Re-visiting a near miss

January 1, 2014

BEAVERCREEK — On Jan. 3 it is the 50th anniversary of a plane that nearly missed Beavercreek High School.

A US Air Force Martin NRB-57 D Canberra Reconniasiannce Aircraft crashed in Beavercreek High School parking lot Friday, Jan. 3, 1964.

According to published Gazette reports at the time the twisted wreckage of the fueslage and tail section of a plane landed 25 feet from the school during school hours in the school parking lot in front of the building. The plane missed cars and the school and no one was hurt.

Many of the students and teachers were not aware of what happened said previously published stories and students said “it sounded like a bomb or sonic boom.”

A window was broken in the school and some students threw themselves to the floor. Students were led out of the building through the front exits into the fieldhouse. The band played dance music to help entertain them as helicopters circled the area looking for additional wreckage.

Aircraft was conducting a reconnaissance test flight from Wright- Patterson AFB Flying at very high altitude reports said at about 50,000 feet. The engine flamed out, causing both wings to tear off. The pilot Capt Gerald Lyvere was ejected and parachuted safely Landed in a snow covered field. He was said to walk to a farm house and called the WPAFB to come pick him up.

Other published reports said the engines landed in a field on Shakertown Road and the wings landed on a farm on Fairgrounds Road. There was no fire at BHS because all the fuel tanks were in the wings.

Information and photos courtesy of Randy Wilmer.