Hondo Aircraft Destroyed

By United States Air Force


Announced just a week ago, the United States Air Force has now brought in a salvage crew to the Hondo Municipal Airport, and has begun destroying over 100 airplanes owned by the Air Force.

These T-3 training aircraft were purchased by the Air Force about 10 years ago and were used to evaluate pilot prospects before allowing these young men and women to proceed to USAF flight school.  The fleet suffered three accidents early on, and so they were all "grounded" and stored at the Hondo field.  Half of them had been at the Air force Academy, and those were boxed up and shipped to Hondo for storage.

As observed today, the aircraft are being totally destroyed by large machinery with each one becoming a pile of rubble in about 30 minutes.


While the Air Force is within its rights to take them out of commission, the fact that none of the component parts were stripped for resale is criminal.  There could be no liability issues involved in selling off parts such as engines, propellers, radios, etc., as they do not carry the aircraft serial number.  Even new, crated engines were destroyed by torching holes completely through these (the new cost of such engines approaches $50,000).

We understand that the decision to destroy perfectly saleable components was made at the highest level. Shame on the Air Force for not recovering one cent of the original acquisition cost--$33,000,000!


It seems quite apparent that the Air Force is embarrassed by this awful action--guards are in place around the clock to keep everyone away--especially the press.  The destruction contractor has been told to put up a vision-proof barricade so that the actual mangling cannot be observed.

It should pointed out that there is almost no salvage value to the trash created, as these modern airplanes are essentially built of fiberglass and not aluminum.