Diving the B-29

Today the B-29 rests in 115 feet of fresh water at the bottom of the Overton Arm of Lake Mead National Recreational Area.  This is a protected site within the National Park. The plane is quite large and rests on a rocky bottom that is blanketed with silt. Bottom temperatures are in the mid 50s to low 60s depending on time of year.

This is the National Park Service Video of the Dive Site covering the dive and the history of the site and a requirement for all divers to view prior to diving the B-29.

The MINIMUM Required Certification for these dives is:

Advanced Nitrox Diver with Decompression Proceedures.

Dives are limited to no more than 60 minutes on the site for divers using double tanks or rebreathers.

Minimum certification for this type of dive is  Advanced Nitrox or equivalent.

TDI = Advanced Nitrox
NAUI = Technical Nitrox
PADI = Tec 40
IANTD = Technical Diver
GUE = Tec 1
SSI = Extended Range
UTD = Tec 1

Divers using rebreathers are to have full certification on the unit being used. These certification pre-requisites may change as lake water increases and depth increases.

Other Skills Needed

Besides having the base certification for depth the diver needs to have exceptional buoyancy and fin skills.  They need to be completely familiar with all equipment and techniques necessary to minimize destroying the visibility with kicking.  Once the silt gets disturbed it can take 24 hours for it to settle.

Dive Plan

All dives are conducted from our vessel that will be attached to a mooring. Divers will descend the mooring line to the bottom where they meet the 12,000 lbs mooring block. From here divers traverse approximately 85 feet along a line to the second mooring block at the stern or the B-29.  By this point the diver should have squared away all equipment and buoyancy issues.  The tour follows around the port side of the fuselage, around the port wing, examining the engines, propeller and landing gear. Next comes the nose and the pilots areas and this brings one around to the starboard side of the plane. The starboard wing gets buried in the silt so exploring out that way is not necessary, but we continue along the starboard fuselage to the tail section which rises up over 30 feet.  After the tail section is viewed divers jump back on to the guide line back to the main mooring to make the ascent. At 20 feet divers will move from the mooring line across the boat traverse line to the decompression lines where they can pick up the Surface Supplied Oxygen or Nitrox  for final decompression.

Total time on the bottom is not to exceed 60 minutes

 What to Bring

You are to bring the dive year you will need to conduct this dive including the following:

  • Exposure suit — dry or wet   (7mm)
  • Hoods, Gloves, Boots
  • Mask and Fins
  • Buoyancy System
  • High Performance Regulators
  • Decompression Regulator if using decompression gas.
  • Minimum gas supply (tanks)  120 cubic feet
  • Big Single with Pony / Double tanks / Side Mount / or Rebreather
  • Minimum 40 cuft  ascent gas cylinder with 50% Nitrox
  • TWO Flashlights  – it’s dark down there and you need primary and back up
  • 1 line reels (for emergency ascent)
  • 1 Surface Marker Buoys
  • and a great attitude

Rebreather divers take note:  Please have your rig completely ready when you load to the boat. Makes sure all sorb is loaded, all THREE oxygen cells are checked. If you are doing two dives you must have TWO sets of oxygen and diluent cylinders – you cannot begin dive with partial cylinders. No Exceptions.

Side Mount Divers — your diving rig must be clean and easy to get in and out of. If it is set up as convoluted buffoonery and we believe we cannot rescue you easily you will not be allow you to dive it. This is for your safety.

Cylinder Labeling — ALL cylinders must be properly labeled and have a gas analysis on them. Oxygen cylinders must have OXYGEN label with 2″ letters around the crown or length of the cylinder.

Gear Cases — you are welcome to bring a soft gear bag or SMALL roughneck bin for all  your gear NO LARGE PELICAN CASES. Limit your gear please. Less is more.

Any question on gear please email us at this link    joel@techdivinglimited.com