Entries in Plane Crash (37)


Two Dead, 181 Injured After Plane Crashes at San Francisco Airport

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- An Asiana Airlines passenger jet crashed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, killing two people and injuring 181 others.

San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White described it as a "fluid situation" and said that "not everyone has yet to be accounted for."  She initially said that "upwards of 60 people were unaccounted for," but officials later said everyone had been accounted for.

The two passengers who died were 16-year-old girls from China, the San Mateo County coroner's office confirms. Wang Linjia and Ye Mengyuan were part of a student group from at Jiangshan Middle School in China's eastern Zhejiang province, according to Chinese news media reports. They were reportedly heading here to the Bay Area  to attend a Summer program. Their bodies were found on the runway.

The injured were being cared for at several hospitals and at least 22 were in critical condition.

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 originated in Shanghai, China, and had a stopover in Seoul, South Korea, before it crash landed on the runway in San Francisco.  

The Boeing 777 was carrying 291 passengers, including an infant, plus at least 16 crew members, according to the airline.  An Asiana Airlines official in Seoul told ABC News that 141 Chinese, 77 South Koreans and 61 U.S. citizens were on board.

Stephanie Turner saw the Asiana Airlines flight crash and said she was sure that she "had just seen a lot of people die."

Turner said that when she saw the plane preparing to land on the runway, it looked as if it was approaching at a strange angle.

"As we saw the approaching Asiana flight coming in, I noticed right away that the angle was wrong, that it was tilted too far back," she said.  "The angle didn't manage to straighten out and the tail broke off."

"It looked like the plane had completely broken apart," Turner said.  "The flames and smoke were just billowing."

Aerials of the crash, provided by ABC News' San Francisco station KGO-TV, showed the plane's tail severed from its body, as well as the majority of the aircraft's roof completely charred away.  One of the plane's wings appears to have snapped upon impact.  Debris from the crash landing was scattered across the airport's runway 28.

The San Francisco International Airport closed at approximately 1:10 p.m. as a result of the crash, according to the FAA website.

Some of the injured were taken to San Francisco General Hospital.

"We have burns, fractures and internal injuries," said hospital spokeswoman Rachel Kagan.

She said the hospital had also put out a call for its Korean speaking staff and translators to come to work.

A video posted on YouTube showed gray smoke billowing from the plane, which was lying on the runway on its fuselage.  Chutes had been deployed from the plane's emergency exits.

Law enforcement officials told ABC News that the crash appeared to be an accident, but that they were investigating.  The National Transportation Safety Board immediately sent a team of investigators to the crash site.

Investigators plan to collect the cockpit voice and data recorders from the plane, NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said at a news conference.

Hersman said the NTSB is working with Boeing, the FAA, as well as the Korean Air and Accident Investigation Board to investigate the crash.

The Boeing 777 is one of the safest airplanes in use, ABC News aviation analyst John Nance said.

"These airplanes are over the water, over the ocean all the time and Asiana has been running them for many years very successfully," Nance said.

Boeing issued a statement to ABC News on the news of the crash.

"Boeing extends its concern for the safety of those on board Asiana Airlines Flight 214," the company said.  "Boeing is preparing to provide technical assistance to the National Transportation Safety Board as it investigates the accident."

The last Boeing 777 to crash was a British Airways jet en route from Beijing to London's Heathrow airport, which crash landed short of the runway in January 2008.  There were no fatalities, but 47 people on board sustained injuries.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Two Killed in Plane Crash at Dayton Air Show

Hemera/Thinkstock(DAYTON, Ohio) -- Two people were killed in a plane crash at the Dayton Air Show Saturday afternoon.

Officials have not revealed the names of the victims, but Jane Wicker was performing a wing walking stunt when the plane crashed.

Emergency crews arrived at the scene shortly afterwards, but were unable to save the victims, according to ABC affiliate WKEF. Nobody on the ground was injured in the crash.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash, and will give their findings over to the FAA.

The rest of Saturday's show was canceled, but the show will resume Sunday as scheduled.

The last fatal air crash at the Dayton Air Show was in 2007.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Authorities Investigating Plane Crash That Killed Air Force General, Wife

Photo via United States Air Force(WILLIAMSBURG, Va.) -- Federal authorities are investigating the cause of a plane crash in Virginia that killed a decorated Air Force general and his wife.

Maj. Gen. Joseph D. Brown IV, 54, was piloting a Cessna 210 Friday, with his wife, Sue Brown, as his passenger, when the plane crashed near the Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport. The couple and their dog were killed in the crash.

No one on the ground was injured in the crash, but the single-engine plane came close to hitting houses in a retirement community, according to witnesses.

"Another 50 feet, and they would have been in my bedroom," resident Bruce Ward told ABC News affiliate WVEC-TV.

"The fellow next door came knocking on our door, and he says, 'You got a fire extinguisher? There's a plane just crashed next to your house,'" Ward said.

Virginia State Police said officials from the Federal Aviation Administration responded Friday. The crash scene was secured overnight until authorities from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived, according to state police.

The cause of the crash was not yet known.

Brown joined the Air Force in 1980 and rose through the ranks. Since October 2010, he had been the commandant of The Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy in Washington, D.C.

Throughout his career, he had more than 4,300 hours of experience piloting a variety of aircraft, including B-1s and B-52s.

In a joint statement, Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III mourned the loss of a couple who "dedicated their lives in service to our nation."

"Their loss will be felt across our Air Force and joint team," they said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Two Dead in Indiana Plane Crash 

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(SOUTH BEND, Ind.) -- Two people have died and at least three others were injured on Sunday when a small plane crashed into a neighborhood near an airport in South Bend, Ind., according to a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.

The pilot of the Hawker Beachcraft Premier 1 twin-jet plane, which had taken off from Tulsa, Okla., radioed the tower to report electrical problems while on approach to South Bend Regional Airport.

The plane crashed into the neighborhood, hitting three houses before finally coming to a stop, lodged in a house.

FAA spokesman Roland Herwig in Oklahoma City said there were four people on the plane, and two of them have died.

The crash shattered the calm of a Sunday afternoon in the quiet residential neighborhood.

“We thought a house was on fire on the next street, cause it was just blowing and it was like ash that was going through the air, little pieces,” said  Florence Retek, who lives nearby.  “It was a loud noise and it sounded like a truck had crashed and then we looked out the front window, door and there was smoke.”

The neighborhood was evacuated because of concerns about gas leaking from the plane’s fuel tank.

South Bend Assistant Fire Chief John Corthier said the jet fuel leak made the situation “very dangerous.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Two Planes Clip Each Other on JFK Runway

Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images(NEW YORK) – An Air India plane that had just landed was taxiing down the runway when it bumped a JetBlue plane that was waiting on the tarmac Saturday morning, Federal Aviation Administration officials report.

According to the FAA, the wingtip of the Air India plane clipped the tail of the JetBlue plane at around 6:15 Saturday morning. No passengers or crew on either plane were hurt.

The JetBlue flight was bound for West Palm Beach, Florida, though the visible damage the wing had done to the plane’s rudder necessitated getting a different plane. Passengers boarded a new plane, which left three hours later.

Neither plane was being directed by air traffic controllers at the time of the collision.

FAA investigators are looking into the incident further.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


NJ Pilot 'Had Faith' She, Passenger Would Survive NY River Crash

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Even as the plane she was piloting plummeted toward the frigid waters of New York's Hudson River, Denise De Priester Kok remained calm, cool and collected.

“I had faith in my skills,” Kok told ABC News.  “I had faith in God and I had faith in us as a team [that] together we are going to survive this."

Kok’s “teammate” in the plane was her only passenger, Chris Smidt, 43, of Colonia, N.J.  He and Kok, 39, of East Windsor, N.J., had just departed from an airport in New Jersey on a sightseeing tour around 5:00 p.m. Sunday when their Piper PA-32 plane began experiencing engine failure.

As the pair flew over the Hudson River, somewhere near the George Washington Bridge, the plane began to descend, dropping 400 feet in five seconds, according to ABC News affiliate WABC-TV.

“I was focused like a robot on the landing because it was dark and difficult,” Kok said.

The commercial pilot and certified flight instructor landed the plane smoothly in the Hudson but soon she and Smidt faced another problem.  The plane began to fill with water.

“We’re in the water now but it’s filling up so we’re going to have to bail,” Smidt told rescuers in recently released 911 calls.  “We’re going to the rear of the plane.  The plane is filling up.”

Kok and Smidt abandoned the plane and plunged into the Hudson.  Wearing life vests, they were able to survive nearly 30 minutes in the freezing water before being rescued.

“My adrenaline was spiking so much I was just swimming like I was in the tropics,” Kok said, all the while keeping her calm.

“There wasn’t one second that she wasn’t positive and kept me going,” Smidt said.  “Her training took over right away.”

Kok and Smidt were spotted by a rescue boat piloted by an off-duty police officer who, along with his 12-year-old son, pulled the pair to safety.

“My dad has always told me to be brave and never be scared of helping someone,” said the 12-year-old, Danny Higgins.

Kok and Smidt were treated for hypothermia at a nearby medical center and released.  The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


LISTEN: 911 Call Shows Terror of NY River Plane Crash

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The newly released 911 call from the small plane that crashed in New York’s Hudson River Sunday night shows the terror inside the cockpit as the passenger and pilot struggled to save their lives.

“We’re in the water now but it’s filling up so we’re going to have to bail,” passenger Christopher Smidt told the 911 dispatcher.  “We’re going to the rear of the plane.  The plane is filling up.”

“We’re in the middle of the Hudson River,” he said.  “We’re in the plane.  The plane is taking on water.”

Smidt, 43, of Colonia, N.J., then yelled to the pilot, Denise De Priester Kok, 39, of East Windsor, N.J., to jump into the chilly river waters.

“The plane is going down.  Let’s go.  Get out. Get out. Going head first,” he said.  “Ahhh….The water is freezing.”

Smidt and De Priester Kok’s Piper PA-32 plane went down around 5:30 p.m. Sunday after taking off from the Trenton-Robbinsville Airport in Robbinsville, N.J., on a sightseeing tour.

Wearing life vests, Smidt and De Priester Kok were able to survive nearly 30 minutes in the freezing water before being rescued.  They were treated for hypothermia at a nearby medical center and released, according to officials.

Among the pair’s rescuers were an off-duty police officer who, along with his 12-year-old son, piloted a boat out to Smidt and De Priester Kok’s location.

“[We] saw the victims in the water and they appeared to be in a state of hypothermia, going into shock,” said Daniel Higgins Sr.

“My dad has always told me to be brave and never be scared of helping someone,” added his son, Danny.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Video Shows Murder Suspect Crashing Plane into Parking Lot

Obtained by ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Newly released surveillance video shows a SkyWest pilot suspected of murder crashing a plane at a Utah Airport in July shortly before shooting himself aboard the aircraft.

Brian Joseph Hedglin, 40, of Colorado Springs, Colo., fatally shot himself while aboard the SkyWest aircraft after he broke into the plane at St. George Municipal Airport, according to police at the time of the incident.  SkyWest confirmed that the suspect had been an employee of the company but was on administrative leave.

The surveillance video released Wednesday shows the out of control 50-seat regional jetliner bumping over speed bumps and parking strips in the rental lot before damaging 14 cars on July 17.  The plane crashed into fences and blasted through light poles.

From another view of the video, Hedglin's left wing clips the side of a terminal in the airport.  Even after the plane is out of the frame, its jets continue to kick up debris from the crash.

"His left wing clipped the jet bridge probably making it inoperable," St. George city spokesman Marc Mortenson said at the time of the incident.

Before he committed suicide aboard the plane, Hedglin had been on the run from Colorado, where he allegedly stabbed his 39-year-old girlfriend Christina Lopez Cornejo.  Her body was found on July 13, four days before Hedglin crashed the plane.  The two were members of the Colorado National Guard.

On July 17, Hedglin drove his motorcycle to St. George Municipal Airport and hopped a fence at 12:30 a.m.  He threw a rug over the razor wire fence and used leather gloves to climb down it without detection.

Hedglin boarded the jet, a CRJ200, which was unlocked, and started the engine.  After backing away from the terminal, he pulled forward to head toward the runway but clipped both the jetway and the terminal.  After damaging the plane and unable to take off, he committed suicide.

With the engine still running, police and airline officials found Hedglin's body in the passenger cabin.

A Federal Aviation Administration database confirmed that Hedglin was certified to fly commercially as a captain.

SkyWest is a regional airline based in St. George that operates flights for United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, US Airways and Alaska Airlines with a fleet of 314 aircraft.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Plane Hits Los Angeles Neighborhood; One Dead

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- A small plane crashed into the Los Angeles neighborhood of Westwood Friday evening, leaving smoldering airplane wreckage in a corner yard and at least one dead.

The Los Angeles Fire Department reported one person dead at the scene of the crash, the corner of Glendon and Mississippi avenues, ABC News station KABC reported.

No structures were involved in the crash, KABC reported, adding that the plane was approaching Santa Monica Airport.

An aerial view from a local news chopper showed the scene of the crash -- a corner yard with a smoldering tree trunk surrounded by pieces of a white airplane. Smoke rose from the tree, the wreckage and the yard. Fire crews were at the scene.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Plane Carrying Marriage Proposal Crashes

WLNE(WASHINGTON COUNTY, R.I.) -- A New England pilot whose first attempt at flying a marriage proposal over the shores of Rhode Island literally crash-landed took flight again Tuesday to give the bride-to-be a chance to say yes.

Mark Simmons first took off from the Westerly Airport in Washington County, R.I., around 3 p.m., Monday to fly a “Michelle will you marry me? Mike,” banner proposal for a client over the waters near Block Island.

Nearly 10 minutes into the flight, however, the engine of his Piper Pawnee plane died, according to local ABC affiliate WLNE-TV.

“I got about six miles into the trip and the engine ran rough for a brief second and then completely stopped,” Simmons, the owner of Conn.-based Simmons Aviation, which has a division called Banner Tow-USA, said.

“I just did whatever I had to do to make sure I got on the water safely,” he said.  “I put a Mayday call out and the only person that heard me was Ethan.”

Ethan is Simmons’ 8-year-old son. He heard his dad’s Mayday call over the airport’s radio transmission and initiated the rescue effort by alerting airport personnel and giving them information on his dad’s whereabouts.

“I ran fast but not too fast that I would drop the radio,” Ethan said of his response. “They said that everything would be OK and we had a pilot that was a firefighter too and he was helping.”

Out in the water, Simmons clung to the airplane’s tires for dear life, while on the shores the would-be fiancé who had hired Simmons to fly the banner waited anxiously.

“While it was happening, I was pacing the beach.  I was really worried,” said Mike Flynn, who planned the grand scheme for his girlfriend, Michelle.

Simmons used the plane’s landing gear strapped to his body to keep him afloat for the nearly one hour he had to wait before being rescued.  Boaters nearby saw him waving his orange shorts and rescued him before the Coast Guard could arrive.

Simmons was unhurt in the crash and so the next day he got back in a plane to fulfill the marriage proposal that had been left up in the air.

“He called and was really apologetic and really sincere,” Flynn said of the pilot.  “He said, ‘You know, I would like to continue. … I would like to finish what I started.  I got another plane and I can fly it any day this week.’”

So Simmons flew over the shores of Block Island Tuesday with the “Michelle will you marry me? Mike,” banner.  This time Flynn got down on one knee and popped the question to his girlfriend.

She said yes, but also had a few questions for her now fiancé.

“I wasn’t sure why it took him two days of pacing the beach just to propose to me on the beach,” she said.  “Until I saw the plane.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio