Re: old DC10 crash in Portland

From: (Einar Traa)
Organization: Tektronix Laboratories, Tektronix, Inc., Beaverton, OR
Date:         01 Mar 94 01:31:43 PST
References:   1 2 3
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  or MIME structure

It was a DC8.  I saw it go down, although I didn't see the impact, and
I didn't realize it was even a crash until I heard it on the news a
few hours later.  My wife and I were driving east on I84, east of
122nd off-ramp when she asked "what's that airplane doing over there?"
I assured her they know what they are doing, and we drove on.  The DC8
was coming towards us, but much lower than normal approach, and
veering south instead of slightly north of the freeway.

The initial problem was a broken damper strut, which allowd the
landing gear to come down hard.  The crew were concerned that the gear
may have been damaged, and were circling away from the airport for
several hours while evaluating the situation. Finally they were low
enough on fuel they had to land, and discovered they had waited too
long.  When they knew they couldn't make the air port, they saw a
green patch in the city, and put it down at around 156th and Burnside.
Two houses were flattened, both empty at the time.  About 10 people
were killed.  The captain survived, lost his license, and has been
spending most of the time since trying prove that the landing gear was
broken.  The FAA thinks that broken or not, they still wanted him to
put the airplane down at the airport.  I don't think he has his
license back yet.

The captain said afterwards that he considered landing on the
Columbia, or on I84.  I sometimes wonder what it would have been like
to come face to face with a DC8 on the freeway.