From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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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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.