60 years ago, a chartered Beechcraft Bonanza carrying musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, along with pilot Roger Peterson, crashed shortly after takeoff from Mason City, Iowa, killing all four. The musicians had just completed a performance at Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, IA and were on their way to Moorhead, MN for their next performance. Up until that point, the "Winter Dance Party" tour had been traveling by bus. The 24-day, 24-city tour, which had started in Milwaukee, was completed by members of the group who had continued by bus to Moorhead rather than flying.
The crash was later memorialized as "The Day the Music Died" in Don McLean's 1971 song "American Pie."
Today's Featured Map shows the planned route of the ill-fated flight and its crash shortly after takeoff, plus the locations of the concerts at either end of the trip.
Information on this site may not be accurate or current and is not valid for flight planning or navigation. No warranty of fitness for any purpose is made or implied. Flight planning and navigation should only be done using official charts.
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Karl L. Swartz.
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