F-15 crash near Cedar Gate

Message posted by neonsky (Alan) on July 30, 2008 at 17:52:30 PST:

Hi All

Late this morning I was observing Red Flag from Coyote Pass on Rt. 375 just five miles east of Rachel, NV when I noticed a black mushroom shaped cloud rising over the mountains N/W of me near what is called Cedar Gate Road, an entrance road to the rear gate of the Nevada Test site. It is about 25-30 miles from where I was observing. I took several photos of the cloud through my 400mm Nikon Lens, and then jumped in my pickup and proceeded to drive to what I thought might be the crash area. By then I knew a jet had crashed from all the activity broadcasting from my scanners. When I arrived at the Cedar Gate Road I parked my truck as I had an elevated view of the expanse of the desert floor where I could see black smoke rising several miles into the desert. Within a short time rescue trucks were speeding to the downed aircraft, and soon a rescue helicopter arrived to bring the downed pilots to the hospital. It was apparent from the radio transmissions that they were able to eject from their disabled jet.

I was able to take several long distance photos of the activities. Since I was about maybe five miles line of site from the crash, the photos have a lot of haze, so I have to do some Retouching.

Ironically, this past Monday I was viewing Red Flag from Cedar Ranch, approximately one mile from the crash site at what would have been the time of the crash. I didnít go back there, but instead went to Coyote Pass because nothing worth seeing was happening was occurring above Cedar Ranch. Go figure. If I had been there today, I would have been maybe first or second at the crash site. Maybe it was better that I was not.

Now I hear that one of the pilots died. So, so, sad for our fallen warrior. May his/her spirit now soar in the presence of God.

Iíll post my full res photos on Webshots when I get home this weekend.

I feel I should be saying something more about our flying warriors. It humbles me when I see them flying overhead, that for a few of us, we have front row seat to their training. I was never in the military, but I had three bothers serve in the Air Force. Even though I will be forever be a civilian, I still feel in my heart that they are my brothers and sisters.

Now, tonight, as I sit alone in the desert Iíll say a silent prayer for that fallen warrior. Although he/she is in the hands of God, maybe his/her spirit, in a sense, is still flying in the desert skies, doing what they do best, except tonight he/she will be landing not at Nellis.



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