1968 Jet Crash in Burbank!


By Bob Meza




I remember this jet crash very well. I was only fifteen when it happened, and it happened just a day or so before I started at Burbank High School. (Which means that the crash was 9/13/1968 and not 10/13/1968 as some of the photo captions have it. - Wes)


I was watching TV when it happened, and they made the announcement.At the time, I lived about a mile away on Rose St. between Pacific and Victory. I called my friend Roy who lived on Dymond, and we rode our bikes over to the crash site. It was horrible.


The jet crashed into a large parking lot behind the Airport Bowl on Vanowen and Denny.†† The Airport Bowl building is still there, but is now a molding company. The homes in the press photos were homes that were on Denny Ave and Clybourn. The jet came in and first hit a parking lot across the street on the west side of Denny Ave, then went across the street and ended up in the Airport Bowl lot. It was in the morning, so the lot was pretty empty except for a few cars. I remember there was debris everywhere. Once the jet hit, parts scattered all over the neighborhood.


It just smashed into many little pieces. I remember an engine came off and landed on a garage where a woman was in her car, getting ready to leave for work. The garage caught on fire, and the woman died in her car.


I also remember a camper mounted on the back of a truck that just had the rear door caved in. Looked like one of the bodies may have ejected out of the jet as it crashed, and the body smashed into the camper door as there was what looked like chunks of raw meat all over it.


It was a very foggy morning, and thatís the reason why the jet crashed. The jet was off course; if it was heading only about 3 tenths of a mile farther north, it would have landed at the proper point on the airport runway.


This was a corporate jet that belonged to Technicolor. Three executives from Technicolor were on this jet, as I recall.


After all these years I still have a small part of the instrument panel that I picked up off the ground that morning.

Jennifer Weber
Thu, Feb 17, 7:03 PM

Hi Wes,

My father, Blanchard McManus, died in a plane crash along with copilot Robert Baer on September 13, 1968 in Burbank. (His findagrave.com site is here.) They were flying a small jet for Technicolor Corporation and the plane was caught up in wake turbulence from a large commercial jet ahead of them.

My parents were divorced at the time and I have not lived in California since I was a toddler. My father is buried at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Cemetery and I have never visited his grave. I live in the Southeast.

Today I was attempting to find a fact sheet about the accident that I have seen before, but cannot locate in my files. I wanted to send it to the YouTuber who runs The Flight Channel, and ask him if he'd ever heard of the crash.

In doing so I ran across your web site and, specifically, the page where Bob Meza writes about the crash in which my father died. (This page.)

He states that he still has a piece of the plane's instrument panel that he picked up from the wreckage. I'd love to communicate with Mr. Meza and ask him if he'd be willing to give or sell me that piece of the plane my father was flying when he died.

Maybe it's an insane request; I don't know. All I know is that I never saw my father after I was two years old, and he was only 37 at the time of the crash, and I've never had any object of any kind that had anything to do with him.

So whatever you can do to put me in touch with Mr. Meza would be greatly appreciated!


Jennifer Weber



Return to Burbankia!