woensdag, juli 4

A Convair B-36 bomber (Flight 2075) of the US 436 SAC squadron left the airbase at 5:25 PM fort a run to its home base at Carswell Air Force base at Fort Worth, Texas. The flight was to take 16 hours and was to include a "simulated combat profile" mission. The route would take the it non-stop via Washington State and Montana. Here the B-36 would climb to 40,000 feet for a simulated bomb run to southern California and then San Francisco, it would continue its non-stop flight to Fort Worth, Texas. Six hours into the flight, something went wrong.

The B-36 was the largest production bomber, in its day, ever built anywhere in the world. In every dimension it was bigger than the B-52, and its wing span of 230 feet was larger than that of a Boeing 747. The B-36B was powered by six pusher-prop engines. Later versions had four jet engines added to the six piston engines. These long range heavy bombers were in service with the US Air Force for about ten years. With the advent of the Boeing B-52, the B-36 was gradually phased out and completely replaced by the year 1959.

Six hours after takeoff from Eielson Airbase, Flight 2075 was experiencing icing conditions and multiple engine fires. Distress messages came in quick succession. The first distress signal came at 11:25 PM. It said the aircraft was in difficulty while flying at 40,000 feet.