On 5 March 2021 at approximately 10:20 hrs LT, an Aermacchi MB326M Impala from the National Test Pilot School (NTPS) crashed in an unhabited area of Edwards Air Force Base. As yet unconfirmed reports mentions that the two pilots managed to eject and have been found.
The Impala, registration N155TP (construction number 159/6390/A23), is owned by Flight Research Inc and operated out of Mojave Air and Space Port (CA). The National Test Pilot School routinely uses a fleet of 34 aircraft (23 different types) located at the school’s campus at the Mojave Air and Space Port (CA). Seven of the aircraft are owned by the school and the rest are supplied by an adjacent contractor, Flight Research Inc.
The company's Impalas, once operated by the South African Air Force (SAAF), are utilized for jet spin, flutter testing, weapons testing, and variety of performance and flying quality test training. The SAAF sold twelve Impalas to the NTPS in the early nineties, of which five were still reported as active.
N152TP ex SAAF 481 active
N153TP ex SAAF 493 registration canx 01feb94
N154TP ex SAAF 497 active
N155TP ex SAAF 498 crashed 05mar21
N156TP (1) ex SAAF 468 active
N156TP (2) ex SAAF 465 status unknown
N157TP ex SAAF 469 registration canx 16oct95, stored Mojave, forward fuselage only
N158TP ex SAAF 471 active
N161TP ex SAAF 462 registration canx 18aug05, stored Mojave
N162TP ex SAAF 473 preserved Graz-Thalerhof (Austria)
N163TP ex SAAF 482 registration canx 18aug05
N164TP ex SAAF 500 registration canx 18aug05, stored Mojave
Photo: Alan Radecki, kindly provided by Jetphotos.com