The Broken Arrow Project: Visualizing the Dangers of Maintaining the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal

January 13, 1964 - Cumberland, Maryland

DOD: A B-52D was enroute from Westover Air Force Base, [Chicopee Falls,] Massachusetts, to its home base at Turner Air Force Base, [Albany] Georgia. The crash occurred approximately 17 miles SW of Cumberland, Maryland. The aircraft was carrying two weapons. Both weapons were in a tactical ferry configuration (no mechanical or electrical connections had been made to the aircraft and the safing switches were in the "SAFE" position). Prior to the crash, the pilot had requested a change of altitude because of severe air turbulence at 29,500 feet. The aircraft was cleared to climb to 33,000 feet. During the climb, the aircraft encountered violent air turbulence and aircraft structural failure subsequently occurred. Of the five aircrew members, only the pilot and co-pilot survived. The gunner and navigator ejected but died of exposure to sub-zero temperatures after successfully reaching the ground. The radar navigator did not eject and died upon aircraft impact. The crash site was an isolated mountainous and wooded area. The site had 14 inches of new snow covering the aircraft wreckage which was scattered over an area of approximately 100 yards square. The weather during the recovery and clean-up operation involved extreme cold and gusty winds. Both weapons remained in the aircraft until it crashed and were relatively intact in the approximate center of the wreckage area.


This page has paths:

Contents of this path: