Air Florida 90, 40 years

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
an unfortunate and preventable accident. Yet one which produced a number of unrelated heros. From Leonard Skutnik, who dove into the icy river to help rescue one passenger; to Mr Arland Dean Williams who was trapped in part of the wreckage and continually handed off all rescue devices lowered to him from the rescue helicopter to other survivors beside him until he was the last remaining survivor….but when the helo crew went back to get him, the wreckage had shifted and taken him under water; to the US Park Police helicopter crew, who launched VFR from their base in zero/zero Wx conditions with blowing snow, in a helicopter equipped with nothing more than pitot heat for ice protection, in order to be the only rescue capability on scene over the icy Potomac River. Then on scene, flying extremely confined and even below the river surface, to engage in their rescue attempts.

 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
About 4 months ago I was at a picnic with a local journalist (big surprise, I know) who was a producer with one of the DC TV affiliates at the time this happened. They happened to have a remote truck on the 14th st. bridge the day this happened. He was telling me the story from the local perspective and it's a hell of an interesting tale.
 

schloopy

Well-Known Member
DC Native, this accident is always on my mind at DCA and driving the Washington parkway to get there. What’s lost in all this is right at the very same time (within 30 minutes of the crash), Metro also experienced it’s first ever fatal derailment. Needless to say, resources were stretched pretty thin.
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
DC Native, this accident is always on my mind at DCA and driving the Washington parkway to get there. What’s lost in all this is right at the very same time (within 30 minutes of the crash), Metro also experienced it’s first ever fatal derailment. Needless to say, resources were stretched pretty thin.
My dad tells a story about that day. We were living in Bethesda at the time and he was working for the DOE. Between the metro being down, every bridge between the District and Alexandria being clogged with emergency vehicles, and most buses not running because of the snow, the afternoon commute was people just walking miles in the middle of the road to get home.
 

Burrito

Careful the tale You Tell
This one comes to my mind every winter, every icy day on the Ramp, and any time someone in a truck asks the driver or the coordinator "if it's good enough," with a wing left entirely untouched. Be patient. If two-step is needed a second time, that's fine. We'll call the flight crew and inform them we need to do it again.

I'd rather be safe and restart the clock.

And I'm grateful this (And Air Canada 143) were both taught from a Ramper's perspective.
 

MFT1Air

Well-Known Member
This one comes to my mind every winter, every icy day on the Ramp, and any time someone in a truck asks the driver or the coordinator "if it's good enough," with a wing left entirely untouched. Be patient. If two-step is needed a second time, that's fine. We'll call the flight crew and inform them we need to do it again.

I'd rather be safe and restart the clock.

And I'm grateful this (And Air Canada 143) were both taught from a Ramper's perspective.
"If it's good enough." Me thinks, why don't you call your supervisor and ask him. I'll wait. I aint going anywhere.
 

A300Capt

Freight Dawg
I remember watching it unfold live on tv. A tragically unnecessary and totally preventable accident. As a young CFI at the time it left an indelible mark in my memory anytime I dealt with snow and ice throughout my career.

I also remember watching incredible acts of heroism during the rescue operation and wishing I could reach through the TV screen to help somehow but feeling helpless while watching people fight for their lives.

The Park Police helicopter crewmembers should’ve received the highest accolades and awards bestowed upon them. They would probably say they were just doing their job…but they did it incredibly well! Simply heroic and incredible flying skills under terribly stressful conditions. Good bless them!
 
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Itchy

Well-Known Member
My father had just crossed the bridge in a taxi, and was stuck in traffic on his way to the airport. He thought someone was firing a rifle.
 
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