Date & Time: Jul 8, 1972 at 0525 LT
Type of aircraft:
Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
Lake, Sea, Ocean, River
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
The crew was engaged in a military mission to Vietnam and departed Andersen Air Base in Guam by night. While climbing in poor weather conditions, the airplane became unstable. The pilot-in-command elected to stabilize the airplane making a level off but eventually, the crew decided to abandon the aircraft and bailed out. Out of control, the aircraft crashed into the sea and was destroyed. Few hours later, five crew members were found and evacuated. Unfortunately, a six occupant (Lt Col James Lloyd Vaughan) was missing. His dead body was found 42 days later on a beach on Yap Island.
It was determined that an improperly secured chin radome flew off during initial climb, causing the aircraft to become unstable. When the chin radome detached, it struck the Pitot tubes, causing wrong datas to be transmitted to the instruments. The airplane was leveled off and allowed to decelerate into a stabilized low-speed stall before being abandoned.