The flyARIA Memorial
The first memorial that 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 from 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 at, to reflect on my time with ARIA and remember those that had died. That changed in 2001 with placing ARIAMemorial.com online as a dedicated website.
My intent with the flyARIA.com 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 flyARIA.com 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 flyARIA.com website, there was a listing that included the original eight ARIA aircraft and also the other four aircraft that physically look like the ARIA but had a different mission. These were TRIA, Telemetry Range Instrumentation Aircraft, and two of those aircraft later were modified in 1979 to perform the ARIA mission.
About ten years after flyARIA.com 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. Researching the aircraft 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 with the resultant 24 deaths. I felt that I needed to reflect this information on the flyARIA.com website to include an online memorial. I also learned that there was at one time a memorial plaque hanging in one of the modification hangars at Wright-Patterson Air Force base in which I was not aware.
61-0331 was the motivation to search out the complete 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 modified for another mission with a resultant 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. It was evident from their words how important it was to them to have the online memorials.
Randy L. Losey
Proud to have been a PMEE
United States Air Force