1994 B-52 Crash in Spokane

1994 B-52 Crash in Spokane | Frontline Videos

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Air Show Practice Turned Disaster

On June 24, 1994, this B-52H bomber and its four crewmembers were on a practice run to prepare for an upcoming air show. The aircraft took off at 13:58 and performed a series of low-altitude passes, 60-degree banked turns, and steep climbs.

Its last demonstration, a touch-and-go on Runway 23 of Fairchild AFB, was delayed because a KC-135 just landed. The pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Arthur “Bud” Holland, requested a 360-degree left turn for the go-around, which the ATC subsequently granted. 

However, by doing so, the crew found themselves trying to avoid flying through restricted airspace behind the tower. Then, Holland banked past 90 degrees, clipping power lines in the process, and hit the ground at around 14:16. All four of its crew died from the impact.

The crash was attributed to pilot error and the USAF’s inadequate reaction to Holland’s past incidents.



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