- This article is about the flight which crashed. For the airline company, see Wayfarer.
Wayfarer 515 was a 737 commercial airliner that collided with a chartered plane mid-air almost directly above Walter White's house in Albuquerque, New Mexico (""). All 167 people aboard both planes were killed, however the debris from the wreckage managed to avoid claiming any other victims on the ground and neither plane was full (515 was about two-thirds or three-quarters full). ("")
Walter White, who was partially responsible for setting forth the chain of events leading to the crash, witnessed the two planes collide while sitting in his backyard. Shortly after, debris, luggage, and human remains began to land in and around Albuquerque, including a half burnt pink teddy bear which landed in Walter's pool. Investigators with the NTSB and local law enforcement soon surrounded Albuquerque to respond to the crash. The extent of damage to the city from the crash is not fully known, however, Walter White's house was directly bombarded with artifacts and body parts from the 737.
Cause of crash
The incident was due to air-traffic controller error, the man responsible being Donald Margolis. Donald, still grief-stricken over the recent death of his daughter, Jane Margolis, failed to direct the charter plane JM21 out of the path of Wayfarer 515 ("").
Aftermath and response
For a period after the incident, many people wore light blue and orange ribbons in memory of tragedy. Saul Goodman wore his ribbon for a much longer time than others so as to drum up business in the form of lawsuits against the airline. "The tragedy is profound. The pain is profound. And believe me, the settlement will be profound."
J. P. Wynne High School held an assembly led by Principal Carmen Molina to discuss the incident. After one of the students related how his neighbor found human legs in his front yard, Walt became defensive and urged everyone to look on the bright side of the disaster, saying that at least it was no Tenerife. ("")
Walt was third–handedly responsible for this incident because of his second–hand culpability in Jane’s death, and it is very likely that he was aware of this. This ultimately culminated in Donald Margolis being unable to properly do his job and accidentally giving wrong instructions, allowing the collision to occur. Later on, Donald attempted suicide by gunshot, presumably due to the combined grief and guilt over losing Jane and causing the incident. ("")
The episodes "", "", "" and "", depicted of a pink teddy bear in Walt's swimming pool. The teasers of the episode would show evidence being collected from the debris of Wayfarer 515. Though it was unknown to the audience at the time of teasers, it was revealed in ABQ that the teasers were the aftermath of the incident.
- Walt says that with 167 people killed, this was tied for 50th among the worst aviation disasters in history. This matches the list of worst disasters at PlaneCrashInfo.com.
- The crash is similar to the Überlingen mid-air collision in 2002. Two aircraft, one passenger and one cargo, collided in the midnight skies over Germany, killing 71. The air traffic controller was later murdered by a family member of some of the victims.
- In 1986 Aeromexico Flight 498 (DC-9) collided with a Piper Archer over Cerritos, California, killing everyone on board both planes. The name of the Air Traffic Controller who was handling both aircraft was "Walter White".
- Bryan Cranston's character Hal also caused a midair plane collision in the Malcolm in the Middle season 6 episode "Hal Sleepwalks," in which two skywriting planes making a heart in the sky crash into each other. In contrast to this, it is played for comedic effect. Also, his characters fathers name in Malcolm in the Middle is Walter Wilkerson.
- Vince Gilligan called the plane accident an attempt to visualize "all the terrible grief that Walt has brought upon his loved ones" and "the judgment of God."
- Walt started cooking methamphetamine to provide for his family. According to his calculations in the episode "Seven Thirty-Seven", he needed to leave $737,000 for his children. The accident aircraft was a Boeing 737.