LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Two companies have been awarded contracts to provide guided technical dives on a World War II-era B-29 at the bottom of Lake Mead.

The National Park Service announced Monday that Las Vegas Scuba, LLC and Scuba Training and Technology Inc. have been issued permits to lead the dives. Diving activities at the site by others is not authorized.

The plane crashed into Lake Mead July 21, 1948, while engaged in high-altitude atmospheric research, according to the National Park Service. The crew of five survived the crash, but the plane remains deep at the bottom of the lake. 

“Only three B-29s were retrofitted as a flying laboratory for this type of research. The B-29 within Lake Mead is the most original of its kind remaining, making it a tremendously important piece of American history,” said Superintendent Margaret L. Goodro. 

“Las Vegas Scuba and Scuba Training and Technology are going to help ensure this history is protected while enhancing recreational access, giving experienced divers the opportunity to safely view the iconic plane,” she added.

Las Vegas Scuba and Scuba Training and Technology are authorized to provide 100 guided client dives on the B-29 site each year for the next two years. They may also provide unlimited scuba instruction and scuba charter for other locations within the park.