Mishap of B-52 at Fairchild Air Force Base Washington (Exclusive, long version)
Video 339 added on 2007-03-07: Video Type: Crash Aircraft: Boeing B-52 Stratofortress Views: 5216 Uploaded by: ATFS_Crash
Video Rating: 7 5 Votes
As far as I know is the first time this much of the video has been made readily available to the GP when I posted this on Youtube. ;)
More footage then I have seen on the net on this subject. Mishap 24 June 1994, a B-52H of the 325th Bomb Squadron, 92d Bomb Wing
US air show standards are the highest, but this was a case of systemic disregard for safety. Since this crash, the bar has been set higher more enforcement and awareness.
It bothers me to see some other counties still have very poor safety at major air shows. The former soviet block has had several crashes that I would consider safety neglect a factor, if not the cause.
Aerobatics should not be done over crowds. Aerobatics should be kept in a safe margin away from the crowd and to some extent the flight line. I even frown on extremely low passes over crowds.
Pilots and management/command should have restraint from flying planes to extreme limits at air shows. A margin / buffer zone should be between the aerobatic area and the crowd.
The B-52 was just practicing; if he had crashed in a crowd at an air show the loss of life would be high. The B-52 did some low high speed passes over personnel area and flight line; if there was a failure, he could have possibly destroyed all the aircraft on the flight line (and equipment, buildings) or and killed a lot more personnel.
I love aircraft and air shows and the US. I hate to see a bunch more rules, I would prefer pilots and people in charge do there best to keep things safe with knowledge, reasonable action.
I think the US and many other countries have learned from this accident to take air show safety more rationally. However, a few air shows like to try to out perform other air shows with unsafe flashy showboat shows.
When you push the limits you tend to exponentially increase the risks. If a pilot makes a goof or if there is a failure, with buffer zones the risk to the crowd can be minimized.
On 24 June 1994, a B-52H of the 325th Bomb Squadron, 92d Bomb Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base (AFB), Wash., crashed while preparing to land after practicing maneuvers for an air show, killing all four crewmen. The pilot in command had over a long period of time demonstrated a disregard for Air Force flying rules and regulations, and this was known by the senior commanders in the wing. No appropriate action had been taken to discipline him or rein in his noncompliant behavior.
More info at
In my opinion, I would consider this pilot a superb "stick and rudder" pilot. However there is more to flight and then "stick and rudder", in my opinion he was very poor in some aspects of safety.
It's like a football player that is in excellent physical condition and physical ability, but ignores strategy and team effort. There is more to being a pilot than one aspect, just as there is more to being an athlete then a single aspect.