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January 13, 2010 / Dave Gorham

Air Florida Flight 90

Today is the 28th anniversary of the crash of Air Florida’s Flight 90 into the icy Potomac River near Washington DC; January 13, 1982.

Source: Wiki

This is one of those events that I remember exactly where I was when it happened. I was a young Air Force meteorologist stationed at Andrews Air Force Base. One of the Andrews forecasters, a supervisor of mine, lost her husband when the crippled jet landed on the 14th Street Bridge; he was one of the four motorists on the bridge killed by the plane. Her husband was an Air Force captain stationed at the Pentagon.

Despite the sadness this day brings to many, I can’t help but think how this tragedy continues to affect each and every one of us when we board a plane during the winter months. This crash brought about changes to both pilot training and aircraft deicing procedures. Not only that, but the crash lead to improvements in rescue harnesses now used in helicopter recoveries. From a weather perspective, icing forecasts continue to be an integral part of every commercial, military and general aviation flight weather briefing and are part of the aviation weather video series “Aviation Weather Today” we here at ImpactWeather produce each day.



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