Moody comes to grips with comrades' deaths - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Moody comes to grips with comrades' deaths

Raytheon Texan II, similar to the one that crashed. Raytheon Texan II, similar to the one that crashed.
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April 9, 2004

Lowndes County- Friends and family gathered at Moody Air Force Base Thursday to remember two airmen killed in a plane crash last weekend. The instructor pilots died Saturday when their T-6 Texan II crashed during take off from Savannah International Airport.

Thursday was a sad day at Moody Air Force Base as friends and family said good bye to Captain Judson Brinson and Captain Lee Moore. "This is unbelievable, we're still in a state of shock I think," said Major Chris Sabo.

Both men were instructor pilots in Moody's 39th Flying Training Squadron. Second Lieutenant Michael Schmidt was a student pilot under Captain Brinson. "I admired him as not only a pilot, but an officer," said Schmidt. "He was such a personable guy, everyone loved him and he will be missed more than anyone knows."

He has great memories of their training flights together. "I remember one time we were in a storm, and I was flying, sweating bullets," said Schmidt. "He was sitting behind me so calm and just talking about how we'd remember this flight."

The cause of the crash is still under investigation. This picture was taken at the Savannah International Airport shortly before takeoff. "They may have been young, but they were two of our best pilots we had here," said Sabo.

And even though their lives were cut short, their flying careers will leave a lasting impact on future pilots. Captains Brinson and Moore were returning to Moody Saturday after a training mission in Savannah.

posted at 9:45AM by dave.miller@walb.com