SLAYTON 438th. PILOT - A26- OKINAWA
ASTRONAUT'S LAST FLIGHT
Deke Slayton, crew member of the 1975 US-USSR Apollo-Soyuz mission, one
of the original Mercury Seven astronauts, former top test pilot with the
USAF, and an avid racing plane pilot, died at his home in Texas at 3:22
A.M., June 13, 1993. With him was his wife, Bobbie and their daughter,
Later that same
day, June 13, 1993, at 7:58 A.M. local time, at John Wayne Airport in California,
at a Formula one Racing Plane with large FAA-required registration letters
on and numbers on the fuselage, N21X registration. The Federal Aviation
Administration determined that a noise level mandated by law had been exceeded,
and issued a letter of citation against the registered owner and pilot.
On July 20 Bobbie
Slayton received a letter in the mail dated June 28, 1993 from the FAA
to Donald K. Slayton, notifying him that he was being cited for violating
FFA regulations. The letter had been sent to a condo at which the
Slaytons sometimes stayed, and its delivery was delayed until Mrs. Slayton
picked up the mail there.
of the letter, Bobbie Slayton telephoned the FFA and inquired if they had
all gone crazy-pointing out that Deke Slayton had been dead for six hours
before the reported incident at Orange County.
She further added
that this particular racing plane, N21X, had been in an aircraft museum
at Sparks, Nevada (located northeast of San Francisco) since March 1993--and
that before being placed in the museum, the engine had been removed from
the aircraft and was still in the museum!
To save weight,
this plane had no electrical starter, and the engine can be started only
by a person outside the plane, who swings the propeller while the pilot
works the controls inside.
remarked that the reason for the delay Deke took before getting into the
air in his racing plane was that, "he probably took six hours to find Gus
(Gus Grissom, his best friend, and who died in the Apollo 1 fire on Pad
34 at Cape Canaveral) to prop the plane for him."
was released by Mrs. Slayton on June 28 to Martin Caidin, and is a joint
effort with Loyd Auerbach, Office of Paranormal Investigations and FATE