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Old 13 January 2012, 11:50
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30th Anniversary of the 14th Street Bridge Crash

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WASHINGTON - For longtime Washingtonians, it may be hard to believe that a generation has passed since the disaster that shocked the nation and led to much-needed changes to safety in the air.

On Jan. 13, 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the 14th Street Bridge and plunged into the icy Potomac River shortly after takeoff from National Airport.

Seventy-four of the 79 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 737 perished in the crash, along with four more people on the ground.

"I remember that day so vividly," says WTOP Capitol Hill correspondent Dave McConnell, who had been covering a congressional event at the National Press Club when he was told to head to the disaster.

"I was absolutely shocked to see the bodies that had been taken from the icy waters... I think that was the most disturbing scene that I had ever witnessed," McConnell says.

The crash revived longstanding concerns about National Airport's close proximity to the nation's capital, and its potentially risky flight paths over the Potomac River.

WTOP
A well done multimedia piece by WaPo.

I was just a little baby messing myself when this happened. I've lived in the area on and off for 18 years and have always heard about it. To most locals who've been here a long time, this was the most horrific disaster or event to happen here until 9/11.

Also worth noting it's also the 30th anniversary of the Metro collision.
Wikipedia entry on the derailment.

It still amazes me anyone survived the crash between the wreck itself into the water and the temperature of the water, etc.
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Old 13 January 2012, 13:15
Amarillo Amarillo is offline
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Watching it unfold on television, the aftermath and rescue operation in the freezing Potomac, gave me the same feelings of helplessness and disbelief that I later experienced on 9/11.
God rest the souls of those who perished, and bless and keep the survivors and the heroes who helped them.
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Old 13 January 2012, 13:50
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Having crossed that bridge many times myself, then also having a bit of cold water experience, I thought an eleven foot hero emerged in that icy river when that passensger push the flotation thing to the females. As I recall the females were saved but the male hero went under one time too many times.

Heroics often come at the most unexpected times and from the unexpected people.
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Old 13 January 2012, 15:44
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I remember the incident well-

There was a DJ nicknamed "The Greaseman" that went to DC from Jax FL.

When the news broke, he called the Air Florida desk at National and asked to book a one way flight to the 14th bridge-

that cost him a 30 day suspension from the FCC

RIP to the passengers and the heroes that saved the few that survived...
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Old 13 January 2012, 16:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGR.Montcalm View Post
I remember the incident well-

There was a DJ nicknamed "The Greaseman" that went to DC from Jax FL.

When the news broke, he called the Air Florida desk at National and asked to book a one way flight to the 14th bridge-

that cost him a 30 day suspension from the FCC

RIP to the passengers and the heroes that saved the few that survived...


I thought that was Howard Stern?
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Old 13 January 2012, 16:11
hdjohn hdjohn is offline
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Lenny Skutnik, former CBO worker, jumped in and saved one lady while most, including rescue folks, stood around and watched. Balls of brass....good on him, I'll remember that video to my dying day.........I'm hoisting one for him tonight....


John
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Old 16 January 2012, 09:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanmcd82 View Post
I thought that was Howard Stern?
The Greaseman was brought in to pull back ratings from Howard Stern...
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Old 16 January 2012, 12:14
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That was one horrible day. The snow storm, the plane crash, and a metro train detailed in one of the tunnels. I remember it took my dad about 6 hours to get home from the USSS WFO to Chantilly.
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Old 16 January 2012, 14:25
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I'm not sure if this really deserves an additional thread, but the Washington Post has basically been called out for some ethical breaches regarding their front page photo for the anniversary, HDR vs. traditionally accepted photojournalism techniques and practices.

Washington Post raises eyebrows, questions with ‘composite’ photo on front page-Poynter/org



HDR front page photo.


Other side of the bridge, without HDR.
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Old 19 January 2012, 15:38
Group9 Group9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdjohn View Post
Lenny Skutnik, former CBO worker, jumped in and saved one lady while most, including rescue folks, stood around and watched. Balls of brass....good on him, I'll remember that video to my dying day.........I'm hoisting one for him tonight....


John
A good friend of mine grew up with Lenny in Mississippi. He called him after that, and Lenny told him he was standing there wondering why no one else was jumping in to save that girl, so he did. Then he realized he was swimming in jet fuel and that was probably why nobody else had jumped in, but he figured it was too late to do anything about it, so he swam on anyway.
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Old 19 January 2012, 17:33
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The pilot of the Park Police helicopter who took off in the fog (without permission IIRC) and assisted in the rescue was a Law instructor at FLETC when I went through in 95.

I had the impression that he was a bit of a thrill seeker, which was probably a good thing considering what he did.
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