The aircraft crashed at 20:50 hours local near the end of the runway, while on approach to the Tonopah Test Range Airfield, approximately 20 miles southeast of Tonopah. The aircraft was flying a night training mission over the restricted Nevada Test and Training Range when his AB was stuck. The pilot tried to make an emergency landing but the lights at the airfield didn't come on, so he tried it with his NVG's. Right before he came in, the runway lights came on and he was blinded. He then saw he was short and after he took off the NVG's he ejected safely. Pilot was Maj. David Epperson.
I was the first DCC of this jet when it became the 366th Operations Group flagship. It was being re-painted when I arrived from Kunsan. Col Jeff Remington was the OG at the time and flew this jet on every possible occasion. With some hard work from SrA Robert Blake we kept it on a black letter initial for three months in 96'. I was greatly saddened to hear about it eating the dirt. I hope the folks at depot will try to patch it back together.
She never wanted to come back from a TDY/Deployment. It would never fail, the day we were supposed to be going home, and she would break. Left me hanging in places like Spain for a while trying to get her fixed! Too bad she's taking a dirt nap...RIP.
I was the last Operations Group crew chief to crew this jet. May she rest in peace. I turned the jet over to Souza when Chief Bauer wanted to make it the Squadron jet instead of the OG. In which Craig got the better deal because I then took over 91-0392 as the Ops Group jet. So it was his flash light not mine.