The Day The Music Died

This post is written for Sunday Photo Fiction. My story starts after the photo prompt.

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So far the “Winter Dance Party” tour was a big success.  Richie had just returned to join the band after suffering from the flu. The band would be better with Richie in the group. The band had just preformed at Clear Lake and was scheduled to travel to their next stop at Moorehead, Minnesota. The winter weather forecast was for snow and low temperatures in the low 20’s. Holly fully realized that their tour bus was not equipped for the terrible winter conditions that were forecast.

“The hell with it” Holly said, “let’s charter a plane to our next gig.”

“I ain’t flying anywhere” Jennings responded, “I’m staying with the bus.”

Holly, already suffering from the flu himself, and getting more angry at the moment, said “Fine, I hope your ol’ bus freezes up.”

“Well, I hope your ol’ plane crashes” Jennings shot back.

Light snow was falling at the time of departure. The ceiling of 3,000 feet and visibility was 6 miles with winds from 20 to 30 mph.  Although deteriorating weather was reported along the planned route, the weather briefings pilot Peterson received failed to relay the information.

The plane took off normally from runway 17  at 12:55 am Central Time on Tuesday, February 3. Jennings was able to see clearly the aircraft’s tail light for most of the brief flight, which started with an initial left turn onto a northwesterly heading and climb to 800 ft. The tail light was then observed gradually descending until it disappeared out of view.

Around 1:00 am, when Peterson failed to make the expected radio contact, repeated attempts to establish communication were made, by the radio operator, but they were all unsuccessful.

Bye, bye, Miss American Pie.