Prevailing Cultural / Organizational Factors

The accident flight was subject to certain schedule pressures, as the passengers were well known celebrities. As discussed in the accident report, Charles Hardin Holley (Buddy Holly), J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper), and Richard Valenzuela (Richie Valens) were traveling ahead of a group of performers in order to arrive in Moorhead, Minnesota in time to perform the following evening. Investigators identified weather conditions at the time of takeoff as deteriorating, and such that a requirement to fly solely with reference to instruments shortly after takeoff as being a "virtual certainty." Pressures to complete the flight due to the celebrity of the passengers, while not cited directly in the accident report, was considered a factor in the accident.

Photos of Buddy Holly, J. P. Richardson, Richie Valens, and the pilot, Roger Peterson
Photos of Buddy Holly, J. P. Richardson, Richie Valens, and the pilot, Roger Peterson

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