The Air Force is currently combing the Utah Test & Training Range in search of a pilot whose F-16 crashed late last night. Even if the pilot managed to safely eject from the doomed aircraft, though, he could be tough to locate. As we previously noted, the UTTR is bigger than some states:
If you ever find yourself at the intersections of Skull Valley and Stark roads in western Utah, take a long peek out the car window. See that barren nothingness that extends as far as the eye can see? That’s paradise for budding Air Force jocks: The Utah Test & Training Range, where the munitions of tomorrow are exploding today. The range measures over 2,600 square miles, making it a fair bit larger than both Rhode Island and Delaware. The military can get away with exploding a 10 kiloton bomb here without having anyone notice.
Contrary to popular belief, F-16 pilots can eject at extremely low altitude and still survive the ordeal, thanks to the hardiness of their seats. Check out this harrowing vid, and thank your lucky stars you’re in a safer line of work.