D.C. December 29, 2017
One Of The Worst Disasters In U.S. History Happened Right Here In DC
DC has a fascinating history. It is certainly a city that makes the news on a regular basis. But for Washingtonians, there are some DC stories that stand out in our minds because of the terror they inflicted and toll they took on our city. The 1982 Air Florida Flight 90 plane crashes is one of those examples. This plane crash was a terrible disaster in the DC area.
On January 13, 1982 a Boeing 737 plane took off from National Airport headed for Florida. It was a snowy day and when the plane left at 3:59pm, the the snow was falling heavily.
The plane began to experience problems almost immediately due to the ice build up on the wings. The recording of the cockpit conversation during take off shows that the anti-ice systems were not turned on, despite the freezing cold weather.
We will never know why the flight crew did not turn on this importance piece of equipment.
The plane was airborne for less than two minutes. It crashed into the 14th Street Bridge at 4:01pm.
It hit six cars and a truck on the bridge and tore away part of the bridge before crashing into the icy waters below.
Many of the passengers died on impact.
But several survived and were stuck in the freezing waters waiting for help from the coast guard and the helicopters.
The helicopter, which was operated by Park Police, began dropping makeshift ropes to the five passengers still alive in the water. One of these survivors, Arland D. Williams Jr, helped to pass the rope to other survivors instead of using it for himself. Tragically, he succumbed to hyperthermia and drowned before he was able to be saved himself. The 14th Street Bridge was renamed the Arland D Williams Bridge in his honor.
By the end of the day, 74 people on the plane and four motorists on the bridge died.
The tragedy is still remembered in DC to this day. In the video below, you can see some of the footage of the plane crash.
Do you remember this horrific disaster in DC?