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14th Street Bridge, the Air Florida Crash, and Subway Disaster

The Air Florida crash on Wednesday, January 13, 1982 is very well covered, from an aviation standpoint.

There was a major snowstorm that was covering the Washington, D.C. area with considerable accumulation, and there was an early release of federal employees, and heavy strain on the region's transportation system.

The plane had taken off from nearby Washington National Airport, and due to wing icing and pilot error, the aircraft lost altitude and crashed into the 14th Street Bridge and the Potomac River less than a mile from the airport. There were only 5 survivors out of 79 people on board. The plane was a Boeing 737 two-engine jet airliner that was Air Florida Flight 90. The aircraft descended nose-high and tail-low, and at 4:01 PM, the tail struck the deck and parapet.栏杆, 低墙, 扶手, 胸墙 of the Rochambeau Bridge (the northbound span), struck seven vehicles, killed 4 motorists and injured 4 motorists, and went into the frozen river between the Rochambeau Bridge and the express span (they are a couple hundred yards apart). The aircraft shattered the surface ice, and broke into multiple large pieces which quickly sank into the river. There were a total of 78 fatalities. Traffic was already stopped in a traffic jam, due to the storm. Between the effects of the storm, and the rescue efforts around the 14th Street bridges, the 12-lane complex ceased to function, and closed to traffic. The George Washington Parkway, which parallels the Potomac River in Virginia, also closed near the crash site.

A rapid rail transit 运输, 运输线accident occurred about one half hour after the air crash. At 4:30 PM. This occurred on the Blue/Orange Line, and resulted in the both lines being shut down. At that time, the Blue Line ran from National Airport Station in Arlington to Addison Road Station in Maryland, and the Orange Line ran from Ballston Station in Arlington to New Carrolton Station in Maryland. The derailment occurred on the section where the two lines share the same cross-town subway route, and the wrecked subway car blocked both tracks. The other (then) open line, the Red Line, was not affected.

So in a one hour period, the D.C. area lost the use of its (at that time) busiest airport, busiest expressway, and busiest subway line. The (by far) widest/busiest bridge from D.C. to Virginia closed, and the one rapid rail transit line from D.C. to Virginia closed. This was a true area-wide transportation disaster, a major chunk of the air, highway, and rail system closed.

The subway accident had no connection whatsoever with the air crash. The snowstorm put increased passenger loads on Metro, but that is a casual factor at best for causing the derailment.

During the period of closures of the subway tunnel and the 14th Street Bridge, there were major traffic and transit jams. Ten-mile-long peak period backups were common on some major thoroughfares. Some trips that ordinarily took 40 minutes by auto or transit, took 3 to 4 hours, and peak periods stretched far beyond normal peak period times. The snowstorm on the day of the disasters dropped an average of 6 inches of snow, and many places got 4 more inches by the next morning. Snow removal was complicated by sub-freezing temperatures and generally bad traffic conditions.

The Rochambeau Bridge was later renamed the Arland D. Williams, Jr. Memorial Bridge, after the heroic Flight 90 passenger who perished while saving others from the icy waters.

"He was about 50 years old, one of half a dozen survivors clinging to twisted wreckage bobbing in the icy Potomac when the first helicopter arrived. To the copter's two-man Park Police crew he seemed the most alert. Life vests were dropped, then a flotation ball. The man passed them to the others. On two occasions, the crew recalled last night, he handed away a life line from the hovering machine that could have dragged him to safety. The helicopter crew - who rescued five people, the only persons who survived from the jetliner - lifted a woman to the riverbank, then dragged three more persons across the ice to safety. Then the life line saved a woman who was trying to swim away from the sinking wreckage, and the helicopter pilot, Donald W. Usher, returned to the scene, but the man was gone," from "A Hero - Passenger Aids Others, Then Dies", The Washington Post, January 14, 1982.

January 13, 1982 brought one of the worst blizzards in history to Washington, D.C. Businesses closed early, schools closed their doors, and even Congress recessed early. Washington's National Airport had been closed all morning, but re-opened by 12:00 pm. Sitting at gate B12 was Boeing 737-222B, in command of the aircraft, were Capt. Larry Wheaton and First Officer Roger Pettit, both relatively young pilots enjoying their new jobs at Air Florida. The flight was scheduled to depart at 2:15, but both men knew that time would come and go.

Just before 1:40 pm, the airport was closed so that crews could plow the field's one instrument runway, 18/36. It was scheduled to re-open at 2:30. Despite the delay, Air Florida elected to begin the boarding process, and all passengers were on board by 2:30. Meanwhile, Capt. Wheaton had ordered de-icing to begin. The tower told him to expect a further delay, and he requested that de-icing be halted. 'Palm 90' was number 11 for departure when the airport reopened.

At 3:00, Wheaton instructed de-icing to continue, and the job was done by 3:10. Ground personnel reported only a "light dusting" of snow on the wings. At 3:23 pm, 'Palm 90' was cleared to push from the gate and the towing牵引equipment was attached. Due to the deep accumulations of snow, however, the TUG was unsuccesful in its attempts to push the aircraft, and contrary to company policy, Wheaton elected to use the reverse thrust to back the airplane out of the gate. The reversers were engaged for a minute and a half, but only succeeded in sucking large amounts of storm debris into the engines. Finally, cooler heads prevailed, and a TUG with chains attached was called in. The aircraft was successfully pushed back.

'Palm 90' then proceeded to taxi into position behind a New York Air DC-9, the last of sixteen aircraft in line for takeoff. With a light snow still falling, Wheaton decided to use the hot exhaust from the preceeding DC-9's engines to melt the snow off the wings, which in the end only had the effect of pushing it to the trailing portion of the wing to refreeze. The aircraft's anti-ice system was unable to de-ice this portion of the wing, not that it made any difference.

While running through the takeoff checklist, the following conversation took place:
CAM-2: Air conditioning and pressurization?
CAM-1: Set.
CAM-2: Engine anti-ice?
CAM-1: Off.

When the Cockpit 驾驶员座舱Voice Recorder tape was played back after recovery, there was much disagreement about Capt. Wheaton's response to "anti-ice." Many of the investigators could not accept the fact that, despite the freezing 20 degree temperatures and 25+ inches of snow on the ground, Wheaton said "off." The tapes were taken to the FBI Labs in Washington for analasys, and it was concluded that the word was, in fact, "off." Apparently, despite the weather, the crew had forgotten to activate the anti-ice systems.

At 3:59 pm, 'Palm 90' was cleared for takeoff with the remark "no delay on departure, if you will, traffic's two and a half out for the runway," added a few seconds later by ATC. Pettit advanced the throttles, and quickly responded "real cold, real cold," implying that the engines reached the takeoff EPR of 2.04 before the throttles had been fully advanced. Throughout the entire takeoff roll, the First Officer tried to inform the Captain that something wasn't right, but it was in vain. Wheaton was sure everything was in order:

15:59:51 CAM-1 It's spooled. Real cold, real cold.

15:59:58 CAM-2 God, look at that thing. That don't seem right, does it? Uh, that's not right.
16:00:09 CAM-1 Yes it is, there's eighty.
16:00:10 CAM-2 Naw, I don't think that's right. Ah, maybe it is.
16:00:21 CAM-1 Hundred and twenty.
16:00:23 CAM-2 I don't know.
16:00:31 CAM-1 Vee-one. Easy, vee-two.

(File Photo)
At rotation speed, the aircraft pitched up sharply, causing Wheaton to reply "easy." It was a known fact that ice buildup on the wings of a 737 can cause a tendancy to pitch up. Pettit's correction of the nose-up attitude, however, failed to resolve the problem and the stickshaker immediately began to sound. Wheaton called "Forward, forward, easy. We only want 500," refering to the altitude at which the airplane had to be to make the 40 degree turn to the left around the Washington Monument and the restricted airspace over the Capitol.

"Come on. Forward, forward. Just barely climb," exclaimed Wheaton as the aircraft continued to stall. Moments later the aircraft was no longer climbing, but falling back to earth.

"Stalling, we're falling."
"Larry, we're going down Larry."
"I know it."

These are the last words spoken from the cockpit of 'Palm 90.' The aircraft came down directly on top of the 14th Street Bridge, which spans the Potomac River and is a major route from the Virginia suburbs into the city. Four automobiles were crushed, resulting in five deaths on the ground. The aircraft then impacted the icy water and quickly sank to the bottom. In the hours after the crash, only four passengers and a Flight Attendant would be pulled alive from the icy water.

The investigation of the crash concluded that the combination of the crew's use of thrust reverse on the ground, and their failure to active the engine anti-ice system, caused the crash. By failing to activate the engine anti-ice, the large amouts of snow and ice that were sucked into the engines during reverse thrust use was allowed to remain there, unchallenged. The ice buildup on the compressor inlet pressure probe, the probe which measures engine power, can cause false readings, as was the case here. The indications in the cockpit showed an Engine Pressure Ratio of 2.04, while the power plants were in reality only producing 1.70 EPR, or about 70% of available power. The combination of the ice covered wings and low power caused an immediate stall 停止, 迟延on takeoff that resulted in 74 lives lost.
Aire crashes

The following are the most recent fatal or significant airliner events, listed with the most recent event first, from around the world. The numbered events include all of those involving either jet passenger flights and turboprop accidents involving models with more than 10 passengers seats where the aircraft involved are used in airline service in North America and western Europe, and where at least one passenger was killed. The passenger fatalities in the numbered events may be due to accidents, hijackings, sabotage, or military action. The events that are not numbered may or may not include fatalities, and are included because they meet the criteria of a significant event as defined by

  1. 25 January 2010; Ethiopian Airlines 737-800; Flight 409; near Beirut, Lebanon: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Beirut, Lebanon to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after takeoff. All 82 passengers and eight crew members were killed.
    More information on the Ethiopian Airlines Crash
    Initial report on this event
    Fatal 737 plane crashes

25 December 2009; Northwest Airlines A330-300 (N820NW); Flight 253; near Detroit, MI: A passenger on a Northwest Airlines A330-300(N820NW) apparently attempted to detonate an explosive device while the aircraft was approaching Detroit. Flight 253 was an international flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, and early reports are that a passenger, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian national, allegedly had the device strapped to one of his legs, and that the device was triggered during descent (about 20 minutes before landing) and started a small fire. The flight, operated by Northwest Airlines using an Airbus 330-300 aircraft with 278 passengers and 11 crew members on board, landed safely, and the suspect, the only person injured, was transported to a local hospital for treatment of serious burns.

This plane crash resulted in no fatalities, and is not a fatal event as defined by, but is included because of the seriousness of the event.

Other Northwest Airlines plane crashes and serious incidents
Other A330 crashes and serious incidents
Wikipedia page on this accident

22 December 2009; American Airlines 737-800 (N977AN); Flight 331; Kingston, Jamaica:The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Miami, FL to Kingston, Jamaica. The aircraft landed during a rainstorm, and was unable to stop on the runway. After departing the runway, the aircraft went beyond the airport fence, and crossed a road before coming to rest on a beach. The landing gear collapsed, both engines separated from the wings, and there were two major breaks in the fuselage, but all 148 passengers and six crew members survived. The landing was carried out with a slight tail wind

This plane crash resulted in no fatalities, and is not a fatal event as defined by, but is included because of the seriousness of the event.

Additional Information about this event
Other American Airlines plane crashes
Other 737 crashes
Wikipedia page on this accident

28 November 2009; Avient Aviation MD-11F; Flight 324; Shanghai, China: The aircraft was on was on an unscheduled cargo flight from Shanghai, China to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan when it crashed. Reportedly, one eyewitness, who is a pilot based in Shanghai, stated that the main gear left the ground just before the end of the runway, with the aircraft gaining very little altitude, before impacting approach lights and antennas and falling back onto the ground. Another report indicated that the aircraft's tail struck the runway one or more times during takeoff. Three of the seven crew members were killed. More crash details, including photos, available at

This plane crash was a cargo flight without passengers, and is not a fatal event as defined by, but is included because of the seriousness of the event.

  1. 12 November 2009; RwandAir CRJ-100ER; Flight 205; Kigali, Rwanda: A RwandAir CRJ-100ER was on a scheduled flight from Kigali, Rwanda to Kampala, Uganda, ran into a terminal at the Kigali airport. The aircraft reportedly had and unspecified engine problem shortly after taking off and the crew returned to the airport. According to eyewitnesses, the plane first taxied to a parking position on the apron, but then accelerated, knocked over blast fences, and hit the the concrete wall of the airport building containing the VIP lounge. The nose gear collapsed and the forward portion of the aircraft penetrated the building up to about the position of the forward passenger doors. One of the three crew members and one of the 10 passengers were killed.
    Additional accident information and photos
    Canadair Regional Jet Crashes

9 October 2009;CASA-212, near Fonds-Verrettes, Haiti:The aircraft was on a routine surveillance flight near the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, when it crashed in a mountainous area about 12 miles (20 km) west of the village of Fonds-Verrettes, Haiti. All 11 personnel, which included military members from Jordan and Uruguay, were killed. The aircraft flight had been supporting the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, or MINUSTAH.

8 August 2009; Eurocopter and Piper Saratoga, Hudson River, near New York City:A single-engine aircraft and a sightseeing helicopter collided early Saturday afternoon over the Hudson River near Manhattan. Three people were aboard the single-engine Piper PA-32R-300 (N71MC), and the flight plan indicated the aircraft was heading from Teterboro Airport in Teaneck, New Jersey to Ocean City, New Jersey. The Saratoga took off from Teterboro shortly before noon local time. On board were a pilot and two passengers, including one child. The Liberty Harbor Sightseeing Tours helicopter, a Eurocopter AS350 (N401LH), took off from Pier 30 in Manhattan, near West 30th Street, and reportedly had one pilot and five Italian tourists on board. All nine occupants were killed.

Visit the News for more information.

Fatal Midair Airline Crashes
Fatal Eurocopter AS350 Events
Fatal Piper Saratoga Events (PA-32R-300)

  1. 24 July 2009; Aria Air Ilyushin 62M, Flight 1525; Mashhad, Iran: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Tehran, Iran to Mashhad, Iran. After landing, there was a tire burst and the aircraft skidded on the runaway, hitting an airport fence and an electricity pylon.

    The normal landing speed for an Ilyushin 62 would have been between 145 and 165 mph, but this accident aircraft reportedly landed at a speed of 197 mph. The airplane ran off the runway and collided with a wall located about a kilometer from the runway.

    The front section of the aircraft was completely destroyed in the crash, and there were 16 fatalities among the 153 passengers and 13 crew members.

    This is the first fatal crash for Aria Air, and the 12th fatal passenger crash for the Ilyushin 62 since it began passenger service in the 1960s. This crash comes less than ten days after the last fatal plane crash in Iran. All 168 passengers and crew on that Caspian Airlines flight were killed.

    Shortly after the accident, the airline's flight certification license was revoked by the Iranian civil aviation authorities.

    More Details at

    Fatal Events for Airlines from Africa and the Middle East
    Aria Air Wikipedia page

  2. 15 July 2009; Caspian Airlines Tu154M, Flight 7908; near Jannatabad, Iran: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Tehran, Iran to Yerevan, Armenia, and crashed near a village in the Qazvin region of Iran about 16 minutes after takeoff.

    The aircraft was completely destroyed in the crash, and all 153 passengers and 15 crew members were killed. Among the victims were members of Iran's youth judo team, including eight athletes and two coaches.

    This is the first fatal crash for Caspian Airlines, and the 19th fatal passenger crash involving the Tu154 since 1990. The most recent fatal Tu154 crash was an Iran Air Tours crash in September 2006. The Caspian Airlines crash represents the fourth fatal Tu154 airliner crash involving an Iranian airline. the previous three were all with Iran Air Tours.

    More Details at

    Fatal Events for Airlines from Africa and the Middle East
    Caspian Airlines Plane Crash Wikipedia page

  3. 30 June 2009; Yemenia Airlines; A310-300; Flight 626; near Moroni, Comoros Islands: The aircraft was on a flight from SanaÕa, Yemen to Moroni, Comoros Islands with 142 passengers and 11 crew on board. The aircraft crashed in the sea near the town of Mitsamiouli, which is on the main island of Grande Comore, in the early morning hours of June 30th. One passenger, a twelve-year-old girl named Bahia Bakari, was rescued about 10 hours after the crash, and is the sole survivor of this plane crash. The girl's mother was also killed in the crash.

Washing dc

Everyman (after 1485)

Everyman is the best surviving example of the type of Medieval drama known as the morality play. Moralities evolved side by side with the mystery plays, although they were composed individually and not in cycles. The moralities employed allegory.寓言 to dramatize the moral struggle Christianity envisions 想象, 预想universal in every individual.

Original image courtesy Renascence Editions.

Transparent image copyright Luminarium.

Everyman, a short play of some 900 lines, portrays a complacent.自满的, 得意的 Everyman who is informed by Death of his approaching end. The play shows the hero's progression from despair and fear of death to a "Christian resignation 顺从 that is the prelude to redemption."1 First, Everyman is deserted by his false friends: his casual companions, his kin, and his wealth. He falls back on 求助于his Good Deeds, his Strength, his Beauty, his Intelligence, and his Knowledge. These assist him in making his Book of Accounts, but at the end, when he must go to the grave, all desert him save his Good Deeds alone. The play makes its grim.严酷的 point that we can take with us from this world nothing that we have received, only what we have given.

The play was written near the end of the fifteenth century. It is probably a translation from a Flemish play, Elckerlijk (or Elckerlyc) first printed in 1495, although there is a possibility that Everyman is the original, the Flemish play the translation. There are four surviving versions of Everyman, two of them fragmentary.

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