Accident Boeing B-52G-85-BW Stratofortress 57-6494,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 48301
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Date:Wednesday 5 July 1967
Type:Silhouette image of generic B52 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing B-52G-85-BW Stratofortress
Owner/operator:72nd BWg USAF
Registration: 57-6494
MSN: 464199
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 7
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Off Jobos Beach, Isabela -   Puerto Rico
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico (TJBQ)
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Crashed and destroyed after life raft inflated on take-off from Ramey AFB, Puerto Rixo on July 5 1967. Aircraft climbed straight out on the runway heading and it appeared normal until it reached an altitude of approximately 3000 feet and a distance of 5 miles from the take-off position. At this time a steep nose-over maneuver was noticed and the aircraft continued down in a steep dive until it disappeared below the horizon. Three crewmen ejected and survived. The aircraft struck the ocean at a steep angle. Later analysis indicated that the life raft stowed behind the co-pilot inflated, pushing him into the control yoke.

The aircraft crashed into the water off Jobos Beach, Isabela. Military divers recovered the remains of those killed in the incident.

Four crew killed, three survived
Captain Donald Foster, Aircraft (Columbia, SC) Commander - killed
Captain Erwin Cowart, (Twin City, GA) Co-pilot - killed
Capt. Taivo Patajan(Fresno, CA) Radar-Nav - ejected, survived
1st Lt Paul Grimm (Jacksonville, FL), Navigator - ejected, survived
1st Lt. Richard St. George (Watsonville, CA) - EWO, no ejection, killed
SSgt Leroy Spencer (Morrice, MI) Crew Chief - killed in aircraft
T/Sgt. Ronald Hagis - Gunner - bailed out, survived

As a result of this crash, the liferaft deflation tools were installed at the pilot and copilot positions.


"AF Divers Seek Bodies in Bomber", Daily Review (Hayward, California), 6 July 1967, page 2. (Lists crew names, etc..)
USAF Accident-Incident Report AF Form 711, 1967 July 25, s/Otis A. Sleep, Major, Investigating Officer (Scamble 252)

Revision history:

07-Nov-2008 10:15 ASN archive Added
22-Jul-2009 22:01 rafbhag Updated
05-Nov-2009 12:36 JINX Updated
17-Feb-2013 16:32 Dr. John Smith Updated [Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
29-May-2017 15:04 Milo Updated [Country, Narrative]
11-Mar-2020 16:31 DG333 Updated [Operator, Operator]
13-Mar-2021 19:48 byronmitchell Updated [Country]

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