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Bizzare Incident -H-P Worker Falls 2,000 Feet From  
User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 4827 times:

, Investigators Say
Chuck Squatriglia, Mark Martin, Chronicle Staff Writers
Friday, December 15, 2000
©2000 San Francisco Chronicle

URL: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/12/15/MN137139.DTL


A Hewlett-Packard employee headed to San Jose aboard a company airplane plunged 2,000 feet to her apparent death last night in a mysterious incident that went unreported to police until 44 minutes after the plane landed.

Investigators could not say whether the woman fell, jumped or was pushed as the plane flew from Sacramento Executive Airport to San Jose International Airport. They refused to release her name.

There were conflicting reports about whether any of the four other passengers or the two pilots aboard the 20-seat DeHavilland DHC-6 aircraft witnessed the woman's exit.

"One thing is certain -- this is bizarre," said Special Agent Andrew Black of the FBI, which was called in to assist the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration in the probe.

"Until the possibility of foul play is dispelled, we will be part of the investigation," Black said. "It's unclear how she found her way out the door."

The plane originally left Lincoln Regional Airport in Placer County en route to San Jose when a light in the cockpit indicated that a door on the plane was unlocked. That prompted the pilot to make a precautionary landing at 4:48 p.m. in Sacramento.

After securing the door, the plane took off again at 5:23 p.m. Three minutes later, as the plane was climbing past 2,000 feet, the pilot radioed that he had an open door. Authorities believe that the woman "exited the craft" at that point, about 10 miles south of Sacramento, said Bruce Nelson, an FAA operations officers in Los Angeles.

Nelson said it was unclear what happened after a pilot radioed that the door was open. But San Jose police spokesman Rubens Dalaison said a pilot closed the door moments later and returned to the cockpit.

Dalaison said no one aboard the plane saw the woman fall or noticed that she was missing until the plane landed safely at 6:05 p.m.

Black, however, said preliminary interviews with those aboard indicated that some of the passengers may have seen her fall.

Further confusing the situation is that no one reported the woman missing until 6:49 p.m., when one of the passengers called 911 from San Jose International.

Authorities were to begin searching today for the woman's body. Black conceded that the odds of the woman surviving were slim.

"The likelihood of a person surviving a fall from a plane at that height is remote," he said.

The twin-engine airplane was shuttling five Hewlett-Packard employees between the company's offices in Lincoln and San Jose.

The woman's husband, who was waiting for her at the San Jose airport last night, required medical treatment from paramedics when told of his wife's disappearance.

Suzette Stephens, a spokeswoman for Hewlett-Packard, said the woman worked in purchasing but declined to provide additional information.

"We are deeply concerned and are helping the authorities to determine what happened," she said. "Out of respect for the individuals involved, we are not providing additional information at this time."

The airplane, a Twin Otter, was built by a Canadian division of Boeing.

E-mail Chuck Squatriglia at csquatriglia@sfchronicle.com / E-mail Mark Martin at markmartin@sfchronicle.com

©2000 San Francisco Chronicle Page A30


27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNotdownnlocked From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 935 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 4702 times:

Maybe this lady was the unpopular boss at HP of her fellow passengers on the plane. The flight isn't a scheduled passenger flight. How, could and why would fellow passengers NOT know that the door on the plane was opened far enough for a person to exit inflight?

User currently offlineHmmmm... From Canada, joined May 1999, 2104 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 4692 times:

Something sure smells funny. How is that no noticed she was missing or saw her exit until the plane landed? Usually an open door in an airplane is hard to overlook. It makes lots of noise and wind.

Me thinks foul play.

Hmmmm...



An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
User currently offlineFFMilesJunkie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 4689 times:

Authorities were to begin searching today for the woman's body. Black conceded that the odds of the woman surviving were slim.

"The likelihood of a person surviving a fall from a plane at that height is remote," he said.



really? good thing the FBI was their to offer that nugget of information.


User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 4676 times:

This is actually a regularly scheduled flight. It is an internal HP employee shuttle flight. They make several daily roundtrips between SJC and Lincoln Regional with a DHC-6 Twin Otter. It is possible that non of the passengers knew each other.

Richard Silagi


User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1571 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 4668 times:


Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Craig Murray


This is how a Twin Otter cabin looks like.And it sounds bizarre not hearing sounds of winds when a door gets open in flight in such a small cabin and also not realising one person is missing during the flight.Something sounds strange here.

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Alexander Y.A. Kueh





Widen your world
User currently offlineGKirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24936 posts, RR: 56
Reply 6, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 4649 times:

The only way she would have survived was by using a Parachute.


When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
User currently offlineWidebody From Ireland, joined Aug 2000, 1152 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 4646 times:

Could the other 4 passengers have been sitting at the front of the plane, and the woman at the back, and exited through the rear door.....???

User currently offlineSashA From Russia, joined May 1999, 861 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 4636 times:

Ha! Opeining of ANY door on in flying airplane would get noticed. Just think of how much noise the engines would make alone. Also, air stream and all that.

Maybe she wasn't on the plane in the first place. She could've been assasinated or liquidated some other way, and this story was made up to "explain the odd".

One bizzare thing on another...

RIP for that woman.  



An2/24/28,Yak42,Tu154/134,IL18/62/96,B737/757/767,A310/320/319,F100,BAe146,EMB-145,CRJ,A340-600,B747-400,A-330-300,A-340
User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 4581 times:

What is also very strange about this incident, is that there has been very little talk about it by the local news media here in the San Jose area.





User currently offlineContrails From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1833 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 4568 times:

This sounds like something out of a movie script. How could somebody jump from an airborne aircraft and nobody notice it? Something indeed smells fishy.

I'm not too impressed with the FBI's investigation so far. All they can say is that her odds of surviving the fall are "remote"?

Sounds like a D.B. Cooper type caper, with accomplices.




Flying Colors Forever!
User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 4565 times:

There is definitely more to this story.....There has to be!

User currently offlineDelta777-XXX From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1017 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 4555 times:

The woman COULD survive that fall. Did anyone read about the flight attendant that survived a 39,000ft fall after the DC-9 that she was in exploaded. (it could have been 29,000ft)

I saw that in the guinesses (sp?) book of world records.

Anyone else see that one??


User currently offlineVirginFlyer From New Zealand, joined Sep 2000, 4574 posts, RR: 41
Reply 13, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 4546 times:

There was a B-17 tail gunner in WW2, who jumped from the aircraft (which was going down) without a parachute. He fell 18,000 feet, and his fall was stopped by a tree and a snowdrift. He survived with frostbite, and a broken leg.


"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
User currently offlineHmmmm... From Canada, joined May 1999, 2104 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 4510 times:

That flight attendant survived the impact because she was still in the fuselage. It was a mid-air collision with another plane. That helps to decrease impact forces on the body. There a are legion of stories of passengers initially surviving inside fuselage sections after falling to earth. But, like the rest of them, she died later anyway.

I was on CNN and now we have a totally different version of events. Looks like the first media report was 100% inaccurate. This time the passengers say they saw the women leave the airplane:
December 15, 2000
Web posted at: 4:17 p.m. EST (2117 GMT)

SACRAMENTO, California (CNN) -- Police and federal investigators were searching Friday for a woman who was reported as falling out of an airplane at 2,000 feet despite a rescue attempt by a fellow passenger.

The FBI has ruled out foul play, saying the woman either committed suicide or was the victim of a bizarre accident.

Authorities were told the incident occurred during a shuttle flight in California from Roseville, near Sacramento, to San Jose. There were two pilots and five employees of the computer maker Hewlett-Packard aboard the DeHavilland DHC-6 turboprop.

Shortly after takeoff, the pilot noticed a warning light that indicated the plane's rear door was open. He made a precautionary landing at Sacramento Executive Airport. The door was checked and the plane took off again.

Several minutes later, passengers reported feeling a "whoosh" or sudden breeze, said FBI information officer Andy Black. A male passenger said he turned around and saw the door open and a female passenger falling out.


A helicopter flies over Sacramento, California, in search of the missing Hewlett-Packard employee

According to Black, the man said he lunged over his seat and grabbed the woman's arm and shoulder in an attempt to pull her back into the plane, but he couldn't hold on.

When the plane's co-pilot noticed the warning light illuminated again and went back into the cabin to close the door, the noise from the plane was apparently so loud that the male passenger couldn't tell him what had happened.

"It appears that due to the sound and the noise, (the co-pilot) was unable to understand what the passenger was trying to tell him," Black said.

A DeHavilland DHC-6 turboprop is very noisy during flight, a pilot familiar with it told CNN.

When the plane landed in San Jose, the passenger was finally able to tell the pilots what had happened. Black said that was the explanation for why the first 911 call was made 45 minutes after the landing.

Hewlett-Packard would not disclose the woman's identity, saying only that she worked in the company's purchasing department.

"We are deeply concerned and are helping authorities to determine what happened," the company said in a statement Friday.


Reuters contributed to this report.

Hmmmm...




An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
User currently offlineChiawei From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 944 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 4488 times:

The F/A in JAT DC-9 survived the fall from FL290. She did not die as the previous post stated. However, she did suffer massive head injuries.

User currently offlineCorey777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 4482 times:

Isn't the Twotter pressurized, making it hard/impossible to open the door inflight without some monkeying around?...Also, the pax door on a Twotter is pretty big compared to the tiny cabin...I'd kinda think you'd notice the door open!!


Somethin's up here....

Corey777


User currently offlineCicadajet From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 4476 times:

Its still a very strange story. You would think that someONE else of the other passengers would have notified the authorities what had happened, assuming the passenger that had tried to save the victim was too traumatized to relate to investigators/whomever what had happened until a significant time after they landed.

Tom


User currently offlineWatewate From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 2284 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 4477 times:

This would make a good movie script. High-tech murder!  

Btw, pax are innocent until proven guilty.


User currently offlineHmmmm... From Canada, joined May 1999, 2104 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 4476 times:

I didn't know that FA survived that collision. I know that one FA on Pan Am 103 had survived the immediate impact inside a piece of fuselage as well. But she died shortly after rescuers arrived. Well, I suppose she didn't survive the impact. That's what killed her, after all. Sometimes it takes your own mortality a few minutes to catch up with events.

As far as a human body in freefall hitting the ground after reaching terminal velocity, one would have to look into the archives of the skydiving world to see if anyone has survived that. After about 1,500 feet of vertical acceleration, the speed of freefall stabilizes at around 120 mph. But 120 mph into a soggy marsh is more survivable than 120 mph into concrete. So not all falls are equal.

Hmmmm...



An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 4465 times:

The Twin Otter is not pressurized. FYI the plane involved in the incident was N252SA which is not HP's plane. HP's Twin Otter is N89HP but I have not seen it for about a month. My guess is that one is in for maintenance and this one is a loaner. HP has used leased Twin Otters in the past when their plane is in for maint.

Richard Silagi


User currently offlineTWA902fly From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 3128 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 4436 times:

What about that Yougoslavian Airlines JAT FA who fell over 30000 feet and survived?

-TWA902fly
Chicago Illinois



life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8507 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 4437 times:

Obviously HP needs to upgrade to a pressurized Pilatus PC-12, like the RCMP who've ditched their Twotters (now that's a funny name) for PC-12s.

User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 4425 times:

Actually now that I think about, the Twotter may be pressurized.

It is hard to believe the guy who tried to save the women just sat in his seat all the way back to SJC after not being able to tell the pilot what happened. I have been on Twin Otters and they are not that loud and even if they were, it hard to believe he the guy did not have pen and paper to write a note to the pilots.


User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 4403 times:

Confirmed now the Twin Otter was not pressurized. The door that opened was an emergency exit and not the main door. This door is hinged on the front and swings out. In flight it would take quite an effort to push this door open due to the wind rushing past it. It would not just pop open.



25 Cicadajet : stranger and stranger...sounds like an X file. Tom
26 SashA : That JAT FA, I heard, had fallen inside the tail part of the fuselage and survived, did not die afterwards. BUT, sadly, she was paralyzed for the rest
27 Flygga : OK it is starting to make a little bit more sense: Woman Who Leapt From Plane Fought Off Attempt to Save Her Kevin Fagan, Alan Gathright, Charlie Good
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