These SR-71 Blackbird Crew Members Tell All About Their Weirdest Missions
BC encountered an engine inlet problem resulting in a series of uncontrollable “unstarts” and had to abort the mission, returning to Okinawa after just twenty minutes and still with 15,000 pounds of fuel. This was just the beginning of BC’s problems. Because he returned to Okinawa much earlier than expected, the crew responsible for maintaining the hangar did not have time to clean up the fuel slick on the hangar’s floor.
The following stories appear in John Altson book The Black Line.
Four Concurrent Emergencies on Landing
Because SR-71 air refueling was both difficult and dangerous, Blackbird pilot Lieutenant Colonel Bredette (BC) Thomas welcomed an assignment that did not require refueling. It should have been easy – A 45-minute flight over North Korea then back to Okinawa. It was his first tour in Okinawa and he had been an SR-71 pilot for about one year.