|Flight Buzz One Four|
January 13, 1964
Weather over Maryland was bitter cold and very turbulent. At 1?32, Air Traffic Control received a call from Flight Buzz One Four requesting permission to descend to get out of the extreme turbulence. As this did not work, the pilot notified the tower they would ascend seeking calmer air. Later review of the tapes would indicate sound of rushing air. The plane was going down.
The Boeing B-52 is 156 feet long with wing span of 185 feet. The tail is four stories tall. It and the 4,000 square feet of wing would catch the full force of the turbulence creating immense stress on the entire structure of the plane. Prior flights had had similar problems to Flight Buzz One Four, flying through heavy turbulence which yanked out the bolts that connected the tail to the fuselage. It is thought that this is what happened to Flight Buzz One Four.
All occupants of the plane heard and heeded the order of Pilot Thomas McCormick to abandon the plane. Two survived. Three did not.
There is an excellent rendition of the events of this crash written by David Wood of the Newhouse News Service and published in the Washington Post Magazine on August 8, 1999 and again in the Oregonian on August 16-18, 1999.
The articles covering this story in the Albany Herald are linked to this page for those interested in following the drama from the local viewpoint. Our thanks to the Albany Herald for researching this for us and for permission to reproduce copies made from Microfilm.
In Memory of and to honor those who died:
In Honor of the survivors: