Following a performance on the tour at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. on February 2, 1959, Buddy Holly chartered a small airplane to take him and Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper – J. P. Richardson from nearby Mason City to Moorhead, Minnesota, the next stop on the tour. The charter’s pilot, Roger Peterson, took off in inclement weather, even though he was not certified to fly by instruments-only. Following takeoff in the early morning hours of February 3, Holly, along with Ritchie Valens, J. P. Richardson, and the pilot, were all killed when the plane crashed shortly after takeoff.
Now, the National Transportation Safety Board may re-examine the accident, previously thought to be pilot error in the face of bad weather. From CNN:
The NTSB received a letter from aviation enthusiast L.J. Coon, a self-described retired pilot and aircraft dispatcher, asking it to look at other possible contributing factors to the crash. They include the aircraft’s weight and balance calculations (for passengers, baggage and fuel), possible issues with rudder panels and possible carburetor Induction icing, Coon told CNN in an email.
“You have gotten our attention,” the NTSB wrote in February, saying it would examine the information he provided, Coon’s email said.
“Buddy Holly plane crash may be re-examined” (CNN)