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January 10, 1964, started out as a typical day for the flight test group at Boeing's Wichita plant. Pilot Chuck Fisher took off in a B-52H with a three-man Boeing crew, flying a low-level profile to obtain structural data. Over Colorado, cruising 500 feet above the mountainous terrain, the B-52 encountered some turbulence. Fisher climbed to 14,300 feet looking for smoother air. At this point the typical day ended.The bomber flew into clear-air turbulence. It felt as if the plane had been placed in a giant high-speed elevator, shoved up and down, and hit by a heavy blow on its right side. Fisher told the crew to prepare to abandon the plane. He slowed the aircraft and dropped to about 5,000 feet to make it easier to bail out. But then Fisher regained some control. He climbed slowly to 16,000 feet to put some safety room between the plane and the ground. He informed Wichita....