May 26, 2020
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US may review 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly

U.S. transportation safety investigators said Wednesday they are reviewing a request to reopen a probe into the 1959 airplane crash that killed musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. Richardson, better known as “The Big Bopper,” and their pilot.

The original investigation 56 years ago conducted by the Civil Aeronautics Board blamed the crash on the pilot’s decision to embark on an instrument-guided flight he was not certified for and, secondarily, on poor weather briefing.

The NTSB recently received a request from pilot L.J. Coon to reconsider the decision, the Mason City Globe Gazette reported.

“We are reviewing the petition to reconsider the Buddy Holly crash, based on criteria in our regs,” the National Transportation Safety Board said.

Petitions must be based on the discovery of new evidence or on a showing that the findings are erroneous and not on previously advanced positions, according to NTSB regulations.

Holly and the others had just completed a concert in Clear Lake, Iowa, on Feb. 2, 1959 and because they had experienced bus trouble on the tour, opted to charter a small airplane to the next tour date in Moorhead, Minnesota.

The airplane crashed shortly after taking off from nearby Mason City, Iowa, early the next morning, killing the musicians and pilot Roger Peterson, 21.


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