Accident Boeing B-52F-70-BW Stratofortress 57-0173,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 69802
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Date:Thursday 29 February 1968
Type:Silhouette image of generic B52 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing B-52F-70-BW Stratofortress
Owner/operator:7th BWg USAF
Registration: 57-0173
MSN: 464162
Fatalities:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Gulf of Mexico, off Matagorda Island, Texas -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Carswell AFB, Fort Worth, TX
Destination airport:Carswell AFB, TX
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
The 29 Feb 1968 crash off Matagorda Island, Texas was a 7th Bomb Wing B-52F s/n 57-0173 from Carswell AFB, Texas. I was in the 7th Bomb Wing, and knew all the crew members on that flight very well. SAC had an "iron bomb" and radar bomb scoring site on Matagorda Island. Associated with the site was a high level and a low level route out over the Gulf of Mexico that terminated with a bomb run on Matagorda. The aircraft that crashed was on a low level mission, and had turned a hundred or so miles out over the water to make a low level run at Matagorda. According to the wing safety officer, with whom I spoke after the crash (we were all B-52 crewmembers), they probably lost their main electrical bus. In a B-52, that is a catastrophic failure that makes it impossible to control the stabilator trim. He speculated that they crashed almost immediately after losing stab trim. Much of the aircraft remains were dredged up by shrimp boats, and much washed up on Matagorda, St. Joseph, and Padre Islands.

This aircraft was in the airspace that I controlled.I placed him in the Matagorda RBS Oil Burner Route for runs on the RBS site.The RBS lost radar and radio contact.. I started search and rescue with no contact.

Pilot:Major Frank M Salavarria USAF killed.
RN: Capt Charles W Roberts USAF killed.
Gunner: MSgt Kermit C Casey USAF killed.
CP: Lt William T Causey USAF killed.
NAV: Lt Michael L Carroll USAF killed.
EWO: Capt John T Pantilla USAF killed.
IN: Capt Thomas D Childs USAF killed.
IP: Major Phillip F Strine USAF killed.

I was on duty as an air traffic controller in the tower at Carswell AFB the morning this flight took off. Very sad.



Revision history:

03-Nov-2009 23:38 JINX Added
27-Jan-2012 10:43 ATC Controller FAA Updated [Source, Narrative]
18-Nov-2012 06:52 Chris Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
17-Feb-2013 18:30 Dr. John Smith Updated [Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
27-Feb-2013 00:46 testalives Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Narrative]
25-May-2013 13:09 NathanSalavarria Updated [Narrative]
29-Apr-2014 17:33 shelly68 Updated [Narrative]
07-May-2014 18:50 Anon. Updated [Embed code]
31-Jan-2019 18:44 wf Updated [Aircraft type, Destination airport]
01-Mar-2020 08:54 Anon. Updated [Time]
11-Mar-2020 16:33 DG333 Updated [Operator, Location, Destination airport, Source, Operator]

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