The National Aeronautics and Space Administration required a platform to provide tracking and telemetry to fulfill Apollo requirements in remote locations across the world, including meeting the needs of the Department of Defense. In 1966 the Apollo Range Instrumentation Aircraft program was born.
On May 6, 1981, the Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft 610328 departed from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on a training mission. Less than an hour later, the aircraft crashed in Walkersville, Maryland. All 21 personnel aboard perished in the horrific crash.
The dawn of a new millennium ended the Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft program. ARIA played a vital role in the United States defense program for over three decades. Before it would end, ARIA would touch the hearts of those that served in the program supporting the United States of America and other countries around the world.
flyARIA.com is a private website with no affiliation to the United States Air Force or government agency. I created this site to provide a haven to record the history of the Apollo / Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft program dedicated to the crew, passengers, and families of ARIA 61-0328.