Wednesday, March 04, 2015

National Transportation Safety Board may re-open investigation into 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly

[caption id="attachment_43389" align="aligncenter" width="687"]The single-engine plane carrying Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens crashed in an Iowa corn field the night before they were to appear at the Moorhead Armory. The single-engine plane carrying Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens crashed in an Iowa corn field the night before they were to appear at the Moorhead Armory.[/caption]

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.

Read more....

day-the-music-died"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.


1 comment:

  1. Ref: 'The Mason City Iowa accident 1959'
    The Reported Mason City Airport Weather February-3-1959 was...
    Measured Ceiling 3,000 - Sky Obscured - Visibility 6 miles - Temperature 18 degrees - Altimeter 29.86 - Wind Southwest 20 gust 30
    " Not A Hollywood Snow Storm ".
    The Owner of N3794N and The FAA certified Tower Operator...Stood on a platform at the base of The Tower and witnessed
    The lights of N3794N "In A Slow Descent" less than 3 miles from The Mason City Airport, to the Northwest Visibility was reported as 6 miles
    Not A Hollywood Snow Storm.
    Remember...The Dwyer Flying Service was only certified by The FAA To fly VFR Chartered Flights ( Day and Night ) in 1959
    So...This Departure / Flight was a VFR night flight with FAA Tower reported VFR weather conditions / 6 miles visibility.
    Pilot Roger Peterson was VFR day and night rated ( 128 hours of flight) in N3794N and he had some Instrument time.
    This was Pilot Roger Peterson's Home base facility/Airport.
    This was a VFR night flight ( " Not A Hollywood Snow Storm " )
    Pilot Roger Peterson...was in VFR night conditions for ' This Entire Flight '.

    The Flight of N3794N lasted 3.5 minutes from the point of departure, ( 800 AGL, with a 1 minute 6 seconds
    750 foot per minute ' Slow Descent ' ) coming to a rest at 4.9 miles from The Mason City Airport and 7 miles from
    The community lights of Fertile .
    ( Fertile with 397 people / residences in 1959 Home of the 32nd Governor of Iowa )

    The NTSB Petition includes but not limited to:
    Total Weight and Balance
    Fuel loaded
    Fuel gages
    Fuel amounts at wreckage site
    No mention of fuel period
    No mention of fuel danger for Investigators
    Outside temperature 18 degrees
    Who did the Weight and Balance
    Was the Weight and Balance done with the Late switch of new passengers 'Valens and Richardson'.
    Who Fueled the aircraft
    Where is The Fuel receipt.
    Who Loaded and secured 'The Baggage'.
    Location of Right Wing
    Passenger side (right side) Rudder Pedals ( were they removed for this Chartered Flight )
    Aircraft 'Carburetor Induction Icing' in 1959
    Did the Civil Aeronautics Board consider 'Carburetor Induction Icing' in this 1959 accident.
    How was The Carburetor Heat control/position found

    Addressed in The NTSB Petition but not limited to:
    a.Magneto switches were both in the "off" position.
    b.The attitude gyro indicator was stuck in a manner indicative of a 90-degree angle.
    c.The rate of climb indicator was stuck at 3,000-feet-per-minute descent.
    d.The airspeed indicator needle was stuck between 165-170 mph.
    e.The omni selector was positioned at 114.9, the frequency of the Mason City omni range.
    f.The course selector indicated a 360-degree course.
    "The fact that the aircraft struck the ground in a turn
    but with the nose lowered only slightly, indicates that
    some control was being effected at the time."