Today in History – May 8, 1956 – Canberra crashes though everything seemed normal seconds before

8 May 1956 -A USAF Martin B-57C-MA Canberra, 53-3858, crashed on the Ship Shole island bombing range near Langley AFB, Virginia, killing both crewmembers.

From the accident report: “Cause of accident – Undetermined”.

Martin B-57C Canberra 53-3856

The aircraft was observed to be flying in a northeasterly direction at an estimated 500 feet altitude and traveling at a high rate of speed. It is probable that the speed was 425 knots indicated, because this was the prebriefed airspeed since the aircraft was on the run-in route on the LABS bombing range.

Witnesses observing the aircraft reported that everything appeared to be normal. The aircraft was then seen to abruptly dive and disappear; this was followed by an immediate explosion. The instructor pilot and the pilot of this dual control B-57C were both KWF. (1)

Source: Wikipedia/Portal: Aviation

Scroll to Top