Why The US Buried A Blackbird At Sea

Why The US Buried A Blackbird At Sea | World War Wings Videos

YouTube / The Fly Zone

Did you know that the US military buried a Blackbird at sea in 1989?

The SR-71 Blackbird in question was flying over the South China Sea at Mach 3 when the left compressor bearing froze, causing the port engine to disintegrate into an explosion that ripped through the hydraulic lines.

Wikimedia CC / Tech. Sgt. Michael Haggerty

Ejecting from the Blackbird at Mach 3 would’ve been suicide. Luckily, the crew, composed of Pilot Lt. Col Dan House and RSO Blair Bozek, was able to slow down the SR-71 while descending, enough to get out safely, and were quickly rescued by local fishermen.

Taken by Matt Moran in Okinawa

The US’ problem didn’t stop there. Now, the SR-71 and its advanced technologies onboard were in China’s backyard. They had to pull it out and put it in Kadena AB in Japan just to protect it from prying eyes!

Investigation Photo from sr71.us

But after the Accident Investigation Board examined the wreckage, the service members knew what had to happen next. Burial at sea looked to be the best option for the larger-than-life machine.

Investigation Photo from sr71.us

The remains of SR-71 #974 were buried at sea with full military honors. The burial happened on Christmas Eve of 1989, with its final resting place seated 25,597 ft deep underwater in the Mariana Trench.

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