MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) _ A cargo plane carrying the fuselage and other salvageable parts of a Navy spy plane arrived at Dobbins Air Force Base on Thursday, more than three months after the surveillance plane made an emergency landing on China's Hainan island.
Navy officials said the wings and tail off the spy plane will be placed on another plane being housed in a hangar on the base. Lockheed Martin Corp., the manufacturer of the $80 million spy plane, has a repair facility nearby.
The EP-3E, loaded with sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment, made an emergency landing April 1 on Hainan island after colliding with a Chinese fighter jet sent to intercept it over the South China Sea.
The collision and China's 11-day detention of the U.S. crew, based at Whidbey Island near Oak Harbor, Wash., caused the worst tensions between Beijing and Washington since the bombing of China's embassy in Yugoslavia by U.S. planes in 1999.
China rejected a U.S. proposal to repair the plane and fly it home.
The two sides eventually compromised, agreeing the EP-3E would be transported out, but disassembled first.
The cargo plane ferrying the parts left China on Tuesday, then stopped in Hawaii to refuel. It left for Georgia on Wednesday.