Hush-Kit presents: The top popstar-killing aircraft manufacturer of all time

From Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper to Aaliyah and whoever’s next, so many of our brightest musical stars have ended their lives in planes. But have you ever wondered which plane has killed the most? No, of course you haven’t, because you’re not a DREADFUL FUCKING GHOUL. 

Fortunately, in bold defiance of good taste, Stephen Caulfield has calculated which aircraft manufacturer has inadvertently been responsible for the death of the most pop stars. In the interest of fairness, I should add that Aaliyah was killed in a Cessna 402B.

And the ‘winner’ is: Beechcraft

(Stephen is this morally OK?) Please address all legal complaints to the author.

Beechcraft Model H18


Otis Redding,
Matthew Kelly
Jimmy King
Phalon Jones
Ronnie Caldwell
Carl Cunningham

Bonanza 35 (V-tail)

Bonanza 35 vee tail

Buddy Holly,
Ritchie Valens
J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson



Jim Croce

Bonanza M35


Randy Rhoads

33 Debonair


Jim Reeves

Bonus listing:



Robert Smithson
(Land Artist – Spiral Jetty)

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Stephen Caulfield cleans limousines around the corner from what was once the Avro Canada plant.  He appreciates writing, art, aeroplanes and the tragic nature of modernity in pretty much equal parts these days.  His blog is

Images: courtesy of author.


    • Edward

      And though he sang about ‘leaving on a jet plane’ John Denver left this mortal coil in a piston-engined Rutan Long-EZ.

  1. Craig Romanosky

    Just researching plane crash of Jim Croce and 5 others aboard. I love this man’s music. always have , always will. Cannot believe over 40 years have passed since this accident/tragedy. A friend of mine died in 1974 ,while attending college in Northern California, he was just 20 years old. Some things never leave your mind , thoughts , etc. Jim’s guitarist , Maury , fabulous musician , over the top! I have a few CD’s of Jim Croce, I’m a “lefty” on guitar , I have learned several of his songs. Jim’s music is real music , not like this(c)rap today’s youth aka idiots listen to

  2. B. Smith

    It is kind of difficult to blame Beech for the weather that most of these were flown into. Some of them were flat out antiques, Ricky Nelson paid for that, but still, was it the aircraft or the conditions, a great deal of the time it is weather that splashes airplanes. Beechcraft are very popular for a reason, they are safe. The fact that there are a lot of them still in service increases the chances of flying in one. In the proper conditions, they have an admirable track record, I like mine.

  3. Gaute

    On May 1. 1969, a Beech Travel Air (LN-NPO), chrased in Drammen, Norway. Killing all 5 passengers and its pilot. All five passengers, was members of a norwegian band – “Bent-Sölves” . Father of musician “Mags” Furuholmen, was onboard. A rather rare coincident was that a 10 year old boy saw this accident – Morten Harket from A-HA. ( best known in the US for 80’s song and video “Take on me”). Some 10-12 year after the accident, Morten and Mags met, and then startet the band together with Paul Waktaar. I really don’t think its a bad connection with Beech and musicans, but…

  4. Pingback: 12 ravishingly beautiful aircraft of the Art Deco era (and one from far later) | Hush-Kit

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