The Moncayo, located on the border between the provinces of Soria and Zaragoza, is a mountain of 2,314 meters of altitude in the Iberian System, in Spain. But it is also something else.
And the fact is that this wild landscape that separates the regions of Aragón and Castilla y León is also a curious aeronautical graveyard. Since 1969 nine planes have crashed in this mountainous area: seven military personnel - all of them belonging of the United States Air Force (USAF)- and two civilians-, to which we must add a republican Tupolev SB Katiuska bomber shot down there on August 24, 1937.
Many of the remains of the planes, some of them of a considerable size, are still on that mountain today, and are often photographed by the mountaineers who climb up to it, as shown in the photos of several of them that appear in this entry, in some of which the USAF emblems can still be distinguished.
In 2008, Michel Lozares published a book titled "Los aviones del Moncayo" (The planes of Moncayo), which includes photos and data on each of the planes that have crashed on that mountain. The book also includes plates of each of the planes, which you can see on the Aero Chifladuras blog . The book reviews the nine planes mentioned, noting that three of them crashed on the slopes of Moncayo and the rest in its vicinity.
The first of the accidents that the book addresses is the most unknown of all, even to the locals: a USAF North American F-100 Super Saber that crashed in 1969 near Tabuenca, after ejecting your pilot. The plane belonged to the 401 Tactical Fighter Wing based in Torrejón (Madrid).
The worst of the air accidents in Moncayo occurred in 1984, when a USAF C-130 Hercules transport plane crashed on the Muela Baja de Borja hill, killing all 18 of its occupants. Many remains of this accident can still be found today. The plane belonged to the 435th Airlift Wing based in Rhein Main (Germany).
How is it possible that so many American planes crashed on that mountain? In addition to its altitude, the cause may be due to the proximity of the Zaragoza Air Base, which was a joint base at the time those planes crashed. It must also be taken into account that the American pilots did not have the same knowledge of the area as the Spanish.
For years there has been some discussion about the fate of these remains. Some political groups have called for their removal, but there are people who have defended their permanence on the site, understanding that today they are already aeronautical archeology remains.
Main photo: angeljj / Wikiloc.
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