Wednesday, July 18, 2007

TAM Flight 3054

I had a brief moment of panic yesterday. After a couple weeks visiting me, Tyler departed at 6:30 pm from Rio headed to Sao Paulo. A flight to Sao Paulo takes about an hour. Sometime after 7, Fatima, the lady I'm living with, came running in and said there was a plane crash in Sao Paulo. My heart sank, and I thought it could be Tyler's plane.

I kept trying to find info and finally found out it wasn't his flight. What a relief. (article)

Alas, it was actually at the other airport in Sao Paulo, not the one he was traveling to. The accident, which will go down as the worst in Brazilian history, happened just before 7. The plane had 186 passengers on board and was landing in the rain and wasn't able to stop in time on the runway. One report says that the pilot actually tried to take off again, and the jet then crossed a major highway and crashed into a building, creating a large explosion and killing everyone on board plus an undetermined number on the ground.

It's a tragedy by any means, and the second big plane crash in as many years. What will linger here is that the likely cause of the crash- too short of a runway unprepared for landings in rain - was known and complained about. One court even ruled that large planes wouldn't be allowed to land there, but a higher court overturned that ruling on economic grounds.

Today the country is mourning, but tomorrow the debate will begin. I'm just glad it wasn't Tyler's plane.


Blogger Judy said...

I also had a not-so-brief moment of panic when I heard about this great tragedy. I knew you were traveling and thought there might have been a possibility you were on that plane. Well, my love, I'm so glad you are still in this world. It would have been a great loss for us who love you more than I can articulate. Love, Judy (your favorite aunt!!)

3:15 PM  

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