Alamo F-15C Crash Site Visited Dec 14, 2011
by Gregos

Joerg in the Impact Crater
Last month Joerg and I decided to investigate the Air Force radio installations on Mt Ella and Highland Peak near Caliente, NV. On our little expedition, we noticed the Air Force set up a base camp at the F-15 crash site near Alamo, NV, which happened on October 24, 2011. We took a GPS waypoint from HWY 375 and then shot a magnetic compass heading to the tent deep in the desert. We then shot another GPS waypoint and heading from HWY 93 to the same point and got a fairly accurate fix on Google Earth.

Last week we figured it was our last chance to drive out there before the winter weather socks us in until spring. We took my HUMMER H3 as from HWY 375 we could see a pretty nasty wadi between us and the crash site. It's a very bumpy 5 mile ride out to the site. A slow going, kidney pounding ride! Once we got to the wadi we saw where the Air Force crossed it and followed their tracks through, drove passed the bulldozed flattened spot where they erected their base camp and then parked right on the edge of the debris field. The impact crater is maybe 20 feet in diameter with black and burned Joshua Trees all around for at least 100 feet out easy. "Now that's a fire!" Once we went into the impact crater we got whiffs of JP-8 jet fuel and the "burny" smell of an extinguished fire. Wow, it happened a month and a half ago! The Air Force cleaned up all the major pieces of the wreckage. In fact, because of the remote location, they turned it into a peace time exercise recovering it by airlift using CH-47 "Chinook" helicopters from the Army National Guardsmen Aviation Unit, Stockton, CA. They loaded it into CONNEX containers and airlifted them to the dirt strip in Alamo (L92) where it was trucked back to Nellis AFB for further investigation. Like I said, all the big pieces were hauled away but there are literally thousands of shards of the former F-15 left out in the desert along with different-colored little flags left by the investigation team.

For more information regarding the recovery effort, please visit the article at the Nellis AFB website:

Honeywell Tag

Typical Shards

Investigation Flag

Molten Aluminum

Black and Burned Joshua Tree

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