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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 48310
Last updated: 11 March 2021
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Date:12-DEC-1974
Time:night
Type:Silhouette image of generic B52 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing B-52D-10-BW Stratofortress
Owner/operator:90th NS, 43rd SW, USAF (90th NS, 43rd SW, United States Air Force)
Registration: 55-0058
C/n / msn: 464010
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:7 miles SE of Guam/Andersen AFB -   Guam
Phase: Approach
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Andersen AFB, Guam (PGUA)
Destination airport:Andersen AFB, Guam (PGUA)
Narrative:
Instrument malfunction, followed by loss of control a& structural failure. Aircraft dived into the Pacific Ocean 7 miles south east of Andersen AFB, Guam.

"They were returning to Andersen at night, and at some point, the attitude gyro began processing so slightly that the pilots were unaware of the malfunction. Trying to keep the gyro centered, the crew didn't realize the magnitude of the problem until the aircraft was in such a steep bank that it would no longer fly and crashed into the ocean. If the crew had had an indication early enough, an alternate, independent attitude gyro was available in the RN's optical bomb sight. An entire wing was found and was being towed to shore when the tow cables broke and the wing sank and was lost."

Crew of 55-0058:
Jack Watson (co-pilot) - survived
Captain Stephen R. Roseman (90th Bomb Squadron) - missing presumed killed
Robert W. Nemeth - missing presumed killed
Captain Leroy E. Pitman - missing presumed killed
John Y. Whitley - missing presumed killed
Brad Lee Buske- survived
According to Ammie Roseman, daughter of pilot Steve Roseman:

1. Aircraft experienced electrical issues prior to takeoff but those were resolved.
2. Nearing the end of a routine training flight Steve did a “star shot” as a training evolution.
3. Doing the star shot required Steve to leave his seat and go to a sextant
4. Pilots were descending on approach as he finished the shot but they were still above 20,000’ altitude and well south of Guam.
5. Electrical problems resurfaced and the pilot lost his attitude direction indicator (ADI) in the descent.
6. Copilot saw 60 degrees of bank and 30 degrees nose down and they were “coming out of the sky” when the aircraft broke out of a mid-deck layer of clouds.
7. Pilot said I have lost control and ordered bailout.
8. Steve was probably not able to regain his seat to eject during this rapidly deteriorating situation and if he did he likely ejected out of the envelop.
9. Pilot was known to have said he would “never eject” so he rode it in.
10. According to witnesses – the B-52 was within 7-miles of Guam at impact – the aircraft leveled somewhat and hit the water wings level, bounced and then went-in – and that squares with the pilot remaining at the controls.

This is sketchy but it makes a certain amount of sense to me. The long and short of it seems to be that Steve was out of his seat at the wrong time and the extreme attitudes the aircraft got to probably prevented him from getting back to it at the moment of crisis. Without knowing more about the B-52 electrical system it is hard to judge but it seems to me the pilot lost situational awareness at a critical time and an inexperienced copilot was (understandably) unable to salvage the day and/or unwilling to override the boss & take control. So we lost our friend to the classic unbroken chain of cascading events.

Sources:

Member of 43rd SW Stan Eval
http://web.archive.org/web/20171101061754/http://www.ejection-history.org.uk:80/aircraft_by_type/b52_stratofortress.htm
http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1955.html
www.mil-veh.org/archives/05-09/0968.html
http://www.usafa68.org/memorium/im18.htm


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
07-Nov-2008 10:15 ASN archive Added
27-Oct-2009 01:13 JINX Updated
01-Mar-2011 00:10 jrpowell Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
15-Feb-2013 23:41 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Country, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
19-Feb-2013 10:29 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
20-Aug-2013 12:27 Uli Elch Updated [Location]
04-Apr-2016 19:14 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
07-Nov-2017 18:07 Brad Buske Updated [Embed code]

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