Archive for February, 2009

Remembering Buddy Holly

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

If you read the February AOPA Pilot, this month’s Landmark Accident was on the loss of Buddy Holly 50 years ago on February 3rd. He and two other rising stars( JP Richardson, aka The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens) of the new rock era died when a young VFR charter pilot launched into the dark Iowa night in the teeth of a strong cold front. You can read the details at The day the music died – The Buddy Holly crash-50 years later.

What’s of interest in how the world remembers this one loss. Almost every classic rock station was promoting Holly this past weekend. Since the article appeared several members have called and there have been many emails as many of you provided additional details. I was interviewed by National Public Radio as they noted the Holly phenomenon, What Went Wrong the Day the Music Died?

Sadly, as the rock stations were preparing to memorialize Holly, a Chicago flying club lost six of their own aboard a Piper Seneca that crashed in another snow squall in West Virginia this past week. The specifics are quite different and we’ll wait for more details but there appears to be a mission mentality that is common to both accidents. Both are high profile in different ways but at a time that we’re trying to recruit more people into GA, how do you think this registers in the minds of prospective pilots?

Do they say “No way!” or take time to study the incidents to learn so they don’t make the same mistakes? How should we, as pilots, explain to our friends? Should we discuss at all?