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Col. Yeager Suffers Burns after Climbing to Near-Record Altitude

Dec. 16, 1963 - Colonel Charles Yeager of the U.S. Air Force, who rode a spinning Lockheed NF-104A space training plane from 90,000 to 6,000 feet before bailing out last Tuesday, is recovering from burns at Edwards Air Force Base hospital in California, an Air Force spokesman said today. After climbing to a near-record altitude, the plane's controls became ineffective, and it entered a flat spin. After several turns and an altitude loss of approximately 84,000 feet, Yeager ejected from the plane. During the ejection, the seat straps released normally, but the seat base slammed into Yeager, with the still-hot rocket motor breaking his helmet's plastic faceplate and causing his emergency oxygen supply to catch fire. He is being treated for burns to his face and hands at the hospital.


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