A-12, M-21, YF-21 Losses Listing

60-6926 (A-12)
This was the second A-12 to fly but the first to crash. On 24 May 1963, CIA pilot Ken Collins was flying an inertial navigation system test mission. After entering clouds, frozen water fouled the pitot-static boom and prevented correct information from reaching the standby flight instruments and the Triple Display Indicator. The aircraft subsequently entered a stall and control was lost completely followed by the onset of an inverted flat spin. The pilot ejected safely. The wreckage was recovered in two days and persons at the scene were indentified and requested to sign secrecy agreements. A cover story for the press described the accident as occurring to an F-105, and is still listed in this way on official records.

60-6928 (A-12) This aircraft was lost on 5 January 1967 during a training sortie flown from Groom Lake. Following the onset of a fuel emergency caused by a failing fuel gauge, the aircraft ran out of fuel only minutes before landing. CIA pilot Walter Ray was forced to eject. Unfortunately the ejection seat.. man-seat separation sequence malfunctioned and Ray was killed on impact with the ground, still strapped to his seat.

60-6929 (A-12) This aircraft was lost on 28 December 1967 seven seconds into an FCF (Functional Check Flight) from Groom Lake performed by CIA pilot Mel Vojvodich. The SAS (Stability Augmentation System) had been incorrectly wired up, and the pilot was unable to control the aircraft 100 feet above the runway. The pilot ejected safely. A similar accident occurred when the first production Lockheed F-117 was flown on 20 April 1982 by Bill Park. It's control system had been hooked up incorrectly. Bill Park survived the accident but had injuries serious enough to remove him from flight status.

60-6932 (A-12) This aircraft was lost in the South China Sea on 5 June 1968. CIA pilot, Jack Weeks was flying what was to be the last operational A-12 mission from the overseas A-12 base at Kadena AB, Okinawa. The loss was due to an inflight emergency and the pilot did not survive. Once again the official news release identified the lost aircraft as an SR-71 and security was maintained. A few days later the two remaining planes on Okinawa flew to the US and were stored with the remainder of the OXCART (CIA) family.

60-6934 (YF-12A) This aircraft, the 1st YF-12A, was seriously damaged on 14 August 1966 during a landing accident at Edwards AFB. The rear half was later used to build the SR-71C (64-17981) which flew for the first time on March 14 1969.

60-6936 (YF-12A) This aircraft, the third YF-12A, was lost on 24 June 1971 in an accident at Edwards AFB. Lt Col Ronald J Layton and systems operator (SO) William A Curtis were approaching the traffic pattern when a fire broke out due to a fuel line fracture caused by metal fatigue. The flames quickly enveloped the entire aircraft and on the base leg both crewmembers ejected. '936 was totally destroyed.

60-6939 (A-12) This aircraft was lost on approach to Groom Lake on 9 July 1964 following a Mach 3 check flight. On approach, the flight controls locked up, and Lockheed test pilot Bill Park was forced to eject at an altitude of 200 feet in a 45 degree bank angle!

60-6941 (M-21) This was the second A-12 to be converted to an M-21 for launching the D-21 reconnaissance drone. During a flight test on 30 July 1966 for launching the drone, the drone pitched down and struck the M-21, breaking it in half. Pilot Bill Park and Launch Control Officer (LCO) Ray Torick stayed with the plane a short time before ejecting over the Pacific Ocean. Both made safe ejections, but Ray Torick opened his helmet visor by mistake and his suit filled up with water which caused him to drown. This terrible personal and professional loss drove "Kelly" Johnson to cancel the M-21/D-21 program.

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