R. Looney III, AETC commander, directed the stand-down.
"We have no evidence that these hacking incidents are related," General Looney said. "But until we have a more complete understanding of the source code involved in both accidents, it's prudent to stand down the PC-38's."
The causes of both operating system crashes are under investigation.
The Air Force has approximately 500,000 PC-38 cyberspace aircraft in its inventory. The PC-38 is used in AETC to prepare student pilots for future training so they can fly and fight in cyberspace.