Aircraft Wrecks in the Mountains and Deserts of the American West



On the evening of October 25, 1967, Lockheed SR-71A #61-7965 took off from Beale AFB, CA, for a 3-hour, night-time training flight. The aircraft was with the 1st Strategic Reconaissance Squadron, 9th Strategic Reconaissance Wing. At the controls was pilot Maj. Roy St. Martin, with reconaissance systems operator Capt. John Carnochan in the rear seat. The high altitude, supersonic-cruise mission profile included a rendezvous with a refueling aircraft near Albuquerque, NM. During the return to Beale AFB, the spyplane was decending and decelerating near Elko, NV, when the inertial navigation system failed about 2 hours and 15 minutes into the flight. With the aircraft in a diving turn, the pilot was unable to obtain any visual reference in the night sky, so he advised his RSO to eject. Capt. Carnochan ejected at 30,000 ft. and Major St. Martin followed shortly afterward at 10,000 ft. Both men survived and were picked up near Oreana, NV. #965 impacted the desert at 3:20 am in a vertical dive with both engines running, near Lovelock, NV. Today, a few scattered pieces of scorched titanium remain. Special thanks to Pat Macha for help with locating this site. Site visited on 3/24/17.





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