'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Flying low over snowy terrain on a Cold War training mission, Lt. Col. Dan Bulli’s massive B-52 bomber hit turbulence that shook the plane so violently that he couldn’t read the gauges. Pulling back on the yoke and depressing the throttle, he tried to fly out of the severe wind. Then there was a loud bang.
"When you're flying combat aircraft, you're pushing your aircraft to the edge" to simulate combat, said Jeff Underwood, historian for the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Ohio.
Radar advances by the Soviets forced the aircraft with a 185-foot wingspan to fly low to the ground to evade detection, causing unexpected structural fatigue, Mr. Underwood said.