posted on Jan, 7 2009 @ 01:16 AM
Loss #16 61-17969 (SR-71A) Lost on 10 May 1970 during an operational mission from Kadena, Okinawa against North Vietnam. Shortly after air-refueling,
the pilot, Major William E. Lawson initiated a normal full power climb. Stretching before him was a solid bank of cloud containing heavy thunderstorm
activity which reached above 45,000'. Heavy with fuel, the aircraft was unable to maintain a high rate of climb and as it entered turbulence both
engines flamed out. The RPM dropped to a level too low for restarting the engines. Pilot and RSO, Major Gilbert Martinez ejected safely after the
aircraft stalled. The crew were rescued near U Tapao, Thailand. The plane crashed near Korat RTAFB, Thailand.