Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are more commonplace today than they were in 1970. Often, these unmanned technological marvels are operated remotely by a ground-based controller, from take-off, through the mission, and during landing. Still, even a UAV will not land in a snowy cornfield in the middle of Montana and remain undamaged enough that it looks it could be flown back out of that field.
The Cornfield Bomber
Then there is the manned aircraft that, because of complications that occurred during flight, become unmanned but can still land on its own in a cornfield. It all began on a very cold morning in February of 1970. Three F-106A Delta Darts took off from Malmstrom Air Force Base for a training flight. During this two-on-one air combat session, one pilot’s maneuvers accidentally put his fighter into an unrecoverable flat spin. After many attempts to correct the aircraft and dropping four miles of altitude, the pilot punches out at 15,000 feet. What happens next is best described in the link below. The picture above will give you a hint of the outcome.
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