Pilot Roger Peterson
(FoxNews) – The National Transportation Safety Board reportedly is considering
re-opening its investigation into the 1959 plane crash that killed rock and roll
stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.
The Des Moines Register reports that a New England man named L.J. Coon,
who claims to be a retired pilot and aircraft dispatcher, petitioned the NTSB to
take a second look at the case. The Civil Aeronautics Board, the NTSB’s
predecessor in air crash investigation, ruled that the primary cause of the
crash seven miles north of Clear Lake, Iowa, was pilot error and poor
However, Coon told the Register via email that he wants investigators to
consider whether problems with the plane’s rudder pedals caused 21-year-
old pilot Roger Peterson to lose control of the plane. He theorized that
Peterson may have tried to glide the single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza to
a landing before the plane’s right wing hit the ground, sending it cartwheeling
across a cornfield. Peterson was the fourth person to die in the crash, along
with the musicians.
"I believe that the NTSB will review pilot Peterson’s diagnostic actions in the
aircraft during this 3.5-minute flight and realize the heroic efforts that took
place in those 4.9 miles," Coon wrote.
The NTSB responded to Coon in an e-mail dated Feb. 19, 2015, and read in
part "You have gotten our attention." A final decision on a re-investigation
could take several weeks.