Surreal Airplane Crash

On the 24th of June 1994, Czar 52, a B-52H assigned to the 325th Bomb Squadron, 92d Bomb Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, WA, was practicing maneuvers for an upcoming airshow. The aircrew had planned and briefed a profile, through the Wing Commander level, that grossly exceeded aircraft and regulatory limitations. Upon preparing to land at the end of the practice airshow profile, the crew was required to execute a "go-around" or missed approach because of another aircraft on the runway. At mid-field, Czar 52 began a tight 360 degree left turn around the control tower at only 250 feet altitude above ground level (AGL). Approximately three quarters of the way through the turn, the aircraft banked past 90 degrees, stalled, clipped a power line with the left wing and crashed. There were no survivors out of a crew of four field grade officers.

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+22 1. abriehat commented 9 years ago

Things go wrong so fast. That plane disappeared into the ground like it was made out of paper.
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+36 2. tim420 commented 9 years ago

R.I.P to the fallen officers of this crash :'( <3
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+10 3. moskwiz commented 9 years ago

Wow, one of those crashes that makes you think all those Hollywood movie special crash effects aren't all that exaggerated after all :S
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+7 4. Nifen commented 9 years ago

Those few seconds before the crash, I can imagine all the things that could go through someone's mind.
It is a shame that when performing such stunts, they can't modify the plane with ejector seats.
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+6 5. schlafanzyk commented 9 years ago

Looks like at around 0:41 unexpected wind caught the right/upper wing of the plane from behind/below.
No pilot in their right mind would intentionally bank past 90 degrees during a maneuver like that. I still think the pilot is to blame though. You just can't risk doing such an intense maneuver at that kind of angle, with that kind of load, in an aircraft the size of multiple houses.
But then again, the whole thing might have been caused by engine failure in the first place and the pilot may have done nothing wrong.
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+3 6. AssieChris commented 9 years ago

Good people doing what they love but at the same time becoming complacent with the laws of physics. :(
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+2 7. etplayer commented 9 years ago

@4 They do have ejection seats, the co pilot tried to eject. Check the wiki entry below.
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+2 8. Tehnol commented 9 years ago

Not mentioned is the fact these aircraft have no ailerons. Such a large bomber is designed to travel long distances going flat, taking huge wide turns at high altitude. There is no need for ailerons, only drag rudders. So when this kind of manoeuvre occurs no matter what the pilot does he can't recover, because no ailerons.
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+1 9. UofMichFan commented 9 years ago

Seen this video Lord knows how many times and every time I am stunned at how how quickly that plane just disappeared into the ground. Some say the co pilot tried to eject but I'm not sure how you can tell since there wasn't anything left of the pilot or the plane.
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+2 10. Gorf commented 9 years ago

He'd only partially ejected - which means the panel above his seat had blown out but the crash happened before the seat could exit the fuselage.

The wiki page is worth a read. The pilot sounds like a complete dick. People were refusing the fly with him.
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+2 11. fixento2 commented 9 years ago

Stupidity, over confident and careless in a pilot that was allowed to fly by an air force commander who is as much as fault as the pilot. Pilot should have been grounded a long time before this accident.
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+1 12. TooRealToKill commented 9 years ago

1st lesson!
Never fly low, never fly slow.