In 1964 a B-52—the US's primary long-range bomber—landed safely after having its vertical fin ripped off by air turbulence.


Dario Leone writing in the Aviation Geek Club, makes the following points:
  • The aircraft was being used to test the B-52's ability to handle severe air turbulence.
  • Turbulence resulted in the aircraft losing its vertical fin.
  • The damaged aircraft's crew risked their lives to ensure the flight data was preserved.
  • The crew stayed with the aircraft instead of ejecting.
  • The data confirmed that no aircraft could be made safe from extreme clear air turbulence.
  • Future flight plans would still need to avoid turbulence.


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