The National Transportation Safety Board may re-open the investigation into 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.
From Fox News:
The Des Moines Register reports that a New England man named L.J. Coon, who claims to be a retired pilot and aircraft dispatcher, petitioned the NTSB to take a second look at the case. The Civil Aeronautics Board, the NTSB's predecessor in air crash investigation, ruled that the primary cause of the crash seven miles north of Clear Lake, Iowa, was pilot error and poor weather conditions.
However, Coon told the Register via email that he wants investigators to consider whether problems with the plane's rudder pedals caused 21-year-old pilot Roger Peterson to lose control of the plane. He theorized that Peterson may have tried to glide the single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza to a landing before the plane's right wing hit the ground, sending it cartwheeling across a cornfield. Peterson was the fourth person to die in the crash, along with the musicians.
"I believe that the NTSB will review pilot Peterson's diagnostic actions in the aircraft during this 3.5-minute flight and realize the heroic efforts that took place in those 4.9 miles," Coon said.
"We are reviewing the petition to reconsider the Buddy Holly crash, based on criteria in our regs," the National Transportation Safety Board told Pundit Press.
"Our cases are never closed, and we get these from time to time. The key is if there is new information not previously considered by the board," NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss said to Pundit Press.
During the original investigation into the crash, the Civil Aeronautics Board concluded that pilot error caused the plane to plunge into a field less than four minutes after takeoff from the Mason City airport.
"At night, with an overcast sky, snow falling, no definite horizon, and a proposed flight over a sparsely settled area with an absence of ground lights, a requirement for control of the aircraft solely by reference to flight instruments can be predicated with virtual certainty.
"The Board concludes that pilot Peterson, when a short distance from the airport, was confronted with this situation. Because of fluctuation of the rate instruments caused by gusty winds he would have been forced to concentrate and rely greatly on the attitude gyro, an instrument with which he was not completely familiar. The pitch display of this instrument is the reverse of the instrument he was accustomed to; therefore, he could have become confused and thought that he was making a climbing turn when in reality he was making a descending turn.
"The fact that the aircraft struck the ground in a steep turn but with the nose lowered only slightly, indicates that some control was being effected at the time. The weather briefing supplied to the pilot was seriously inadequate in that it failed to even mention adverse flying conditions which should have been highlighted.
"The Board determines that he probably cause of this accident was the pilot's unwise decision to embark on a flight which would necessitate flying solely by instruments when he was not properly certificated or qualified to do so. Contributing factors were serious deficiencies in the weather briefing, and the pilot's unfamiliarity with the instrument which determines the attitude of the aircraft," the original crash report states.