Chinese fighter jet collided with a U.S. EP-3 Aries reconnaissance aircraft in
international waters off China, this IKONOS image of the crippled U.S. plane
sitting on the parking ramp of an airbase on China's Hainan Island shortly
after it landed there became an icon for the crisis between the U.S. and China.
(The Chinese pilot ejected from his plane, which then crashed in the ocean, but
he was never found.) The image also demonstrated the ability of commercial
satellite imagery to quickly tell a story in a denied country. The Chinese
government eventually allowed U.S. officials to dismantle and retrieve the
plane using a Russian transport aircraft.