Incident Boeing B-52F-105-BO Stratofortress 57-0041,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 48389
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Date:Tuesday 21 October 1969
Type:Silhouette image of generic B52 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing B-52F-105-BO Stratofortress
Owner/operator:93rd BWg USAF
Registration: 57-0041
MSN: 17435
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 9
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Castle AFB, Atwater, Merced, California -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Castle AFB, Atwater, Merced, CA
Destination airport:Castle AFB, Atwater, Merced, CA
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
B-52Crashed short of runway at Castle AFB, Atwater, Merced, California, May 8 1969. The accident centers on Student Copilot, Lt. Hoffman, moving an abnormal amount of fuel into the wings, which caused the Center of Gravity to shift aft, big time!

On final, our airspeed slowed to where the plane went into “a saber dance” and we rolled slightly nose down into a stalled wing. Our airspeed quickly accelerated in this attitude, which enabled Instructor Pilot, Lt. Col. “Pinky” Odeneal, to roll wings level just prior to impact in a cotton field.

The wings sheared off and the fuselage broke in half, sending the tail, with the gunner, tumbling off to one side. The tail came to rest upside down with him hanging by his straps. I remember my helmet and face mask breaking when the BNS panel collapsed on me. Navigator's ejection door sheared off underneath me and my jacket was singed from the flames. The lower compartment immediately filled with dust and smoke, but I and Instructor RN, Major Wood, felt our way up the ladder, ran forward and climbed out the pilot’s overhead hatch, the door of which Lt Col Odeneal, Lt Hoffman and another Stand Board Pilot (whose name escapes me), had just removed. We all climbed out through that pilot overhead hatch, jumped off the nose and assembled a short ways away. Our EWO student (again, name escapes me) had broken his wrist, Lt Col Odeneal broke his collar bone and, our gunner (name also forgotten) sadly had a broken back.

None of the nine crew were killed, but some sustained broken bones:
Instructor Pilot: Lieutenant Colonel Pinkney Bailey Odeneal Jr.
Instructor Pilot: Lieutenant Colonel James Emory Arendell
Instructor Navigator: Major Harry Wood Jr.
Instructor Electronic Warfare Officer: Captain Henry G. Rother
Instructor Gunner: Technical Sergeant David Heximer
Student Co-Pilot: Captain Leroy Johnson
Student Co-Pilot: First Lieutenant Thomas Hoffman
Student Navigator: Captain William J. Kincaid
Student Electronic Warfare Officer: Second Lieutenant Paul Fairbanks


Year's ago, I wrote this narrative for another internet B-52 history source, and in so doing I confused the date of my accident. Originally, I wrote my B-52 accident occurred on May 08, 1969, but after further reflection I believe my Castle B-52 accident took place on October 21, 1969. Ace Kincaid; former B-52 Navigator.


Kadena AB, Okinawa, I believe in 1984. was assigned there, to the 18FW

Revision history:

07-Nov-2008 10:15 ASN archive Added
03-Nov-2009 08:28 JINX Updated
10-Jan-2012 11:24 Uli Elch Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Source, Narrative]
17-Feb-2013 23:13 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Total occupants, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
04-Mar-2014 07:42 Anon. Updated [Source, Narrative, Photo, ]
25-Oct-2019 13:45 Anon. Updated [Total occupants, Narrative]
01-Jan-2021 17:47 Anon. Updated [Operator, Operator]

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