Gr325 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 699 posts, RR: 0 Posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6199 times:
I remembered a few months ago we had an excersise at GCI airport. Together with GCI apt and BA (wich have pulled out now) we simulated a crash. Actors were ont he aiport and we had to deal with it. There are special guidlines in BA for something like that.
But ofcourse it is nothing compared to a real crash.
Has anybody ever been involved with dealing with passengers and/or members of the public awaiting for a flight that would never arrive or a flight that had crashed on the apt with survivors?
I am rally wondering what your experience is in that. How do you deal wit it? What have you learned from it? I mean it can happen every day (hopefully not of course).
Please your story's if you have them. (at one point I do hope I won't get a reply as nobody wants to be involved in a crash).
Acvitale From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 921 posts, RR: 11 Reply 2, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6124 times:
Years ago an Avianca 707 ran out of fuel while weather delayed arrivals into JFK. Crashed in Long Neck NY. I was off the clock when the word came thru that it was down. (Worked for Pan Am and we ground handled the aircraft).
Miserable experience my heart still goes out to the families. The media is nothing more then a group of vultures.
Later working in the RTW call center following the crash of Pan Am 103. We used to get a call from an angst filled angry man. Apparently he would get intoxicated and then the pain of the loss of his wife and children took over and he would call late at night or early in the AM and tear apart the reservations agents telling them "You killed my family" and generally going rapidly downhill from there with threats and intimidation following. Unfortunately, It was somewhat true the PA had led to the demise of the family. Again I felt his pain...
Nothing I like to think about, But, this is a business where every day this can happen. I am greatful to the Lord it does not happen often and the only solice is that they are in a better place now.
Luxair_ca From Luxembourg, joined Feb 2002, 49 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6110 times:
i am a flightattendant for a small european airline, which lost a plane last year on the way from berlin to their homebase. unfortunately 20 passengers and crews were killed in this accident.
when i first heard the news from the accident,i was just out of bed, as a family member called me to see if i was ok. i could not believe it, i was the whole time thinking that they made an emergency landing, after it was confirmed on the radio, that the plane was on fire and that it broke apart(which was only about 15 minutes after it had happened), i was thinking it is not one of our planes, it must be another airline...when i arrived at the scene, i was shocked to see that it was indeed one of our planes, and that 2 colleagues of mine died it that crash.
i can only wish to anybody that nobody of you has to go through such an experience, as it is very painful.
Artsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4745 posts, RR: 36 Reply 4, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 6071 times:
Back when the American Airlines Airbus A300 AA587 fell into Queens, New York, there was an airliners.net member who had worked the gate on that flight, on that day. They mentioned some things about specific passengers, about non-revs who made it, didn't make it etc and the aftermath of it when the news filtered back to the airport. I am not sure the username, but it should be in the database
Mikephotos From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 2923 posts, RR: 55 Reply 5, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6038 times:
I was working on the night when that TWA L1011 at JFK crashed (aborted takeoff). At the time, was a supervisor at MGM Grand Air and it was a long long night dealing with the delay and passengers. Just thankful it wasn't a fatal accident.
When the AA A300 went down, I called in sick earlier that morning and was home. Home being Rockaway Beach, NY. Saw the thick black smoke from my terrace. Without knowing (at that time) what it was decided to drive to the scene and got there before most of the fire/resuce units. Lets just say it was not very pretty.
EA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 12945 posts, RR: 62 Reply 7, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 5931 times:
January 31, 2000.
It's about 5:45 pm or so, and I'm in the home stretch of my ten hour shift as a reservations and Consumer Affairs supervisor for Alaska Airlines. It had been a boring, uneventful day. A few isolated irate callers here and there, complaining about change fees, etc. Nothing really out of the ordinary.
A res agent called me, saying that a customer was hearing news about an Alaska plane that had supposedly gone down. "Nonsense," I said. "We'd have heard about something like that long before the public would!" I figured it was probably what it always was; a small plane crash in the STATE of Alaska, but the person mis-heard the report. "I haven't heard anything of the sort, so don't worry," I told the agent.
Then another one called. And another. And another still. I looked around the cavernous office for any traces of the management team, finding them all huddled in a conference room with serious looks on their faces.
After coming back to my desk, I heard more rumblings. "People are saying it was a flight from Puerto Vallarta that supposedly had trouble," agents were saying. These agents, all Alaska Airlines employees, were getting this information fed to them by their callers who were watching CNN.
"This is getting out of hand," I thought. I started to log on to CNN.com from my desk, and the following banner headline in red and white across the screen made my heart sink:
ALASKA AIRLINES JET CRASHES OFF CALIFORNIA COAST
No way! It can't be. But there it was, in big block letters on CNN's website.
I frantically started checking all our flights from Mexico heading to the U.S. Every one seemed fine...until I saw the FLIFO display for flight 261, scheduled to fly PVR-SFO-SEA that afternoon.
The display had been inhibited. No one could access it.
By now, agents walking by my desk could see the headline from the CNN site. Some were crying. Most were asking questions that I simply couldn't answer. All of us were in a fog, trying to gather our thoughts, process what little information we had, and try to keep it together for our customers.
Knowing that CRC (Central Reservations Control) would lock out the passenger list in the event of an aircraft incident, I tried to access 261's name list. It had been inhibited as well.
That was when I knew for certain that something was terribly, terribly wrong.
Soon after, the management staff emerged from their meeting with somber looks on their faces. They began distributing the aircraft incident forms and walking everyone through the paces. Our CARE and CIRP (Compassionate Assistance Relief Effort/Critical Incident Response Program) trained employees began taking briefings directly from Corporate. Friends and family of the passengers were calling in by the hundreds. Agents took their names and contact numbers, and I began the horrible task of relaying the names of friends and relatives of those aboard to our Command Center in Seattle, who would have crisis counselors deliver the bad news.
The whole office was in a lockdown mode. Those who were scheduled to leave were now on mandatory overtime. Those who were scheduled to come in were now being called in to work early. The lucky few who slipped out before the lockdown went into effect told those who were just coming in to just turn around, call in sick, and go home. Some did. Most kept on walking and pitched in to help. The company ordered pizza and soft drinks, with management coming around to everyone individually, feeding people and asking if they needed help in any way.
About an hour into this horrible ordeal, I received a transfer from a res agent. "It's some guy, and he's REALLY pissed," she said. Upon speaking to the man, I discovered that he was a private businessman from Oklahoma City, and he has a personal 800 number for his family and friends to use. Apparently King-5 TV in Seattle had transposed the digits of Alaska's Flight 261 Hotline, and he had received over 200 calls within the last 30 minutes thanks to their broadcast.
After apologizing profusely, I called King-5 and advised them of who I was, and the mistake they'd made. The person I spoke with said they'd correct it immediately, and asked me to hold. Next thing I knew, a producer came on the line and said, "You're a supervisor at Alaska Airlines?" When I said yes and explained why I'd called, he said, "...soooo, how do you feel about going on the air to give us more details?"
It was at that moment that I truly understood why people hated the media so much. "No, thank you. Please wait for the press conference from our Corporate offices."
I finally left the office at 11:30pm, having worked a 13 hour day. I don't remember driving home; my car went into a sort of automatic pilot, and I literally collapsed into bed after walking into my house.
The next morning is when the full scope of what had happened really hit home. We had lost customers. Friends. Co-workers.
And through all of it, people STILL managed to be jerks. Wannabe funny guys would call asking agents if we had fares from Puerto Vallarta to "just outside Los Angeles." Shrieking, hysterical women would ask our agents "so, how many babies did you kill today?" People would ask for lower fares based on the fact that they were still willing to fly us.
But for the most part, people were sympathetic and supportive. America West Airlines sent a catering van to our office, along with a big card signed by every employee in their res center. Southwest Airlines sent goodies also.
American Airlines, in what I can only say was the single most impressive display of compassion and caring I've ever seen, ordered pizza for our company. THE ENTIRE COMPANY. Systemwide, AA prepaid for orders from Domino's Pizza and had pizzas delivered to every res center, CTO, airport ticket counter, and even our corporate office.
It was a traumatic, horrifying experience to deal with...but it also let you see people at their best, giving (as our company's "vision statement" attests) "A Work of Heart."
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
Albatross From United Arab Emirates, joined May 2000, 55 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5866 times:
In almost 40years of aviation, both military and civil, I've had to deal
with the remnants of crashes. Investigation, telling the loved ones of
the crews that were killed that Hubby and Daddy weren't coming home.
Now that I'm retired, that is one aspect of my flying career that I
won't miss at all. Oh yes, those O-dark-early report times won't be
GARUDAROD From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1496 posts, RR: 1 Reply 9, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5799 times:
Unfortunately I have to deal with two seperate accidents on different
levels. When the USAir B737 landed on the Skywest plane at LAX,
the wreckage ended up directly across from the gate we were awaiting the
arrival of GA800 from CGK/DPS/BIK/HNL. We had a first hand viewing
of the after effects, burning plane etc.
When the GA A300 crashed in Medan I had to escort two of the remains
back to the family in PA...I never want to experience that again...
Gr325 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 699 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5703 times:
Thankx guys for writing this all down. Expecially the story of EACOAS. Personally I hope I do never have to deal with anything like this. But unfortunatly it happens. May all the people who have died in crashed rest in peace.
Tom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 38 Reply 11, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5687 times:
I was working in our Airport Communications office the day an Air New Orleans (dba Continental Express) Jetstream 31 crashed on takeoff at MSY. It was on May 26, 1987, he was departing runway 19 to the south, immediately following a TranStar DC-9.
Upon liftoff, he had some percieved engine problems, decided to set the plane back down, did so, but was going so fast he ran off the runway, through the asphalt overrun, through our boundary fence, then across eight lanes of traffic (the airport's access road and a major thoroughfare). Nobody was killed, but there were numerous injuries, some severe.
As I said before, I was in our Communications office, supervising our dispatchers, and listened to all the radio traffic between our airport fire department, police, security, paramedics, etc. About 30 minutes after the accident, I was asked by the airport manager to bring out my camera and a bunch of film (anybody who knows me, and he did, knows I keep my camera in my desk at work), and shoot rolls of film of the Jetstream and the accident trail. I recall I shot about 4 rolls, took them to the local 1-hour photo developer, and brought them back.
I also assisted in coordinating with getting the NTSB into town to start their work.
As a Ops-type employee, I was asked to attend each of the NTSB's daily briefings (there were 3 days worth), and I actually helped the NTSB in locating the area where the Jetstream's nose wheel collapsed in the course of the accident (the beginning of prop strike marks in the grass were the giveaway.....grass that was struck died, which was the clue).
BTW, the NTSB's ruling on the crash blamed a lack of crew coordination resulting in a failure to comply with checklist items which would have avoided the crash.
Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
Deltadude8 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 569 posts, RR: 4 Reply 14, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5631 times:
I am a friend of a family who lost two people in the Southern 242 crash.
I have heard numerous things about this accident from my family and here is my story. This is 100% true. In order to insure privacy I will use fake names.
That morning John and Lisa got to the airport and were checking in when Lisa told John that she had a bad feeling about the plane. The said that the night before she had a dream in which their plane crashed. But she didn't say anything until that moment because she didn't want to make a scene. But now it was bugging her and she just did not have a good feeling about Southern flight 242. She said she had a premonition of the plane crashing. So John said that they would just rent a car and drive to their destination. They went to the nearest rental agency and decided to rent a car and just drive.
John called his niece and told her of the situation and said that they were going to drive. The niece said she would see them later then, and she won't plan on picking them up at the airport.
Upon arriving at the rental agency desk the agent told them that they did not have any cars available and that John and Lisa would have to wait a day to get a car. Lisa told John that she didn't want to do that and said that she was just being stupid about her premonition. She told John lets go to the gate and get on the plane. John said Okay.
John returned to the phone and dialed the niece again. He informed her that Lisa just wanted to get on the plane because of the car waiting length. The niece said good-bye and would see them at the airport.
John and Lisa boarded with the rest of Southern 242, and left.
The plane did crash and John and Lisa parished along with the other 60 souls.
The sons and daughters attended the I think 1 year memorial service for the lives lost. One of the sons talked to one of the survivors where the survivor told the son that he remember John and Lisa. He told him how instead of being afraid as the plane went down onto the town of Hope that John was being his usual comedic self and making jokes to lighten everyone's spirit. This is truly according to my family how John always was.
The son also talked to one of the neighbors where debry ended up in one neighborhood. She told him that she was inside her house and heard a boom. She walked out her front door where she found a row of seats on her lawn with passengers burning alive in their seats. They couldn't get unbuckled. She grabbed a garden hose and sprayed people off to get the fire off of them. She ended up saving a few lives. Though John and Lisa were not as fortunate to have such a woman where they were.
May God Bless the Lives and Souls lost on Southern 242.
MxCtrlr From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 2485 posts, RR: 37 Reply 15, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5563 times:
EA CO AS,
In reference to your crash, I remember reading they were on a phone patch with Maintenance Control in EA / KSEA), USA - Washington">SEA when they lost it completely. Speaking as a Maintenance Controller myself, that is my biggest fear when dealing with phone patches - that I'll be on the line, trying to talk the crew through a situation and help them out, when they lose the aircraft. I cannot imagine the hell that Controller went through those last few minutes! VERY sad! ;-(
As far as my own experience, having been in the industry since 1977 and being aroun it my entire life, I have been involved in many mishaps and a few crashes. It's never any fun - especially when you know the people involved and it's a fatal crash. Air Florida 90 - DCA, Pan Am 727 - MSY, Pan Am 103 - Lockerbie, Pan Am - Hijacking in Karachi, Air Florida - PAP (landing accident - Non-fatal), just to name a few! I was also on duty in Maintenance Control for Carnival the night that TWA 800 went down. We used TWA-JFK as our maintenance and ground handlers in JFK so we go word on it pretty early on.
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.
DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
Skyhawk From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1065 posts, RR: 4 Reply 16, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5525 times:
Like MxCtrlr said, when you have been in the industry for a while, you've been around it. My husband and I have been with the industry since 1971. We've experienced National in Pensacola Bay, PAA's MSY(that was a former National crew, we had just merged) and of course Lockerbie(I've told all here before that I was scheduled for that flight, but was on sick leave). None of it is pleasant, it is just something that somehow you get used to and accept as part of the job. I'm sure all of here have in one way or another gone through the experience, whether first hand or by a relationship with another.
Srbmod From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 17282 posts, RR: 51 Reply 17, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5507 times:
I never had to deal with one in my 18 months as a rampers, but I knew people that had dealt with VJ592 and EV529, and heard stories about those incidences. One of the guys that trained me @ ASA was part of the team that went out to crash site of EV529 to retrieve luggage, and told of how sad it was to see the site. I knew people when I worked @ AirTran that were working @ ATL on the day of VJ592, and they told me how crazy it got around there that day, pilots refusing to fly and turning in their wings, passengers refusing to fly, sick individuals calling up reservations and asking for a ticket on 592 nonstop to the Everglades. I'm glad I never had to deal with any of this stuff, I don't think I could have worked for some time if I ever had to deal with the aftermath of a crash.
Caribb From Canada, joined Nov 1999, 1630 posts, RR: 9 Reply 18, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5484 times:
A couple of years ago on a clear sunny morning a small chartered Metroliner was taking a group of about 15 GE Hydro employees to an Ontario town from Montreal Dorval.. The wheel caught fire on take off and slowly began to burn through the aircraft. Within 15 minutes the plane, seconds away from a safe emergency touchdown at Mirabel, lost it's left wing, flipped over and exploded killing everyone on board. Our company sells goods to GE Hydro and everyone on the plane were contacts to people in our office... When the news hit our company it was devestating for everyone.. Many had just spoken to some of them the day before and the shock of their deaths stunned everyone in our company.. surely the saddest day I can recall at work.. It's amazing how fragile life can be.
MxCtrlr From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 2485 posts, RR: 37 Reply 19, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5458 times:
The worst part is, when you work with those who fly all the time, and they are involved in a fatal crash, listening to the CVR later and hearing their voices on the tape. I experienced that with QH90 in DCA. The F/O, Roger Petitt, was someone I spoke with quite often working in Passenger Operations at MIA. He always had the cheeriest voice on the planet and no matter how bad you day was, his voice seemed to brighten it up some. To hear that same cheery voice saying "Larry, We're falling. We're stalling." just seconds before impact with the 14th Street Bridge, was quite unnerving indeed!
The other issue is the a$$holes who think its funny to call into reservations and "book flights 1/2 way from Washington to Tampa" or "from Washington National to the 14th Street Bridge". I know, we in the industry try to cope with black humor but not in the immediate aftermath of a crash and not anywhere near that callously! Grow up!
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.
DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
MSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6347 posts, RR: 50 Reply 20, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5427 times:
Not me personally, but a fellow co-worker of mine at Vanguard...very nice man named Morgan...was the lead gate agent for Pan Am 759 which crashed on takeoff from MSY due to wind shear in July, 1982. All 150+ passengers onboard the Boeing 727-200 "Clipper Defiance" perished. He spoke about it a few times...obviously time had healed him somewhat...but I could see in his eyes that it still tormented him. He actually closed the aircraft door and backed up the jetway away from the trijet. I can't even imagine what those first few hours...days...and even months....must have been like.
Dash8tech From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 732 posts, RR: 5 Reply 21, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5385 times:
EA CO AS, well written. I remember that day very very clearly. In addition to the crash it was the day my wife's grandmother died so it sticks with us.
The media really did make a hash of it didn't they, they always do. I remember either reading or hearing it (can't remember which now) but one outlet reported words to the affect of, "thankfully the flight wasn't full." What a disgusting piece of journalism that was, it doesn't matter if it was only a ferry or repo flight and it was just the pilots that died, a life is a life. That really made me sick. And then USA Today ran that despicable cartoon...horrible.
Seeing the video footage of a very familiar (from countless NonRev trips) colored blue seat cushion and one of those scripture verse cards you get with a meal floating on the ocean gave me a shiver. With our companies obviously close like a family it hurt us just as bad.
John Kelly handled the entire thing from crash to his retirement with dignity and respect, even with the NTSB using such unprofessional phrases like "shoddy maintenance". I remember him saying something like, "it doesn't matter if it was Boeing, the jackscrew manufacturer or whoever's fault. The point is Alaska makes a promise to their customers to get them from point A to point B safley and we did not do that, it's our responsibility."
SILVERSTREAK From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 281 posts, RR: 1 Reply 22, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5312 times:
I lost a friend on board the AA DC-10 that crashed in Chicago years ago. Two weeks previous to the crash, I was in France. I was walking down the street when I saw a large headline and picture showing a DC-10 veering down and missing an engine. I'll never forget the chill I felt seeing that photo. When I returned home some friends met me at the airport and told me about our friend who had died on that plane. That is one of the few times I felt like throwing up from shock.
MD-11 forever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 24, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5257 times:
To have a company airplane crash it something one can't understand until one actually experiences it.... I will remember for the rest of my life, what I did when I heard about the crash of Swissair flight 111 off Nova Scotia. I just left the shower, when I heard the news on the radio.......I knew one of the F/A's (not that close tough). Especially, as working in a maintanance facility, it feels scary when you know that some parts you handled actually are now lying on the ocean ground and might have caused the death of 229 innocent people. The whole scene at work at this very day was kind of surrealistic, nobody actually worked a lot, everyone was listening to the radio, trying to get the latest news about what happened. As a Maintenance person, you just wanted to know, did I contribute to the crash? Really horrible, and actually I hope I never have to face such a situation again!!
25 JT8D: I was working at an FBO at Miami-Dade's Tamiami Kendal Executive airport several years ago. We did flight training in addition to fuel, maintenance an
26 Searpqx: Like EA CO AS - I was just wrapping up my shift as an IT ticketing lead at Horizon Res in Seattle. I'd just signed out of the phone and was coming aro
27 AvObserver: MxCtrlr "The other issue is the a$$holes who think its funny to call into reservations and "book flights 1/2 way from Washington to Tampa" or "from Wa
28 HlywdCatft: Yes, but my job was not aviation related. I worked for a small lawncutting company in the Detroit area and a small Cessna 172 size aircraft tried to t
29 Alitalia744: Working on Houston in NYC, I was talking to a co-worker as I saw the AA 767 slam into the building. Shocked, I watched only to see a few minutes later
30 Positive rate: Not actually one of my experiences but i thought i'd add it nonetheless. After UA 232 DC-10 crashed at Sioux City the flightcrew were critically injur
31 Travatl: Hey Srbmod - I was in Atlanta, in the crew room, the day of the ValuJet crash, and I assure, pilots were NOT "turning in their wings and refusing to f
32 UPSfueler: This isn't a big plane crash but a small one. A few days before Christmas last year I was out doing my normal fueling gig for UPS at RFD on third shif
33 Fsuwxman: July 26, 2002 FedEx 722... ... I was the wx observer on duty... The last two hours of my shift were the longest ever after that incident...
34 Bigphilnyc: Well thankfully, everyone was ok in the FedEx incident, if I recall correctly. Was a nice place though. Pilot error in the end also, right?