Passenger Jet Carrying at Least 150 Crashes Into Gas Station After Landing in Brazil

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by englishleigh, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. englishleigh

    englishleigh Authentic Southern Belle

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    SAO PAULO, Brazil — A plane with as many as 170 people aboard crashed and burst into flames in Sao Paulo on Tuesday after skidding off a runway that has been criticized as being too short in a driving rain, the nation's airport authority said.

    There were no immediate reports of deaths by authorities, but a witness said he saw one charred body as flames shot into the sky and clouds of black smoke billowed into the air after the crash.

    The Tam airline's Airbus-320 skidded off the runway at Congonhas airport, then crossed a busy road at the height of rush hour in South America's largest city before slamming into a gas station, said Jose Leonardi Mota, a spokesman with airport authority Infraero.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,289696,00.html

    Sounds like no survivors. May also be Americans on board as this airline flies to the U.S., to Miami....
     
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  3. Marthatex

    Marthatex New Member

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    This is just terrible; I just hate it every time I hear of plane crash. This is one of the big ones. So sad for the families. Since it was coming from Southern BRazil to central; maybe not too many Americans. Although Americans are everywhere in the summers.
     
  4. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    Oh gosh. Too short of a runway?! Good Lord.
     
  5. englishleigh

    englishleigh Authentic Southern Belle

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    I know, Martha, when I heard "Airbus 320" I thought, oh, God...
     
  6. Peter Hamilton

    Peter Hamilton New Member

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    More than 200 instantly killed,176 on the plane--nightmare---looks like pilot error but A pilot on CNN said South American runways are more dangerous than in the US--They are shorter and have more buildings right near the runways--prayers to all the families
     
  7. Marthatex

    Marthatex New Member

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    I haven't really read about it, but looks like maybe he could have stopped the planed if he hadn't run into the gas station.
     
  8. englishleigh

    englishleigh Authentic Southern Belle

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    I called a close friend of mine in OH whose husband travels to Sao Paulo a LOT on business, just to make certain he was okay. He was home, thank goodness. He said those runways down there are something else and he'd just said the last time he was there that he wouldn't be surprised if there was a major air disaster somewhere down there at some point.

    So very, very, very sad.
     
  9. SeriouslySearching

    SeriouslySearching Active Member

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    I hate hearing of any airline crashes. On the ground, in the air, anywhere. You know people are waiting so anxiously on both ends of the trip and it would be such a nightmare to know it was their plane. <sigh> I can't imagine how hard it must be to sit and wait on word of survivors.
     
  10. fran

    fran Former Member

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    I heard on a news report a short while ago, that there had been a hearing regarding this particular airport and that the runways were too short for the size of planes. It was determined it wasn't cost effective to lengthen the runways.

    Guess $$ is more important than human life. :(

    Bet they're rethinking this decision now.

    I understand this is the busiest airport in Brazil.

    JMHO
    fran
     
  11. Masterj

    Masterj Active Member

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    What a horrible tragedy.

    This is a bit O/T but typically on this same week every summer, my family and I are on vacation in New Hampshire and on that vacation something big and terrible always happens in the news. Here are just a couple of things I can remember happening during this time:pan Am crash, JFK Jr.'s plane crash, searching for Molly Bish, Big Dig Tunnel collapse last year, Manhattan apartment building explosion last year. There are a bunch more, but my memory is failing me. It is to the point that every year when we get up there we jokingly and nervously say "well, I wonder what's going to happen in the world this year."
     
  12. englishleigh

    englishleigh Authentic Southern Belle

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    Last night was also the 11-year anniversary of TWA 800 crashing off Long Island, en route to Paris.
     
  13. Nocgirl

    Nocgirl New Member

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    Not only is the runway too short for a large jetliner, it was not grooved so puddles probably formed on the runway causing the jet to hydroplane, which is what they suspect happened.

    There is no margin of error at all on a runway that size. The airport briefly banned large passenger jets but then decided it would hurt the local economy so they allowed it, even though it was too short. This city put money before safety. Very sad. Those people burned alive.
     
  14. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    I am hearing that the pilot may have been trying to abort the landing but there was not enough power.
    More info on this runway and also US airport concerns:

    >>The runway has long been the source of controversy.
    Just five months ago, a Brazilian federal court banned takeoffs and landings of three types of large jets because of safety concerns. The ban was short-lived, removed by an appeals court that said it would cause severe economic hardship to the airport.
    In the wake of the crash, plus cascading complaints from pilots, the courts could become involved again.
    snipped
    Pilots say that are told to touch down on the first 1,000 feet of runway but to abort their landings if they overshoot that landing zone.The deteriorating air traffic system in Brazil could be a harbinger of things to come in the United States, where many of the same issues exist.

    Pilots detest the 7,000-foot runway at New York&#8217;s LaGuardia, which they say is too short for wet-weather landings. Although it is 700 feet longer than the runway in Sao Paulo, the LaGuardia runway encounters more bad weather, including snowy, icy, or rainy conditions.
    Separate crashes of USAir flights in September 1989 and March 1992 killed a total of 13 people and injured 98 when planes skidded off wet runways into Browery Bay. Numerous other skidding incidents have also occurred at LaGuardia.
    Washington's Reagan National and Boston's Logan Airports are similarly treacherous, pilots say, plagued by short runways, heavy traffic and nearby high rises.<<
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/07/travel_airports.html
     
  15. Buzz Mills

    Buzz Mills New Member

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    The perfect recipe for disaster. A newly surfaced, as yet ungrooved, runway, coupled with a driving rain. They said the brakes on an airliner are only activated when the wheels touch the ground and begin turning. They suspect that with the hydroplaneing that occurred, the wheels didn't begin turning, and therefore, there were no brakes. They said the aircraft, appeared to attempt to take off again.
     
  16. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    Few details were initially available following the nightmarish crash, but a spokesman for the airport said the Airbus-320 skidded off the road and crashed into a fuelling station outside Congonhas Airport. A local fire official said the pilot of a doomed Brazilian airliner apparently tried to lift the plane back into the air before crashing.

    http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_12970.aspx

    I also heard the plane crashed right into the Tam building
     
  17. Marthatex

    Marthatex New Member

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    I didn't know it was raining; I hate when they use a too-short runway; takes a really skilled pilot (remember the plane in Chicago that rammed through the fence into a car; could have been so much worse, even though it killed a poor little boy. (or was that Dallas) The older, smaller, fields often have too-short runways for huge planes.
     
  18. Nocgirl

    Nocgirl New Member

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    Well there is just no room for error. A huge jetliner, in bad weather, landing on too short a runway. The pilots should have known better, the airline should have known better. It's likely the pilot has landed at this airport before. In bad weather, everything changes.


    This seems like a disaster waiting to happen and everyone knew it was risky, but still allowed it. :banghead:
     

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