A former instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base and his brother with local connections died in a Sunday evening, Aug. 31, plane crash in Abilene.
Air Force Maj. Richard (Tracer) Schafer III, 35, of Columbus, Mississippi, and Matthew Taylor Schafer, 28, of Abilene, died when the Foxtrot 4, a small home-built airplane they were flying, crashed.
The brothers were the sons of local homebuilder Rick Schafer and his wife, Beth Schafer.
Matthew’s wife, Victoria Schafer, 31, and their son Wyatt, 2, were also injured in the incident.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the accident and has released its preliminary report.
According to the report, the airplane, piloted by Richard Schafer, was taking off around 6:34 p.m. to the south and was about 200 feet above the ground when the pilot radioed the tower controller and said he needed to return.