Friday, February 13, 2009

Plane crash in Buffalo. Prayers everywhere else.

You never want to wake up to news of a major plane crash. Anywhere. You never want anything like this to happen close to home. Continental Connection Flight 3407 (operated by Colgan Air) crashed into a house in Clarence Center, about 30 kilometers outside Buffalo, NY last night, killing all 49 souls on board, and one person in the house.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport is a major feeder airport for the Toronto region. Canada being what it is, it's a lot more expensive to fly out of a Canadian airport than an American one. So Canucks who live near the border often use smaller airports just over the border to save more than a trivial amount of money. It's a familiar airport to me - indeed, I have close family scheduled to fly into Buffalo later today. The plane, a Dash-8 Q400, is also familiar to me. I've flown it often, always enjoying the fact that the "-8" is a Canadian success story, designed and built by Bombardier in Toronto.

Ever since US Airways Flight 1549 safely landed in the Hudson last month, its crew - especially the pilot, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger - have rightfully received accolades for seemingly pulling off the impossible. The Buffalo crash reminds us of just how exceptional a safe landing following a catastrophic in-air event can be. Just like the US Airways event, the National Transportation Safety Board will ultimately find out what brought this plane down. Initial speculation centers around rime icing, sudden and severe buildup of ice on the plane's wings and control surfaces, but it could take months to confirm the actual cause and sequence of events.

Whatever the ultimate cause, it doesn't change anything for the families of the victims. Please say a prayer for them.

13 comments:

Daryl said...

Just a horrible situation ... and I am sure the crew on that plane did their best, what they were trained to do .. and I wonder if those unbelievably strong winds we had yesterday played a role ...

kenju said...

I turned on the TV as soon as I got up this morning and was met by that horrible news. They were doing a segment on a beautiful young woman named Ellie, a 2nd year-law-student from FLA, who was coming to visit family. I cried like a baby, and said prayers for them all.

Marion said...

I just heard the horrible news on the radio when I woke up this morning. My prayers are sent to the families and victims involved in this terrible tragedy.

PreciseDisarray said...

It is definitely an awful thing to wake up to- the news splattered all over the tv and websites pertaining to my home town; it was hard to believe at first. It is so intensely sad..

Mel Fraase said...

That's so sad - we'll pe praying for those families. Thanks

bobbie said...

So tragic. I've been saying a lot of prayers lately for so many such tragedies.

utenzi said...

I hadn't heard about the crash yet so your post was a surprise to me, Carmi. I went to college near Buffalo so I know the area. A tragic event, perhaps made worse by the uncertainty as to the cause.

Mike Althouse said...

It's almost as if, in light of the Miracle on the Hudson, there is a feeling that maybe it could happen again - that airplane catastrophes can somehow now be averted. The sad reality, however, remains - when something goes wrong in mid-air the result is usually tragic. Still, flying is statistically a very safe form of transportation. That means absolutely nothing to the families of the 50 who perished, though.

Here from Tanya this morning.

Pagan Sphinx said...

This is the first I've heard of this. How very, very tragic. One just never knows...

I know it's sentimental but it's a good reminder that we shouldn't let a day pass without letting those closest to us that we love them. And we should try to mend fences whenever we can because someone close to us may be taken away within a few seconds; without notice.

My heart is with the families of the victims.

susiej said...

Carmi, your title says so much... Prayers everywhere else. Yes, there is.

Anonymous said...

The definition of irony:

If the person in the house stayed at home to avoid any accidents or danger, because it was Friday the Thirteenth.

Trish A. Dekafobia

Wendy said...

How tragic! I heard this on the news. Very sad for everybody.
I will hold them in my prayers.

Catherine said...

I did see a mention of this in our newspaper, but here downunder it has been rather swamped by the ongoing tragedy of the Australian bush fires.

Both of course are dreadful for those involved.