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Story On The Spotters Who Got The Crash Pic

Wed Jul 26, 2000 8:26 am

Key Concorde Photo Snapped by Eager Airport Buffs

By Gary Regenstreif

PARIS (July 25) - Most visitors to Paris first rush to the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysee or the cultural wonders at the Louvre museum.

But two young Hungarian airport buffs on a tour of European hubs opted instead for the unglamorous Charles de Gaulle airport and got more than they bargained for when a Concorde airliner crashed in a ball of flames.

The aircraft, operated by Air France and chartered by a German tour operator, plunged to the ground shortly after takeoff from the Paris airport. All 109 people on board and four on the ground were killed.

Andras Kisgergely, 20, flanked by 22-year-old travel mate Szabolcs Szalmasi, snapped a picture of the aircraft in flames while it was still in the air.

The photograph, obtained by Reuters, was flashed to media subscribers around the world and earned a little place in air travel history for two blond young men whose passion is merely looking at, and photographing, aircraft.

''I suppose the Eiffel tower is nice but we were more interested in the airport,'' Szalmasi said in an interview. ''Some collect stamps or coins. We collect pictures of airplanes.''

The two young men, who cannot afford air travel themselves, spend up to three weeks sleeping in their car for the pleasure of seeing planes.

The engineering students at the Hungarian Technical University in Budapest have collected thousands of pictures of planes. Planes became Szalmasi's passion when he was 12 and living next to an airport. Kisgergely got the bug more recently, and they reckon they have visited 150 airports in Europe.

Now they are on a three-week vacation, visiting airports in Berlin, Frankfurt, Zurich, Ostend and other cities.

''If I go on vacation with my family, they see the city and I see the airport,'' Szalmasi said.

It is not the first time Kisgergely saw a plane go down. Last year, he was on hand when a Hawk 100 military aircraft crashed after failing to execute a loop at a show in Bratislava.

Reut17:44 07-25-00

Copyright 2000 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

RE: Story On The Spotters Who Got The Crash Pic

Wed Jul 26, 2000 9:00 am

A quick search shows that the photographer has 97 photos in the A.N database, so he's "one of our own".
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RE: Story On The Spotters Who Got The Crash Pic

Wed Jul 26, 2000 9:41 am

So perhaps we may see this photo in the database?
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RE: Story On The Spotters Who Got The Crash Pic

Wed Jul 26, 2000 11:29 am

Depends on who owns the photo now I would imagine.
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RE: Story On The Spotters Who Got The Crash Pic

Wed Jul 26, 2000 11:41 am

Without a doubt this is a tragedy,but hopefully these spotter's photo will help shed light on what might have caused this so it will not happen again.

Too many times aircraft go down without witnesses who can accuratly describe what they're seeing,these guys and their photo are very helpful to the investigation getting underway.
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RE: Andras Kisgergely...

Wed Jul 26, 2000 11:43 am

Andras Kisgergely, the gentleman who captured the last moments on film, has at least been a visitor to airliners and maybe even a member(?).

Andras, if you are a member, if you get a chance, I'm sure almost every single member here would hang on every letter, of every word, if you posted here about your horrible, yet one in a million experience.

Are you out there??
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RE: Andras Kisgergely...

Wed Jul 26, 2000 12:44 pm

Well, I would like to say that some airports are "unfriendly" and unaccomondating" to plane spotters and photographers. (are you listening GTAA - YYZ)

This photograph and others that may be similar that are being processed will be just as famous as the PSA 727 incident in San Diego.... everyone knows that picture.

Also, and more importantly, these pictures bring incredible credibility to visual eyewitnesses and assist investigators in ways that will remain untold.

Airports of the world.... sadly this is a reality of the industry and NONE OF US SPOTTING ARE THERE TO WITNESS TODAYS EVENTS... but please welcome us as friends of this fine industry.


RE: Story On The Spotters Who Got The Crash Pic

Wed Jul 26, 2000 4:33 pm

I saw the mentioned accident with Hawk in Bratislava too. There were thousands people at that airshow who saw it! The pilot was one of a group of six aircrafts and
attempted to perform a loop, but the nose did not
rose and he crashed in high speed in nearly 90* angle.
It was terrific !!!

Matej Sabol
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Wed Jul 26, 2000 6:59 pm

It was terrific? I hope you mean tragic or something. Terrific isn't the word I would use. Perhaps english is a second language, if so, I'm sorry. However, you might want to use a different word next time!!!

RE: Sabol & CX Flyboy

Wed Jul 26, 2000 8:15 pm

I would imagine he meant "terrible" - I know it's easy for those whose first language isn't English to make malapropisms (using the wrong word which sounds like the right word).
Just the other day I had someone from somewhere in Eastern Europe email me to give "condolences on your excellent website" .... I figured he meant "congratulations" -> (which isn't mine, anyway) is a long way from being dead !!
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Any Other Concorde Picture?

Thu Jul 27, 2000 5:05 am

I feel very surprised that for the moment no other picture of the Concorde with his engine n°2 burning has been broadcast.
When I go spotting at CDG, I usually wait for the Concorde landing or taking-off, and I always take photographs of it. But, I am not alone taking pictures, sometimes we are more than 10 people taking pictures or recording on a tape this event, along the runway 26L. People come from far away to see this rare airplane.

AF 4590 was not a regular flight, so it was hard to know that a Concorde was scheduled to take off in the afternoon. But it was not impossible, I think other people must have taken pictures of the tragedy, or recorded on a tape...If you have one of these, give them to Aeronautic autorithies, or police service, it can help to find out what got wrong on this reactor. Please, don't try to sell them to media, who only think of audience...In two days, they won't tell you anymore about this crash, another sad event will be in headlines.

All my thoughts to the people who died yesterday.


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