tower, this is 2144.
My number three engine is on fire and burning badly.
My crew is evacuating the aircraft. We are over San Jose
at nine thousand five hundred. I am ditching the aircraft.
That radio call from B-29A, 44-62144 got the attention of everybody in the control tower at the Fairfield-Suisun AFB in northern California. The pilot of 2144, Captain Charles A. Grice, age 26 had already order his crew to "Hit the silk."
With that order, Captain Grice and Copilot 1st Lt. Melbern R. Jones fought to maintain control of the burning bomber as the other ten crew members bailed out. The aircraft was becoming more and more difficult to handle and burning debris was already falling on the city of San Jose. The crew wasted no time in leaving the doomed plane.
flight service we are bailing out.
I am over San Jose at nine thousand five hundred.
My reading is 25, 25. The plane will not be under control.
I'm heading away from the city and I don't think it will hit anything.
But we are going to have to bail out.
Number three is burning very badly.
In the new book "Aircraft Wrecks in The Mountains and Deserts of California", (3rd edition) by G. Pat Macha and Don R. Jordan you'll read the surprising outcome of this potentially disastrous story. And, you'll be the first in more than fifty years to visit the crash site of the giant bomber.<> Pat and I personally visited many of the crash sites listed in this new book. We took hundreds of photographs, and many of them will appear in the book. The new book is now available from Info Net Publishing, Don R. Jordan ,or any retail book store. >
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