life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, March 7, 2015

airplane accidents, old and new

I was working from home on Thursday, the office was closed due to snow, and I had the TV on as background noise.

So of course I heard the news.  There was an accident at La Guardia, a plane skidded off the runway while landing.  Fortunately, no one was killed, and there were no serious injuries.  But there was wall to wall coverage of the story on the local TV stations most of the afternoon.

And then someone mentioned the 1992 accident.

March 1992.  Same airport, same runway.  A plane that was not properly de-iced tried to take off, but wound up in Flushing Bay.  27 people died. Horrible accident, but they say that the safety precautions instituted after that night may have helped minimize the injuries on Thursday.

I remember that night. It was just a few months before Becca was born, and Drew and Jen and I were living in Queens, in an apartment on the service road of the Van Wyck Expressway. Interesting location.   We'd see lots of traffic accidents on the highway below, and once we saw Bill Clinton's motorcade. If we were watching a Mets game, and it started to rain at Shea, we'd close our windows.  We could see Kennedy Airport from our balcony, and we'd often watch the planes approach the airport.

We knew something was going on long before the news hit the TV stations.  It's not often that you see an armada of rescue vehicles, sirens blaring,   driving past your house.  It looked like every fire engine, ambulance, etc. in the entire borough of Queens was headed up the Van Wyck, on their way from JFK to La Guardia.  It was truly an impressive sight.

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