F-100 Crashes in Death Valley


On August 18, 1958, an F100 on a routine training mission flying over Death Valley encountered trouble. Within an instant the pilot ejected and parachuted to safety, landing a short distance from the Furnace Creek Inn. The plane came to rest on a shear cliff above Badwater in the southern end of Death Valley. In the Spring of 1997, I spotted the F100 laying precariously on a ledge where it had came to rest almost 40 years earlier.

WRECK SITE VISITED


After hiking about two hours over rocks, boulders and rock climbing up near vertical cliffs, I reached the first sign of the downed F100. I found the tail section and jet engine wedged between a couple of rocks. About 200-feet above I could see more parts; a wing, landing gear, radios and rudder.


I continued up the hill where I found part of a wing. A short distance later I stumbled on another part of wing which still had the AF insignia and partial tail number clearly visible. As the sun faded below the horizon I hastily made my way back down the mountainside.

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