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[Journalists being shown 806's wing.()]

Aircraft Losses
Vega 31: The Loss of #806

The Wreckage

[Journalists being shown 806's wing.()]On March 29, foreign journalists were bussed in to see the wreckage of the F-117A. The wreckage burned, according to the Yugoslav air defense men, for hours - first exploding on the ground, then bursting once more into flames as its fuel ignited. The reporters were taken to the portion of the wing that separated in flight. This piece was between several hundred yards and a mile away from the main crash site. They were not allowed any closer to the main wreckage. The CNN reporter stated that from his observations the main aircraft remains were still present.

Local people told reporters they had seen anti-aircraft fire hitting the plane and that it had been knocked out of the sky eventually by a missile. Many reporters interviewed the local villagers as to what happened:

"[Journalists being shown 806's wing.()]"Old Milica Lalosevic, 65 said "But last night we heard a plane that seemed to be turning in the sky above us... we could see a huge bowl of rotating light above the village."

"One old man, his white hair blowing wildly in the wind, his mouth containing only a few worn teeth, kept rubbing a sliver of steel against his coat and looking at it as if a genie would emerge from its bright, buffed exterior. Another peasant rubbed a cloth on the American star insignia, as if trying to erase its nationality. Behind him, the village men were still carving up the wing, hacking and slashing at the dark material as if it were a piece of the True Cross, something to be brought out over the years to show what Serbia could do in its battle against overwhelming odds. The burned fuselage lay behind a hedgerow a quarter of a mile from the village road, guarded by militiamen. The wing nearest the road had been punctured by 12 bullets, all of large caliber and apparently all penetrating the wing from above. More villagers arrived on tractors, some with rakes on their backs. An old, toothless woman emerged from a farmhouse carrying a broom made of straw. Pigeons fluttered over the fields. A farmer began to explain to us how simple it was to produce paint which makes things invisible. "I know about these things because I used to be a mechanic.""
"Some pulled apart bits of wreckage and one said: "The pride of the American air force ended in the mud of Serbia."
[Villagers celebrating on 806's wing.()]

"Robert Fisk in Budjanovci for the INDEPENDENT(UK) [Villagers celebrating on 806's wing.()]Even the grey-bearded priest stood in his cassock among the bronzed-skinned villagers as they took out big, sharp-bladed agricultural knives and hacked at the midnight-black wing with its US markings and 12 bullet holes. Yesterday morning the people of Budjanovci, 25 miles north-west of Belgrade, were stuffing pieces of wing-tip and dark-plastic fabric into the drawers of old wooden cupboards. Children danced on the wing as parents took snapshots for posterity." (Note: Crash site footage seen on Serbian TV included a sound track in which a military officer told the people looking at the wreck to take souvenirs home) Supposedly the RAM (Radar Absorbent Material) gives off cyanide gas and dangerous canceer causing carcinogens when burned. It is unknown what kind of danger these Yugoslavians put themselves in by playing with the F-117A wreckage.

Later that day, Yugoslav Army's Air Force Commander, 3-star general Spasoje Smiljanic said while confirming the downing of F-117A #806 "Do not ask me how". Even the Yugoslavia military was shocked by this event.

The Wreckage

On April 2, 1999, Reuters reported: "Yugoslav Defense Minister Pavle Bulatovic said on Friday his country was prepared to hand over parts of a U.S. F-117 Stealth fighter lost over Yugoslavia on Saturday to the Russian military, state media reported. "Minister Bulatovic expressed readiness to meet the request of the Duma (Russian parliament) delegation to hand over the guarded parts of the American F-117 to Russian military and scientific institutions," the official Yugoslav news agency Tanjug said."

The Associated Press AP reported that in Moscow, "Interfax news agency quoted military sources as saying parts of the fighter had already been flown to Russia. Interfax quoted sources in the defense ministry and the armed forces' general staff as saying the parts had been brought to Russia aboard a transport plane, but gave no further details. A defense ministry spokesman said he had no such information."

On April 20, Maj. Gen. Bruce Carlson (Note: a former F-117A pilot himself) officially stated "We are fairly confident we know what happened that caused the loss of this airplane, but I am not prepared to divulge it". He said the Pentagon's investigation was not finished but that "an act of God and loss of consciousness by the pilot" had been ruled out as reasons for the crash.

On April 18th, 1999 Cedomir Janic, (64) who runs the Air Museum located on the outskirts of Belgrade next to the international airport was being interviewed. During the interview he produced pieces of Scot O' Grady's downed F-16 (1995), a downed Mirage 2000 (1995), and pieces of Tomahawk cruise missiles from the days before. During the interview he said: "The only thing we don't have is the F-117 because that was sent somewhere else," referring to reports Russia had collected the parts of the F-117A. To the right is a picture of parts from #806.


mu-f117-canopy.jpg (54622 bytes)
mu-f117-canopy3.jpg (45216 bytes)
Dusko Markovic
mu-f117-canopy2.jpg (25174 bytes)
mu-f117-ejection-seat.jpg (60654 bytes)
Ejection seat
mu-f117-ejection-seat3.jpg (45252 bytes)
Ejection seat and
cockpit systems
Dusko Markovic
mu-f117-ejection-seat2.jpg (22436 bytes)
Ejection Seat
mu-f117-engine.jpg (59558 bytes)
F-117A engine turbine
mu-f117-sa3-missile01.jpg (68346 bytes)
Nose cone and radar of
SA-3 Neva SAM that shot down 806
Dusko Markovic
../images/806/mu-f117-bomb-bay.jpg (76711 bytes)
F-117A fragment
Dusko Markovic
mu-f117-pilot-gear.jpg (55013 bytes)
Pilot's gear (F-117A)
mu-f117-sa3-missile02.jpg (74054 bytes)
Rocket booster of SA-3 SAM
that downed 806
Dusko Markovic
Vega 31: The Loss of #806
"Vega 31 is going down!"
"The Rescue"
"Getting Home"
"Awards and Honors"
"The Wreckage"
"The Photos"
[Vega 31 Home]
Vega 31 Home

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