flyARIA Memorial

The first memorial I placed on the web started in the mid-1990s on my dedicated commercial website tucked away, not accessible by a link. I created an online memorial for those that died in the crash of ARIA 61-0328. The ARIA Memorial was not meant to be a public memorial but private so that I could visit, no matter where I was, to reflect on my time with ARIA and remember those who had died. That changed in 2001, placing online as a dedicated website.

My intent with the website was to provide information about the ARIA program and to provide information about the crash of the ARIA 61-0328 but not include a memorial. In 2000, went online with the information about ARIA that I could find. There is not an overwhelming amount of data available on the ARIA program.

In the first generation of the website, there was a listing that included the original eight ARIA aircraft and the other four aircraft that physically looked like the ARIA but had a different mission. These were TRIA and Telemetry Range Instrumentation Aircraft, and two of these planes were later modified in 1979 to perform the ARIA mission.

About ten years after came online, I received an email from a gentleman upset that I didn't mention those killed when TRIA Aircraft 61-0331 crashed. I knew that this event did not happen as a TRIA aircraft. While researching the aircraft's history, I came upon the crash report. In 1971 61-0331 was transferred to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base from Patrick Air Force Base and then modified for a new mission. Later that year, the aircraft crashed, resulting in 24 deaths. I needed to reflect this information on the website to include an online memorial. I also learned that at one time, a memorial plaque was hanging in one of the modification hangars at the Wright-Patterson Air Force base, of which I was unaware.

61-0331 was the motivation to search out the history of these original 12 ARIA/TRIA aircraft. I then located information on the plane crash of 61-2664 that started as a TRIA aircraft but then modified for another mission with six deaths. Again, I felt it was essential to place an online memorial of those that died.

It wasn't long before I started to receive emails from families of those who died from the resultant crashes. The responses warmed my heart, and it was evident from their words how important it was to them to have online memorials.

Randy L. Losey