In most instances of pilot ejection, the pilot lands and survives, while the aircraft is destroyed upon landing. It is quite rare for both aircraft and pilot to land in good shape, but that happened on February 2, 1970. The 71st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron was practicing aerial combat maneuvers near Malmstrom AFB (Great Falls, Montana) using Convair F-106 Delta Dart fighters. These delta-winged "lawn darts" were electronically-guided supersonic interceptors armed with a Genie nuclear missile and four standard air-to-air missiles. One pilot, Major Gary Foust, found his F-106A in an unrecoverable flat spin. He set the throttle to idle and deployed the drag chute, but nothing worked, so he ejected at the behest of his wingman. As the aircraft suddenly became lighter with a new center of gravity, it righted itself, prompting another pilot to tell Maj. Foust "You'd better get back in it!" The aircraft then performed a slow belly landing on a wheat field near Big Sandy, while Maj. Foust landed in the mountains and had to be rescued by locals on snowmobiles.
When the Chouteau County sheriff arrived to inspect the damage, he was surprised to see the jet engine was still on and idling, causing the aircraft to slowly creep forward. The fighter later ran out of fuel and was removed from the field and taken by train to McClellan AFB (Sacramento, California) for repairs. Both aircraft and pilot soon returned to military service; Maj. Foust retired and the F-106A flew with the 49th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron until 1986. By then nicknamed the "Cornfield Bomber," Maj. Foust's F-106A, which gave a new meaning to the aircraft's nickname of "lawn dart," was donated to the National Museum of the United States Air Force (Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio). This is far from the only U.S. Air Force plane to have landed in unusual circumstances, as a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bomber once flew over the West for several hours and made a safe landing despite having had its tailfin sheared off in a windstorm.