The common misinterpretation of this song is that Flight 505 was the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper in 1959, but this is not true. It is not officially confirmed by a news source that the plane crash of "The Day the Music Died
" was actually flight #505. In any case, the lyrics to this Rolling Stones song have the line "He put the plane down in the sea
," which of course, couldn't mean the Holly/Valens/Bopper crash that happened on dry land in Mason City, Iowa in 1959:
- Here is a fact page on the crash site, dry land, no sea.
- Here is the full text of the Civil Aeronautics Board Aircraft Accident Report on the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper, loaded with minute details down to tachometer readings and altimeter settings, and there's no flight number mentioned there either.
- In any case, a flight heading from Mason City, Iowa, to Moorhead, Minnesota would have been a northbound flight, and northbound flights are traditionally assigned even numbers.
- Finally, this was a private chartered flight, not a commercial flight. So it's unlikely that an official flight number would have been assigned. Sometimes small aircraft use their plane's serial ID for the flight number; in this case, the plane's ID ("tail number") was "N3794N."
So it looks like the "flight 505 = Buddy Holly's crash" thing is an urban legend. But a quick "buddy holly flight 505" Google will show that this is a widely circulated rumor on the web.