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Slayton's final flight took place hours after he died.
Later the same day he died, June 13, 1993 at 7:57 A.M. local time, at John Wayne Airport in Southern California, a Formula One Racing Plane with large FAA-required registration letters and numbers on the fuselage, N21X, took off from the airport and performed various flight maneuvers.
With a high-speed propeller the extremely noisy aircraft was seen and heard by many people, who clearly identified the type of aircraft and wrote down the N21X registration. The Federal Aviation Administration determined that a noise level mandated by law had been exceeded, and issued a letter of citation against the registered owner and pilot.
When I found out that Slayton's racer, "Stinger" was on display at the Museum of Flying in Chino, California, I was anxious to see it for myself. Not only does it appear that the engine has been re-mounted, but I find the description of the airplane, as reported by witnesses that day, troubling. As can be plainly seen in the photos, the number "21" appears in large numbers on each side of the fuselage. The entire "N" number, N21X appears on the vertical stabilizer painted in much smaller letters that would be difficult, if not impossible to read from the ground while the airplane is in flight. Of course, I am making the assumption here that the airplane has not been re-painted, but I have not seen any report that it was.
The cockpit gives an idea of the size of the "Stinger".
A close-up of the "N" number gives you an idea of how small it is.
Ed Maloney on record as having purchased the airplane, he's the director of Aviation Museum.
ANOTHER Formula could have been painted up, IF this was a big practical joke, betcha plenty of Deke's friends would have loved to have helped out in pulling this off......