[originally published back in… I don’t know, when it happened (?) July 2008?]
This is a video of the last crash 15 years ago in 1994 in West Virginia
B-52 crash first since 1994
The crash Monday of a Boeing B-52 off the coast of Guam was the first for the giant Cold War bomber since one went down at Fairchild AFB near Spokane in 1994. Ironically, both planes were supposed to take part in air show events.
In Monday’s crash, Air Force officials have said only that two bodies of the six crewmen on the plane have been recovered. The four-engine bomber had just taken off when it crashed. It was supposed to perform a flyover as part of Guam’s Liberation Day.
It was the first major crash of a B-52, and the first loss of life, since the 1994 crash at Fairchild AFB. In that accident, pilot error was to blame. The Air Force found that the pilot flew the bomber into a stall while making a steep 360-degree bank around the Fairchild tower about 250 feet off the ground. That was twice as steep, and twice as low, as allowed by Air Force regulations. The bomber was preparing for a weekend air show at the base. The copilot had filed a complaint against the pilot previously for what he considered an unsafe maneuver. All four officers on the B-52 died when it hit the ground and exploded.
The B-52 has 8 engines as we all know.
When I saw this the first thing I thought of was Major “King Kong” starring Slim Pickens. I’m reading a biography of Kubrick right now. Factoid: Kubrick had originally slated Peter Sellers to play “king Kong” as well as the other three characters – The President Muffly, Col. Mandrake, and Strangelove. But sellers couldn’t handle the Major Kong character. Kubrick wouldn’t accept this, so Sellers actually scammed his way out of it.
There is also considerable evidence that Sellers was scared shit of one of the fianl scenes where Kong actually had to drop about 20 feet out of the bomb-bay on the nucular warhead.
Kubrick, in typical style, couldn’t replace Sellers (in his head) with another actor. He had to have a “real” person. So he went with a real cowboy – Pickens.
The loss of 6 lives is tragic, but what’s rather disturbing is that the article says crew of six, then 4 officers. I guess the other two don’t count.
Hate to nitpick but B-52s have eight engines on four pylons (two to each). Although there are a couple in Atlanta Georgia that sported beehive hairdo’s.
– first comment on Seattle Aerospace by “unregistered user”
[originally posted sometime in late July, I think]