1948 Lake Mead Boeing B-29 crash
|Date||July 21, 1948|
|Summary||Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) due to pilot error|
|Site||Lake Mead, Nevada, USA|
|Aircraft type||Boeing F-13 Superfortress|
|Operator||United States Air Force|
|Destination||Armitage Field (now China Lake), California|
The 1948 Lake Mead Boeing B-29 crash occurred July 21, 1948 when a Boeing B-29-100-BW Superfortress, modified into an F-13 reconnaissance platform and performing atmospheric research, crashed into the waters of Lake Mead, Nevada, USA After completing a run to 30,000 feet (9,100 m) east of Lake Mead, the crew began a descent and leveled out just over 300 feet (91 m) above the surface of Lake Mead. The crew described the lake as looking like a mirror, with the sun reflecting brightly off the surface. These conditions make judging height above a surface considerably more difficult. The aircraft then slowly began to descend below 100 ft (30 m) until it struck the surface at 250 mph (400 km/h) and started skipping along it. Three of the aircraft's four engines were ripped from its wings and the fourth burst into flames. The aircraft managed to gain around 250 ft (76 m) but then settled back onto the water's surface in a nose-up attitude and slowly skiing to a stop. The five-man crew then bailed out into two liferafts and watched the aircraft sink.
The crew was rescued from the lake six hours later and was instructed not to disclose any details of the flight, its mission or its loss. As the mission was classified, these details were not released until fifty years later.
B-29 Serial No. 45-21847
B-29 Serial No. 45-21847 (Heavy Bomber)
|Nearest city||Overton, Nevada|
|NRHP Reference #||11000212|
|Added to NRHP||April 20, 2011|
The bomber itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In the 2010 video game Fallout: New Vegas, there is a quest in which the player must use inflatable ballast to raise the sunken B-29 from Lake Mead on behalf of the Boomers, an isolationist, munitions-obsessed faction living in the remains of Nellis Air Force Base. Once the plane has been raised, the Boomers retrieve it and restore it to working order.
- "The Mystery of Lake Mead". 8 News NOW. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "Volare! - The Vault, the Fallout wiki - Fallout: New Vegas and more". Falloutwiki.com. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- Lake Mead B-29 Micro-ROV Inspection After Action Review by Bob Christ of SeaTrepid