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originally posted by: vinceg
Saw this photo posted on the FB Kadena Alumni page. Such an ungraceful end to a very graceful lady, you'll no doubt recognize the wreckage as an SR-71. This accident occurred just a short time after I rotated off Okinawa but the loss of one of these aircraft just resonated throughout SAC at the time.
originally posted by: vincegAnyone who has seen an SR-71 up close will recognize the red outline of the walkway border and realize you're looking at the top of the aircraft. The impact was forceful enough to drive the right main landing gear through the wing. The left main is gone along with the left engine.
A sad end to be sure...
originally posted by: thebozeian
No I'm sorry I believe you are mistaken.
That is in fact the underside of the A/C. The RH gear leg has not been punched up through the fuse by the impact at all. If you look carefully you will realise it is the L/H gear complete with gear door. The R/H gear has the oleo but is missing its axel/truck. If you google some close-up pics of an SR71 you will see what I am talking about. The gear wells are quite neat as well with no evidence of torn skin or structure. Plus you can see the gear bay hydraulic lines for actuation. If the gear had been driven up it would be a massively gagged hole, the hydraulics probably gone, the gear would be heavily damaged and the tires burst. Most of the belly chine is missing its titanium skin but I agree you can see the red line and there appears to be "No Step" legends stencilled on which confuses the issue. This was probably done to stop maintenance personnel from planting there feet on the underside when removing or installing panels which is not an uncommon method for an aircraft with a low belly (me included), but not probably a welcome habit on this aircraft. I have been looking for images to highlight my point but haven't found any clearly showing "No Step" in the underside except for possibly one of an SR-71B in a museum but I cant zoom in let alone save the pic easily. There are however plenty of close up pics showing red stencilling on the aircraft belly, usually denoting warnings to maintenance personnel about removing and installing fasteners in sequence and/or the correct fastener size and dash length.
Good find nonetheless.