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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 153873
Last updated: 15 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic b50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing EB-50A Superfortress
Owner/operator:United States Air Force (USAF)
Registration: 46-011
MSN: 15731
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants:
Other fatalities:1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:15 mi N of Rochester, NY -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Niagara Falls, NY
Destination airport:Niagara Falls, NY
This aircraft was orginally built as B-50A-5-BO, but later converted to a EB-50A as carrier for the Bell X-2 experimental plane.

The EB-50A (pilot William J. Leyshon) was flying over Lake Ontario with X-2 (46-675) attached to its belly when the rocket aircraft exploded during a routine propellant jettison test. The X-2 had to be dropped and its debris fell into Lake Ontario, together with the bodies of Bell test pilot Jean "Skip" Ziegler and Bell flight engineer Frank Wolko who had been in the bomb bay - they were not recovered. The EB-50A managed to return to its base with severe damage to its underside and the flaps and was written off when an inspection revealed a crack in the main spar.

The cause of the explosion was the use of ulmer leather gaskets in conjunction with liquid oxygen. Paraffin residue from the gaskets in the liquid oxygen tank provided the fuel for the explosions which were triggered by the impulse of tank pressurization. EB-50A (46-006) carrying Bell X-1 (46-064) had been lost for the same reason in November 1951.


Revision history:

08-Mar-2013 02:37 Tetrapack Added
22-Jan-2015 16:37 TB Updated [Operator, Total occupants, Location, Narrative]
01-Apr-2020 13:35 Tetrapack Updated [Total occupants, Narrative]

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