How you became an SR-71 Blackbird pilot

Key.Aero’s Dino Carrara interviewed pilot Ed Yeilding to hear about his time assigned to the SR-71 Blackbird. In this video he goes over his selection for the supersonic black jet and gives an overview of his career flying the Blackbird

Q. Please give us an overview of your military flying career, especially the time spent on the SR-71 Blackbird.

A. I was raised in Florence, Alabama and went to Auburn University where I majored in electrical engineering and graduated in 1972. Then after pilot training I was assigned to the RF-4, the reconnaissance version of the Phantom, which I loved flying. Our mission was high speed, low-altitude photography. I served five-and-a-half years on the RF-4 and accumulated just over 1,600 hours before I transitioned to the F-4 fighter. I was a fighter pilot for three years in the F-4E at Moody Air Force Base flying primarily at low altitude ingressing below enemy radar and training for weapons delivery.

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