Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Rescue Ops in the UTTR

June 23rd, 2009 · 5 Comments

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.


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5 Comments so far ↓

  • Jesse

    When I was a kid I had to go to Dugway every year to play Jr Jazz basketball. It was usually a long, snowy drive.

    I hope they find this guy.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @Jesse: I hope so, too.

    Curious there was no mention of a beacon signal–I’d assume these guys are outfitted with GPS. But on second thought, I guess the military doesn’t release too many details in the middle of any operation.

    I’ve heard Dugway is the party capital of Utah. Any truth to that rumor?

  • Jesse

    Looks like he didn’t make it: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=6910228

    I guess it depends on what types of parties you’re talking about. If you mean parties where people eat casseroles and jello, and drink fruit punch, then you’ve probably been misinformed. If you’re talking about the more widely accepted definition of a party, then yes, Dugway could potentially be the party capital of Utah. I would think that there is a lower percentage of native Utahans, and thus fewer Mormons, there than anywhere else in the state. On the other hand, its geographic isolation and small population probably don’t really translate into a big party scene.

  • Jesse

    By the way, why can I never find your book at the Borders on Broadway in the Financial District?

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @Jesse: Very sad about the pilot. I have to wonder whether the accident was due to a medical emergency–the report says that no distress signal was made.

    Every Borders should have at least one copy of NtHWS. But it may be tucked away somewhere obscure–I’ve often been depressed to discover copies stuffed into the Military History or Ethnic Studies sections. (My fault, I guess, for writing a somewhat hard-to-categorize book.) Have you asked at the info desk? Please let me know.