St Kieran’s Bones

by Kieran Healy on March 25, 2007

I took a quick trip around “Fantasy Island”: this morning, a series of fast, fun mountain-bike trails about twenty minutes from downtown Tucson. To get there, you drive past “Davis Monthan AFB”: and “AMARC”:, better known as the Boneyard. This is a huge complex of decommissioned, mothballed, cannibalized and just plain decaying U.S. military aircraft of all sorts. Here’s a Google Satellite Shot to give you a sense of the scale of the place.

As it happens, this is only one of three boneyards in the area. Up out past the northwest side of town past Marana is “Pinal Air Park”:, which is a boneyard, storage and re-branding site for civilian aircraft, including many 747s. (It also has a history as a CIA Airfield.) And it’s here that St Kieran, an Aer Lingus 747, met his end some years ago.

Here’s a larger shot. This photo was taken in 1997. I don’t think he’s there any more, having probably been scrapped in the meantime. Like I say, you see some strange things in the desert. (Me on a mountain bike, for example.) Maybe I should do a series. Next up could be the local Titan II ICBM silo (missile included), where we take job candidates when they ask us where the Dean’s office is.