Airshow in Washington – Boeing 737 plane crash, an American airline Air Florida (cruise No. 90 – "Palm 90"), which occurred on January 13, 1982 in the capital of the United States – Washington, DC. Died in her 78 persons, including four persons on the ground.
13 January 1982 onwards Washington came under the influence of winter weather: it was snowing and it was freezing. In the second week of the year, the entire east coast of the United States was paralyzed by record frosts and blizzards of extremely intense rainfall. Due to weather authorities were forced to discontinue their education in schools, most of the offices before finishing the job. This was also the work of Congress. Weather in the U.S. capital have an impact on the situation of communication in distant Florida.
About 11:00 International Airport in Miami left the boat No. 95, the company Air Florida, heading toward Washington. Thirteen year-old Boeing 737-222 B (no. Registration: N62AF) had the very same day return flight No. 90 Florida – to Fort Lauderdale, the Tampa.
At 13:29 the aircraft piloted by Captain Larry Wheaton landed at National Airport in Washington. Both the captain and second pilot – Roger Pettit – previously worked on Air Florida.
The machine took place at Gate B12. In another cruise was to go after 45 minutes, but the flight schedule has changed. Due to incessant snowfall, the airport only briefly open at noon require re-closure. Airport personnel had snowing belt 18/36.
At 13:38 closed domestic airport on the outskirts of Washington County Arligton Washington National Airport (the airport is now named Ronald Reagan). Opening time the airport was expected at 14:30. During this time, ready to fly the plane at the gate B12 was extensively covered and higher layers of snow. Captain of cruise No. 90 – Larry Wheaton wanting to make another trip, ordered wings and fuselage snow removal machine.
At 14:20 the ground staff started clearing snow left lots of Boeing, but the chemical substance – in the form of a liquid spray – used for removing snow cover of the hull, was distributed only to a length of about three meters, as the captain interrupted operation due to further extend the standstill in Washington.
About 14:30 74 travelers took place in the aircraft having to fly to Tampa. Fifteen minutes later, the captain again ordered the snow removal machine. First, the purified left. The mechanics is not secured in any way an aircraft engine. About hrs. 15:10, it was concluded that the purification of the aircraft has been completed. Ground personnel reported only a layer of "small dust" of snow on the wings.
The airport was opened at 14:53 and passengers aboard the cruise No. 90 gained hope to leave the airport. On board were, among others, three children and five-crew.
At 15:15 all the inputs to the aircraft being blocked and after eight minutes, the machine started to maneuver padding (called push-back) from the gate B12. Cruise No. 90 was to be the eleventh in line to leave the airport. The machine circled the DC-9, the New York airline (New York Air) – but it was already sixteenth machine in the queue for departure.
During taxing on belt, on the fuselage and wings of the Boeing 737 still formed a layer of snow and ice. Captain Wheaton decided to use the hot exhaust gas stream, departing from the engine in front of him circling the DC-9 as a way to melt the snow layer on its aircraft.
Time of 15.38. The plane had finished taxiing, taking place starting at the waist No. 36 At this point, cruise No. 90 had more than one and a half hours late.
Hour 15.57.42 After take-off the DC-9, the time has come for a cruise No. 90 Air Florida. In the cockpit of the machine, so the crew checked. "Checklist" (plan, "reminding" all consultation provided procedures). Moments later, the crew received permission to start.
About 15.58 the machine began to disperse. But after a while the second pilot noticed problems, including of reaching take-off speed. This problem also noticed some passengers, who often travels planes. One of the survivors said that the machine took off at speeds much lower than usual. Despite four times to draw attention to the master of this fact by the co-pilot, the captain did not interrupt the boot process.
Within 45 seconds, the machine crossed approximately 1.6km runway. Only after this time reached a speed boot. During a routine take-off aircraft of this type needs only half a minute, and only one kilometer belt to achieve the speed needed to pickup the machine in the air.
Once off the runway, the engine began to rise too slowly. After a while, the machine got strong vibrations of the hull, the bow sank, and the cockpit appeared to stall alarm. The so-called. stick shaker activated immediately after isolation of the wheels of the Boeing from the ground. Jet flying too low, he approached the bridge on 14th Street. Because of a snowstorm, on the street created a traffic jam. A few seconds later, the plane crashed on a bridge from standing on it cars.
Time of 16.01. Just a few seconds after takeoff, the plane hit and crossed the western barrier of the northern span of the bridge at 14th Street. Broken structure is 12 meters and 29 meters railings. 6 was crushed cars and tractor trucks. At this point on the bridge died 4 drivers. The other four were injured, including one person suffered life-threatening injuries. Chassis machine passed some cars only several centimeters. A moment later, the engine of the 79 people on board fell into the icy Potomac River.
Survived the disaster only 5 people on board the aircraft. Four of them owe their lives to another passenger, Arlandowi D. Williams Junior, who – when the rescue helicopter arrived – did not benefit from the possibility of salvation, but in turn gave the rope from the helicopter to other survivors. He died before the helicopter drowned after rescuing others, had come back after him.
Identity Williams for some time remained a mystery, and he was referred to as "the sixth passenger". Finally, it has been identified as the only died due to drowning, and no injuries occurring at the time of the crash.
The fifth of the survivors were rescued by an employee of the office of the Congress, Lenny Skutnik, who jumped into the icy water and pulled the drowning woman from the river.
Air Florida Flight of No. 90, namely the attitude Arlanda D. Williams Jr.. and Lenny Skutnik, is often presented as an example of courage and sacrifice of ordinary people in the face of danger. President Ronald Reagan awarded Skutnik personally and gave a posthumous award Williams family. In addition, one of the bridges in Washington was named Arlanda D. Williams Jr..
The events of that day have become the basis to make a feature film by dir. Robert Michael Lewis Fri: Flight 90: Disaster on the Potomac.
The main cause of the crash was serious errors committed by Captain Larry Wheaton. Repeatedly violated procedures provided during take-off in adverse weather conditions:
Air Florida Flight of No. 90 also had long-term effects. Airlines have begun to pay more attention to the relationship between pilots: so far the aircraft captain was the sole and indisputable authority throughout the flight, and its decisions were final. While taxiing and take-off co-pilot Roger Alan Pettit repeatedly pointed Wheatonowi note that the readings from meters thrust appears to be invalid, suggesting a take-off and deicing machine, Captain Wheaton but completely ignored those comments. After the crash Flight No. 90 has greatly increased the powers of the second pilot: If you found the situation to be dangerous, he henceforth entitled to take action on their own responsibility, even strictly defying the aircraft captain, if you found them to be false in a given situation.