Buddy Holly plane crash investigation to be reopened?

'Inexperienced' pilot was blamed for crash

Updated: 
Buddy Holly plane crash investigation to be reopened?

The investigation into the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly could soon be reopened.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) agreed to consider reopening the case after a recent request from an experienced pilot, LJ Coon.

Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, JP 'The Big Bopper' Richardson, and pilot Roger Peterson all died in the crash on 3 February 1959.

Their plane took off from Mason City Municipal Airport in Iowa and was airborne for less than five minutes before it crashed into a Clear Lake farm field.

In September 1959, the Civil Aeronautics Board ruled the probable cause of the crash was pilot error, with snowy weather listed as a secondary cause.

The NTSB was established in 1967, and took over the investigation of airline crashes.

Mr Coon contends that the pilot was actually a hero, and, according to the Globe Gazette, believes, after a review, the NTSB will realise "the heroic effort that took place in those 4.9 miles".

He says there are other issues at play that need to be investigated, including "weight and balance calculations, the rate of the aircraft's climb and descent, fuel gauge readings and whether a passenger-side rudder pedal was removed or not".

He has now received a letter from the NTSB that stated: "You have gotten our attention. Let us do our due diligence in order to give you a proper answer."

It can take from six months to a year to find out if permission will be granted to reopen the case.

However, not everybody believes a mistake was made.

According to the Daily Mail, Gary W Moore, author of Hey Buddy, a book about Holly's life, said the Aeronautics Board got it right 56 years ago.

"I think that what (a new investigation) is going to find is pretty simple.

"The pilot was unqualified to fly in those conditions and he lost control of the airplane."

Despite that fact he died at just 22 and had a career lasting only 18 months, Buddy Holly is still thought to be one of the greatest musical artists of all time.


The Life and Deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper


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