Another plane crash?
November 12, 2001 6:37 AM   Subscribe

Another plane crash? I just heard that a 767 crashed over Queens in good weather? Anyone see anything on this? It is 9:36AM EST
posted by Davezilla (195 comments total)
 
I just heard it too, looking around for info....
posted by Hildegarde at 6:38 AM on November 12, 2001


Yes, an American Airlines 767 that was inbound to JFK has crashed in Queens. Aparently 4 buildings surrounding are on fire. Keeping an eye on CNN.
posted by brian at 6:39 AM on November 12, 2001


CNN has video I just saw. Flight was inbound to JFK airport.
posted by mikewas at 6:39 AM on November 12, 2001


just had a news flash on the radio in London ... plane down in Queens, no more info ...
posted by walrus at 6:39 AM on November 12, 2001


CBS is running coverage right now. Initial reports says it's a 767 (same that hit the towers), unknown origin and destination.
posted by alan at 6:40 AM on November 12, 2001


bbcs got a live stream
posted by monkeyJuice at 6:43 AM on November 12, 2001


Fuck me. I am supposed to fly out of Newark soon, and all this makes me want to stay home more.
posted by adampsyche at 6:43 AM on November 12, 2001


BBC story (with picture, minimal info)
posted by walrus at 6:45 AM on November 12, 2001


My mom just told me that they closed all the airports.
posted by adampsyche at 6:45 AM on November 12, 2001


According to eye witness accounts the plane was an American Airlines 767. WNBC is reporting that it was a inbound plane, at 9:15 am in the Rockaways section of Queens. Watching the video of the plume of smoke is quite disturbing to say the least.
posted by venegas at 6:46 AM on November 12, 2001


Not that she is the authoritative source, but she has the news on and lives by NYC
posted by adampsyche at 6:47 AM on November 12, 2001


CNBC is saying it's an American Airlines A300 (via the FAA, not AA) - they quoted a flight number (567 or 587) but I've forgotten it.
posted by Vetinari at 6:51 AM on November 12, 2001


NPR confirms all the NY metro airports are closed and the airspace is closed.
posted by BT at 6:51 AM on November 12, 2001


It's flight 587. Taking off from Kennedy to Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep. Confirmed by the FAA, according to CNBC.
posted by Vetinari at 6:53 AM on November 12, 2001


American Airline flight 587, an Airbus A-300, departing JFK on its way to Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
posted by brian at 6:53 AM on November 12, 2001


You know, the first thought that went through my mind when I heard the news was "baggage compartment bomb." As much as we've all read about lapses in the new and improved airport security plans, I think it would still be possible to get Something Bad into the baggage compartment of a jet.
posted by ebarker at 6:53 AM on November 12, 2001


BBC is reporting that the plane was outbound from JFK, heading for Dominican Republic.
posted by luser at 6:58 AM on November 12, 2001


Eye witness reports claim "wing was on fire". Suggests engine failure? To early to be sure.
posted by davehat at 6:58 AM on November 12, 2001


Has anyone heard anything other than recent events that would point to this being a terrorist attack, or is everyone just assuming so? FAA has no information, but the tone of the media reports so far seems to be taking it for granted (they're talking to Lott at the moment on CNBC). I mean, it's a safe assumption, and maybe I'm being naive, but planes do crash on takeoff.

Also: all NYC bridges/tunnels are closed.
posted by Vetinari at 6:59 AM on November 12, 2001


A witness reported seeing a wing on fire upon takeoff. (I think I saw that on MSNBC.)
posted by fnirt at 7:00 AM on November 12, 2001


246 people were on board, with a crew of 9 - cnn (tv)
posted by mabelcolby at 7:03 AM on November 12, 2001


I can't get through to anything. I believe it is too soon for us to determine that it was terrorism, but given the events of two months and one day ago, you can't blame anyone for shitting twinkies over this, especially given the "coincidences" (NYC, full of fuel, etc...)
posted by adampsyche at 7:04 AM on November 12, 2001


246 people were on board, with a crew of 9 - cnn (tv)

MSNBC is reporting that the plane could HOLD 246 people and 9 crew. No news on how many were on the flight.
posted by bkdelong at 7:07 AM on November 12, 2001


How can you not assume the worst?
posted by ColdChef at 7:07 AM on November 12, 2001


According to CNN, conflicting info. from FAA re: terrorism. One advisory said there was no reason to believe that was the cause. Another statement by the FAA chief said nothing has been ruled out.
posted by mw at 7:08 AM on November 12, 2001


Unconfirmed reports, the plane was flying to San Domingo from Boston via NY. It was full of kerozene. It seems that this was probably an accident or that's what officials are claiming unofficially or something.
posted by talos at 7:08 AM on November 12, 2001


robots.cnn.com might work if the main site is down.. On Sky News it says they reported an engine failure..
posted by Mossy at 7:08 AM on November 12, 2001


MSNBC said they are receiving several calls from people in Queens that something fell from the plane.
posted by bkdelong at 7:09 AM on November 12, 2001


What happened two months and one day ago? :-)

Since we're speculating, I'm going to speculate that it's not terrorism. Whatever it is, it's more bad news for the airline industry.
posted by jpoulos at 7:11 AM on November 12, 2001


Man, that city can't get a break. Giuliani is saying that there are actually two crash sites; one where the engine hit, another where the rest of the plane hit. Here's Yahoo and CNN stories.
posted by waxpancake at 7:12 AM on November 12, 2001


Asked if terrorism was suspected, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Bill Schumann said, "All options are open at this time. We have very limited information."

I don't think we are going to know anything just an hour after it happened. It wasn't (pray let it stay that way) an obvious thing with multiple airplanes, etc. I just pray that this is the only one. God bless us all.
posted by adampsyche at 7:12 AM on November 12, 2001


This is terrible. If this is a terrorist attack, it only compounds the tragedy for New Yorkers, which is devastating. Condolences to all the families of the victims. But what to do? If war doesn't stop the terror, what will? Could it be Al Qaeda's final fling of terror, or is it just the start?
posted by skylar at 7:12 AM on November 12, 2001


Another eyewitness claims she heard a "pop" and bits fell from plane, then explosion - Fox via Sky (tv). Not making assumptions, just posting info. Witness obviously shaken.
posted by davehat at 7:12 AM on November 12, 2001


Sooner or later after September 11th, a plane was going to crash. Planes crash a few times a year.

It really sucks to say things like "hopefully, it's just a routine crash," but after Sept. 11th, that would be a relief.

So far, from the reports, it doesn't sem very routine. Wings don't just fall off planes.
posted by bondcliff at 7:13 AM on November 12, 2001


Just heard via a friend in New York that there are F16s in the sky over Brooklyn at this moment. Can anyone confirm?
posted by barbelith at 7:15 AM on November 12, 2001


Check out robots.cnn.com this is a load-balanced ad-free server.

For direct links try CNN Story.

I hope it isn't a replay of 9/11...but that is all I can think about now...and that fscking sucks.
posted by plemeljr at 7:15 AM on November 12, 2001


Double robots.cnn.com post. Sorry.

Damn...shouldn't wait to spell check/fact check my story.
posted by plemeljr at 7:17 AM on November 12, 2001


New York Fire Department dispatches 44 trucks, 200 firefighters.
posted by tranquileye at 7:17 AM on November 12, 2001


Wings don't just fall off planes.

They do if an engine explodes, which is what may have happened. Giuliani says an engine crashed separately from the main crash site.

One advisory said there was no reason to believe that was the cause. Another statement by the FAA chief said nothing has been ruled out.

There's nothing "conflicting" about that.
posted by jpoulos at 7:18 AM on November 12, 2001


The Pentagon said surveillance flights in the area; no unusual activity reported

My boyfriend's in the air right now on a Delta flight. I'm scared out of my wits.
posted by hazyjane at 7:18 AM on November 12, 2001


I wouln't be surprised if there were F-16s. I would not expect anything less. Jumping Jesus and his brother Irving. Fuck me. The airline industry is going to take even more of a spanking. Did anyone see the United ads during the World Series? They were begging people to fly.
posted by adampsyche at 7:19 AM on November 12, 2001


Take it easy on the news sites, folks. We may not know for weeks what caused this. No point in stressing CNN's servers.

Of course I only say this so that I can get on.
posted by luser at 7:19 AM on November 12, 2001


the ticker thing at the bottom of headline news says that the pentagon didn't receive any distress calls
posted by mabelcolby at 7:20 AM on November 12, 2001


Local News Reports (Channel 2, CBS) is essentially following the CNN line.

However, Guliani said there are two crash sites: one for the plane and one for an engine. There are some witnesses that said they saw some debri fall before the plane crashed.

Bridges and Tunnels open outbound from Manhattan but closed in-bound. NJ transit closes buses. Metro north closes inbound trains.
posted by TNLNYC at 7:21 AM on November 12, 2001


I am sitting in the East Side of Manhattan; it sure sounds like the fighters are patrolling (the same low-to-the-ground jet roar I recall from September...)
posted by MattD at 7:22 AM on November 12, 2001


Dammit, adampsyche, no matter how many times you ask, I won't fuck you!

Even if it is terroists, remember that their goal is terror. Wig out, and they win. Let's remain calm, folks, as much as we can muster.
posted by jpoulos at 7:22 AM on November 12, 2001


I'm going to speculate that a wing falling off and so forth is not terrorism too. Just bad goddamned luck for a wonderful city battered by terrorism.

It wasn't cargo hold _and_ it wasn't pilot error.

Unless the terrorists got at the engine and planted a bomb on the Tarmac, a possibility.

Actually, am I the only one that remembers a similar incident out of an NYC airport a few years ago?

What about the Concorde?

Planes blow up. When you have a giant metal tube half hollow and partly full of highly explosive material, you gotta expect things will sometimes go wrong.
posted by swerdloff at 7:22 AM on November 12, 2001


It is now being reported that 12 buildings on the ground have been effected.
posted by tranquileye at 7:22 AM on November 12, 2001


all hell is breaking loose, indeed.
posted by lotsofno at 7:23 AM on November 12, 2001


At least it didn't happen twice. And no, I don't believe in jinxes. I'd be a bit surprised if this wasn't an attack of some kind, but...how can we think otherwise at this point.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:23 AM on November 12, 2001


BBC says it doesn't look like terrorism at this point - "There is no indication at the moment that the crash is anything other than an accident. ". Various TV sources confirm F-16's in the sky. Tony Blair has given a press conference refusing to jump to conclusions and extending sympathies.
posted by boneybaloney at 7:23 AM on November 12, 2001


Since we're speculating, I'm going to speculate that it's not terrorism.

Agreed, jpoulos. But, even discounting all the lost lives, it will also negatively affect New Yorkers' and the U.S.'s morale. And that's good for the terrorists. So it seems like another terrible tragedy, whatever caused it.
My first irrational impulse is that the airline industry can't clean up on its own. Security at airports has to be taken over by well-paid federal agents, paid by the government. And more has to be spent on safety inspections. What's an extra ten dollars on every ticket for a safety tax?
It's so sad that money and financial considerations win every time as "cheaper and faster" reach ridiculous proportions.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:24 AM on November 12, 2001


the ticker thing at the bottom of headline news says that the pentagon didn't receive any distress calls

When a pilot is trying to fly a plane with one engine, the last thing he's going to do is call the tower.
posted by bondcliff at 7:26 AM on November 12, 2001


Just heard via a friend in New York that there are F16s in the sky over Brooklyn at this moment. Can anyone confirm?

I don't know if they are F16s, but I definately hear fighter jets flying over manhattan.
posted by andrewraff at 7:26 AM on November 12, 2001


My thoughts go out to everyone in New York City. We're there with you my friends, holding your hand. Stay strong.
posted by tranquileye at 7:29 AM on November 12, 2001


No matter what the cause, I feel terribly for the folks out in Rockaway, the crash site. Apparently that area of Queens lost a lot of fire and policemen on 9/11.
posted by megnut at 7:33 AM on November 12, 2001


David Learmount of Flight International told BBC New Online it was very rare for an Airbus A300 to crash on take-off in good weather, but not completely impossible.

From the BBC story.

I second tranquileye ... this is a horrible thing however it happened. I only hope the casualties are minimal somehow.
posted by walrus at 7:34 AM on November 12, 2001


Don't know if distance does lend perspective, but from the other side of the pond, this thing has accident written all over it.
Still, everyone in NYC has my sympathies and thoughts at the moment, this was the last thing you needed.
posted by iain at 7:34 AM on November 12, 2001


This is copied and pasted directly from CNN.com:

* American Airlines Flight 587 crashes on takeoff in NYC borough of Queens
* FAA: Airbus A300 from JFK airport to Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic
* NYC Port Authority: 246 passengers, 9 crew
* Eyewitness reports explosion on right side of plane
* NYC Mayor Giuliani says two crash sites; 12 buildings affected
* All NYC area airports closed, bridges and tunnels leading into city closed
* Affiliate WCBS reports at least 4 buildings on fire
* New York Fire Department dispatches 44 trucks, 200 firefighters
* The Pentagon said surveillance fights in the area; no unusual activity reported

NEW YORK (CNN) -- An American Airlines jet with 255 people on board crashed Monday in a residential neighborhood after taking off from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
posted by Davezilla at 7:35 AM on November 12, 2001


Agreed. Our thoughts are with the relatives of the hundreds of victims. Any speculation is incidental at the moment to them.
posted by boneybaloney at 7:36 AM on November 12, 2001


There's no evidence to suggest this, but I wonder if the FBI did additional background checks on all airline maintenance workers post-Sept. 11. Infiltrating the plane maintenance apparatus and causing fear and lack of faith in air transport would be a great OBL strategy.
posted by darren at 7:38 AM on November 12, 2001


Swerdloff, I agree that we have no information to go on as to whether or not this was a terrorist attack. But it's not as if planes do indeed blow up all the time. I would argue that aviation fuel is, believe it or not, much less explosive than one would expect; the TWA 800 disaster could be described as one of those one in a million tragedies. Anyway, enough of that: this disaster is terrible for all New Yorkers either way.
posted by skylar at 7:38 AM on November 12, 2001


bbc just reported that there are two crash sites because there was an egine "or some part of the air craft that came off"
posted by jeffvc at 7:39 AM on November 12, 2001


Seeing that all available emergency personnel have been sent to Queens, I hope they left a few people at the U.N., which is currently in General Assembly and which was condemned by name by OBL in his last video.
posted by luser at 7:42 AM on November 12, 2001


Just a thought, would a bird hitting the engine be able to cause an engine explosion? If the plane was taking off it would have been low enough for something like that to happen.

On a side note, I can't stand the media coverage of events like this. One reporter even went so far as to provide the seating layout of the plane. How is that in anyway pertinent? And CNN keeps coaxing eyewitnesses to confirm if they saw an explosion. It's almost like they want this to be a terrorist action.
posted by smcniven at 7:43 AM on November 12, 2001


fear and lack of faith in air transport would be a great OBL strategy

Specially if we do all that work for him/them; as it increasingly appears. Cost-cutting in safety and security are false economies - just think about what it cost the airlines alone - which can have disastrous economic and political consequences.

I blame deregulation; I really do. I've often flown in the U.S.(specially domestic) and never, not in Africa, not in pre-democratic Eastern Europe, have I ever see such atrocious arrangements, time-keeping or general incompetence.

Of course it's very cheap...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:44 AM on November 12, 2001


Has OBL's latest video show up on TRL yet?
posted by darren at 7:46 AM on November 12, 2001


how can we think otherwise at this point

by being rational?
posted by tolkhan at 7:46 AM on November 12, 2001


Just a thought, would a bird hitting the engine be able to cause an engine explosion? If the plane was taking off it would have been low enough for something like that to happen.

It's happened before and, despite the tests done with frozen Purdue Oven Stuffers, it's still possible. This being migration season, a whole flock of birds getting sucked into the engine could do quite a bit of damage.

It is highly unlikely but ANY failure of an engine is highly unlikely.
posted by bondcliff at 7:48 AM on November 12, 2001


Miguel, I'm with you on the false econmies, but I think it's a little soonish to leap to the conclusion that this is about airline cheeseparing. We just don't know what caused this yet, and it may not be the result of cost-cutting.
posted by BT at 7:48 AM on November 12, 2001


Seeing that all available emergency personnel have been sent to Queens, I hope they left a few people at the U.N., which is currently in General Assembly and which was condemned by name by OBL in his last video.

I retract. They've all been mobilized. That says nothing about where they're sent. Sorry.
posted by luser at 7:49 AM on November 12, 2001


For questions related to the crash for the families or friends of possible victims, a phone number has been provided. 1-800-245-0999.
posted by GirlFriday at 7:50 AM on November 12, 2001


Sky News is reporting that the plane came down on a petrol station (on TV not in the link).
posted by boneybaloney at 7:50 AM on November 12, 2001


i thought i remembered something about engines seperating from dc10's in the 1980s, and a google search turned up this: (from crashdatabase.com)


Date: 05/25/1979
Location: Chicago O'Hare, Illinois
Airline: American Airlines
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10
Registration: N110AA
Fatalities/No. Aboard: 271:271 +2
Details: During takeoff just, as the plane lifted from the runway, the left engine and pylon separated from the aircraft damaging the wing and hydraulic system which caused the aircraft to roll and crash. Highest single plane death toll in U.S. aviation history. Asymmetrical stall and the ensuing roll of the aircraft because of the uncommanded retraction of the left wing outboard leading edge slats and the loss of stall warning and slat disagreement indication systems caused by separation of the engine and pylon. Improper maintenance procedures used by American Airlines when dismounting the engines for maintenance, putting strain on the engine mounts.


while it's purely speculation, catastophic airframe failures are not impossible
posted by astirling at 7:54 AM on November 12, 2001


Sky News is reporting that the plane came down on a petrol station (on TV not in the link).

Some woman interviewed off-camera (on Fox TV in the U.S., I think) had said a piece of the engine had landed in a gas station; I expect that's what they're referring to. (As has been said, it appears there are two crash sites.)
posted by mattpfeff at 7:54 AM on November 12, 2001


No tourists taking videos in queens to record the event - or is there footage out there?
Who lives in queens, i ask myself....

Queens County, NY (HRSA report, July 2000)

Population size: 1,975,676
Population density (people per square mile): 18,125
Individuals living below poverty level: 16.3%
Age distribution
Under Age 18: 22.6%
Age 65-84: 12.9%
Age 85+: 1.7%

Tradgedy for all involved, my thoughts are with you. No mefis in queens...?
'Accident' is a word increasingly replaced by the expression 'human error'. I would say that this is progress - the question would be, as Miguel has pointed out, how did an unsafe plane get into the air. You would have thought that safety would be a high priority for an airline in the present atmosphere. Or, has all the focus been soley on 'security'?
posted by asok at 7:57 AM on November 12, 2001


Damn. I was so wanting to be the one to respond and say that they throw frozen turkeys into aircraft engines to test them. Foiled again!
posted by adampsyche at 7:58 AM on November 12, 2001


The pic here seems to show the engine in the gas station, although it doesn't appear to have suffered fire damage.
posted by boneybaloney at 8:01 AM on November 12, 2001


"Santo Domingo, holy shit!" -- my first thought when someone told me about it this morning. I used to go there every summer in the '80s, and my cousin wants to go back this Christmas. Talk about doing a mental tally of your relatives to see who just might be in that plane, knowing the destination. Also, the Dominican Republic is popular with celebrities for quickie divorces and with foreigners as a resort area, for what that's all worth.

Airbus' are fat little planes, and a flight to the DR takes 2 hours from Miami alone. I'm guessing this was potentially a nonstop flight from JFK, so that baby was loaded full of passengers and chock-full to the brim with fuel. And if it was heading out over Queens, most of the trip was going to be over the Atlantic, so... either the bomb was timed to go off while it was still over populated land, or... just really, really bad timing all around.
posted by evixir at 8:01 AM on November 12, 2001


This is ridiculous. CNN is asking a pilot if the engine would have fallen off as a result of overstressing the plane because of a struggle in the cockpit.

It's one thing to speculate on causes, its another to create an implausible scenario.
posted by smcniven at 8:05 AM on November 12, 2001


A plane crashed on takeoff.
Planes are more likely to crash on takeoffs and landings.
I believe a plane crashed on take-off out of Kennedy once before because it sucked birds into the engine.
The entire NY region is paralyzed because of this: No tunnels, bridges, subways, NJ transit buses etc...
People automatically think the worst.
Accidents do happen.
Get on with your lives.
I live and work in New York City.
I take the subway to work everyday.
I drive over the bridges and through the tunnels.
I'm flying to the Caribbean in December.
Despite all of what is happening life is still pretty damn good.
I repeat: Get on with your lives.
posted by chainring at 8:06 AM on November 12, 2001


And another thing - why are we wasting metafilter on breaking news? - use icq or IM if you want to chat.
posted by chainring at 8:07 AM on November 12, 2001


The FBI are saying there was an explosion on board the plane. This is rather vague - no reason is given as to whether this is due to technical error or a bomb. I can't see why they've made such a comment given current sensitivities. The UN and major buildings are being evacuated (via Sky TV News)
posted by boneybaloney at 8:08 AM on November 12, 2001


I just got out of a cab driven by a shaking man trying to reach his brother in Queens. I guess the cell network is down or overloaded. I offered to put a message online for his brother to call him, but he said he was going home to get online himself. I reached through the partition and just held his hand for a moment. "God bless you," he said. It was very surreal. We are a different country than we were two month and two days ago.
posted by swerve at 8:09 AM on November 12, 2001


Um - On Sep. 11th, watching the whole damn thing from my office here in NYC, I was reading Metafilter - I couldn't get through to CNN or any other news sites, and mefi kept me updated. So that would seem to me why we are "wasting" metafilter on breaking news.
posted by jennyjenny at 8:10 AM on November 12, 2001


CNN is reporting that the FBI has said that there was an explosion but that the cause is unknown, while NTSB is planning to investigate this as an accident.
posted by tranquileye at 8:11 AM on November 12, 2001


Stinger Missiles I read stuff like this and get very paranoid again that security measures focused on what goes on planes can't stop lunatics who stay off planes.
posted by Voyageman at 8:12 AM on November 12, 2001


I repeat: Get on with your lives.

Sadly some people no longer can. I believe that is what all the fuss is about.

If threads like this are bad, why did Matt recently ask about the initial WTC thread when he was looking for "best of MeFi threads"? Or are the ones which posthumously turn out to be related to terrorism somehow vindicated?
posted by walrus at 8:13 AM on November 12, 2001


evixer - There is no confirmation of a bomb.
asok - There is no confirmation of human error. There is no confrmation that the plane was unsafe.

The stock market is tanking even though nobody knows for sure what happened. Buy low today so that when it's confirmed not to be terrorism you can ride it back up.

Chill
posted by chainring at 8:14 AM on November 12, 2001


The entire NY region is paralyzed because of this: No tunnels, bridges, subways, NJ transit buses etc...

Um, chainring, just to clarify, the region is not completely paralyzed. Outgoing traffic is moving through tunnels and bridges. Subways are currently running on a holiday schedule (Veterans' day).

I repeat: Get on with your lives.

Getting on with our lives includes trying to find out what's happening around us.
posted by BT at 8:14 AM on November 12, 2001


I agree with jennyjenny. MeFi is at least a document of how knowledge of events are unfolding, at best it has potential to provide a more reasoned coverage than a lot of the media. Re-read the 9/11 thread and feel shivers run down the back of your neck and your eyes well up.
posted by boneybaloney at 8:15 AM on November 12, 2001


I hope this is an accident.
if it's not, Veteran's Day will never be the same.
posted by bradth27 at 8:17 AM on November 12, 2001


(looks like some people beat me to it)

Commanding people to "get on with your life" is bound to be resented in 2 weeks, let alone the morning of a new crash, chainring.

Tell you what, you get on with your life as you see fit, and I'll live my life on my own timeline.
posted by jragon at 8:17 AM on November 12, 2001


It will be interesting to see how long people will try to claim that this is an accident, given this strange coincidence of the U.N. general assembly on the Afghanistan situation in New York on the same day (what a nice target -- so many leaders in the same place). It's also quite impressive how gullible people are.
posted by Eloquence at 8:19 AM on November 12, 2001


Come on people, it's not exactly unheard of for engines to fall of planes you know. El Al, a fairly safe airline(!) once had two engines fall off one of it's planes just after take-off. Plane crashed into an apartment building in Amsterdam if I recall.

Why do so many people WANT it to be terrorism?
posted by iain at 8:19 AM on November 12, 2001


And another thing - why are we wasting metafilter on breaking news? - use icq or IM if you want to chat

And what exactly are you contributing to the discussion, chainring? Any other suggestions about how we should better spend our time? (I notice you've made all of 14 comments(including this one)since April 17 2001, so take your time! :-)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:19 AM on November 12, 2001


Why do so many people WANT it to be terrorism?

Did you really mean to say that?
posted by walrus at 8:20 AM on November 12, 2001


Why do so many people WANT it to be terrorism?

Oh goodness. Are you kidding? Because I want to be informed, I now condone courses of action that will lead my people to war?
posted by jragon at 8:21 AM on November 12, 2001


A friend of mine who witnessed both planes crash into the World Trade Center called me as soon as she heard. She was having a terrible panic attack. Three other friends, all of whom witness the September 11 attack, also called, in various states of panic. Whether or not this is man made or mechanical, people here are reliving September 11 all over again.

It's so hard to communicate to people what it's like to live here: my mailman wears rubber gloves, random bomb threats, friends who had to take Cipro having the (mis)fortune to work at NBC and the New York Times, and the loss of friends in the Trade Center itself. As I spoke to my mother last night, I said, sadly, I almost wished something would happen already so I could relax just for a little while. As a lifelong New Yorker, I have lived through much: subway strikes, garbage strikes, rampant crime, the city's bankruptcy (sp), and the skyrocketing rents and homelessness. This is the first and only time in 35 years where I've been thinking maybe it's time to think about living somewhere else. Call me a coward, but how much quality of life can you have when everyday life becomes a minor siege? I love New York more than ever, but G*d it's hard to keep that in mind when your more primal fight or flight instincts kick in.
posted by ltracey at 8:22 AM on November 12, 2001


This is the place for this discussion. Period. Very informative thread. Thank You.

Bryant Gumbel is doing a pretty good job of interviewing and not trying to sensationalize the story. I am listening on the radio, so I can't see the pictures.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 8:22 AM on November 12, 2001


Eloquence: It will be interesting to see how long people will try to claim that this isn't an accident, given this strange coincidence of the U.N. general assembly on the Afghanistan situation in New York on the same day...
posted by iain at 8:22 AM on November 12, 2001


Pilot on CNN says that A300 is designed to fly after an engine falls off and that after each crash, training is revised to prevent mistakes like the one mentioned earlier in Chicago from happening again.
posted by slowlightning at 8:23 AM on November 12, 2001


Why do so many people WANT it to be terrorism?

If you read the previous posts to this thread, you might find out that people generally hope it isn't....
posted by adampsyche at 8:23 AM on November 12, 2001


smcniven: It's one thing to speculate on causes, its another to create an implausible scenario.

Yes, but creating an implausible scenario makes for great ratings. "Stay tuned as we set up the story of the struggle in the cockpi... er, wait, forget it; it didn't happen."

iain: I'm not sure if people want this to be terrorism; rather, people want an answer as to what caused this. Given the events of 9.11, the first answer in many peoples' minds is "terrorism".
posted by hijinx at 8:25 AM on November 12, 2001


Why do so many people WANT it to be terrorism?
Sorry, but Iain has a point. The media want it to be and there's also a deep guilt and deathwish thing involved, imho. Plus he's trying to calm us down - and we do need that, because we are afraid it's terrorism.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:26 AM on November 12, 2001


We can't get on with our lives. We're having too much fun. Falling planes! Blazing gas stations! It's an emotional rush. Human beings are built to get off on the excitement of a deadly emergency. We evolved amid large, terrifying predators. I'm psyched. Let's go hunt something.
posted by Faze at 8:27 AM on November 12, 2001


I am an aerospace engineer, and I fly on A300s once a week. I also used to be involved in air safety and preventive maintainance for a military aviation.

Notes:
1. Single engine failure during take-off is the single worst design condition for a twin-jet like an A-300.
2. Single engine failures during take-off are always taken into account for any passenger aircraft. A simple engine
failure cannot bring down a jetliner.
3. What can bring down a jetliner is the consequences of an engine failure: fire in the wing, explosion of the wing fuel tanks, compound failure of all redundant hydraulic systems, pylon failure (which would expose fuel lines), etc.

However, most of the above reasons are well-known. Take-off is the hardest flight region, and most eventualities are taken into account into designing these birds.

Further, a quick search of NTSB's online air crash info database, reveals no incident involving an A-300 and engine failure in the last 5 yrs. This is not typical if a design error is to be blamed.

Thus, it can be two things: either a failure of preventive maintainance or sabotage. The former is possible, due to the recent massive layoffs in the airline business, but unlikely: airlines usually don't fire skilled personnel, and when/if they do, maintainance personnel tend to over-perform during times of crises.
posted by costas at 8:28 AM on November 12, 2001


"I was sitting having brekafast and I heard the engines very loud," she said. "They were loud and low, and because of what happened September 11, it gave me a chill ... I looked out o the window to see if I could see where it was, and then I saw a big silvery piece of metal falling from the sky behind my house."

copied from a CNN story. Now, imagine a plane falling on your house. *chills*
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 8:28 AM on November 12, 2001


walrus: Did you really mean to say that?

Perhaps not the best way to put it, just noting that some people are not entertaining the thought that it could be anything other than an attack of some sort, and that their minds have settled on the worst possible scenario.
I meant it in a psychological sense.

Sorry for any offence taken, none was meant.
posted by iain at 8:28 AM on November 12, 2001


Thanks for responding Iain. I think it was terribly worded, if that's what you meant, but no-one is thinking straight right now.

Personally speaking I'd rather it was anything but terrorism. I think it's inevitable people speculate, in the light of two months of 24 hour media bombardment about terrorism, however.

No offense taken.
posted by walrus at 8:31 AM on November 12, 2001


What many in the US and NYC area are experiencing right now is a victory of terror. Whatever made that plane fall from the sky, right now millions of lives are disrupted, in large and small ways, besides the people who died or saw their homes destroyed.

And that's without any clue, at the moment, that it was sabotage.

I'm not particularly looking forward to the next few years.
posted by sacre_bleu at 8:31 AM on November 12, 2001


if this isn't a standard "accidents happen" incident, I hope the airlines are happy about the people they laid off. I'm usually pro-free market. But maybe Ted Rall is right when he says we need to nationalize part of the industry.
posted by owillis at 8:34 AM on November 12, 2001


..the humor of witnesses; (to lighten things up)

I understand that eye witnesses are under pressure and thats its hard to communicate on the phone to a news reporter, but one lady had me laughing outloud.

She told the reporter that the plane went down in an area with homes. The reporter asked if anyone could have survied. She reponded "well, if they weren't home, they might have survived"....
posted by tomplus2 at 8:34 AM on November 12, 2001


A 300s are not the most reliable planes in the world.. How can you design a plane for all types of engine falling offs? (ie with explosions, without explosions...)
posted by Mossy at 8:34 AM on November 12, 2001


8:35 a.m. PST: American Airlines press conference to begin momentarily.
posted by Carol Anne at 8:36 AM on November 12, 2001


"Getting on with life" in New York city this morning. Instant shock (again), deep grief for the 250+ people that died (again), insidious panic after every news sound byte that something will hit New York any minute(again).
posted by Voyageman at 8:38 AM on November 12, 2001


White House briefing coming up as well.
posted by owillis at 8:38 AM on November 12, 2001


It's just not coming across as speculation though, at least from some sources. The 'Struggle In The Cockpit' story is just silly. Perhaps expect would have been a better word, but then maybe not.

As a total aside, I'm not going to let this tragedy stop me from flying halfway round the world on an Arabic airline to Thailand in a few weeks. Would you?

Now let's all take a deep breath...
posted by iain at 8:39 AM on November 12, 2001


Re: The UN... I happen to be one block from the UN on 1st ave.. they have posted some more cops, the building is blocked off with DPW dumptrucks, and police crusiers... but altogether, not as much security as has been in the past...

nH
posted by niteHawk at 8:40 AM on November 12, 2001


Before we all buy into the "planes don't just explode on take-off" thing, remember the Concorde that caught fire and exploded on takeoff from Paris and brought all supersonics to the ground for a year. These things do happen -- they are odd, unfortunate occurences, but they are not unheard of. We can either be rational and wait for information, or we can allow our imaginations to run wild and panic ourselves. Ask yourselves this -- which track will serve us best in the long run, which will bring value to our days? Chainring's comments may have been harsh, but there is no reason why we shouldn't all take a step back, take a deep breath, and calm down.
posted by Dreama at 8:40 AM on November 12, 2001


Would you?

I have a honeymoon in December to Maui. I gotta admit, I am scared shitless, but will still go. I would be lying to say that I wasn't nervous, but then again, I always am when flying. I am nervous on the Ben Franklin Bridge twice a day and that was before 9/11. I am going to go, though. I bet that island is empty these days.
posted by adampsyche at 8:43 AM on November 12, 2001


MeFi is a place to record our life's, collective and singular. How can I not discuss and share what is happening in my life. One of my best friends flew back to NYC last night, and she also called me upset and very scared. She works in the shadow of the Empire State and the thought crosses her mind everyday whether or not someone will try to take that building. We always talked about living permanently living in NYC...but like ltracey said...I don't know if I can move back into NYC.

My boss was on an airplane taxing at La Guardia and right before takeoff the plane was turned back, we just got in contact with his wife who was on another plane ready to take off at JFK. I hate that I have the same feeling that I had on 9/11 watching the instant media coverage and instant information playing out before me and the feeling of helplessness.
posted by plemeljr at 8:43 AM on November 12, 2001


That "may you live in interesting times" curse is sure a bitch for us here at the turn of the century, isn't it?
posted by owillis at 8:44 AM on November 12, 2001


Unless there is some conclusive evidence, people are going to believe the worst. It's a siege mentality.

I for one am tired of searching maps of the NYC area to see how close disaster has come to someone I love.
posted by tommasz at 8:44 AM on November 12, 2001


Would you?
I'm flying into DC for Christmas. I can safely say I won't be sleeping in-flight as I usually do.
posted by owillis at 8:47 AM on November 12, 2001


I wonder how many more airline workers will get laid off after this?
posted by kidsplate at 8:49 AM on November 12, 2001


I've seesawed with my flying attitude. On 9/18, I ordered Thanksgiving tickets to DC. Then, about two weeks ago, my mother told me not to come home.

She was at a party with a lot of Pentagon officials, and the overwhelming feeling was that flying this holiday season would be a bad move.

At the time I felt kind of silly, but now I'm glad I did it.
posted by jragon at 8:57 AM on November 12, 2001


Mossy: As far as I can tell, no one here has explicitly claimed that the A-300 is "the most reliable plane".

Refering specifically to the information in the story you link to, it would seem to relate to accidents upon landings and tentatively suggests that it may be related to problems with the increasing number of automated systems involved in a modern aircraft.

It would take a pilot, aero engineer or plane buff to confirm this, but I would hope that there is less chance of an auto-pilot conflict during take off since, as far as I was aware, taxi-ing and take off are manual processes.
posted by davehat at 9:00 AM on November 12, 2001


Getting news reports from BBC Online. They seem to have switched to a very stripped down, text only format, can't select high graphics at all. Assume its their emergency default to insure more people can get to them. CNN should do same.
posted by Voyageman at 9:01 AM on November 12, 2001


CNN.com Headline -- Witness: 'Like a bomb exploded'


Of course, when you read the article the quote, at the bottom, is referring to the actual impact of the plane with the ground, not anything leading up to that (eg. a terrorist bomb exploding in mid-flight). Thank you, CNN, for manipulating the context in order to capitalize on everyones' fears.
posted by rocketpup at 9:01 AM on November 12, 2001


Assume its their emergency default to insure more people can get to them. CNN should do same.

CNN.com is running their stripped down template.
posted by edlundart at 9:05 AM on November 12, 2001


Engine failure. That's my bet.
One of the American stations (NBC maybe) reported that the plane behind this one on the ground, while awaiting takeoff, said they spotted smoke coming from the engine (right? left? didn't say) as it was just in the air after takeoff.

Then, another station reported that the pilot radioed the local tower to say that it was having mechanical problems.

Now, I haven't seen anything else about this, and I'm reminded of the "car bomb in front of the State Department" rumour that was on EVERY station back on 9/11. So take what you will from what I've heard.

Huh. I heard something on the tv, that a reporter was telling me, that was told to her by someone who MIGHT have heard something from someone who saw something.
Yep, them be HARD facts!
And I would have missed all this if I wasn't sick today.
posted by Grum at 9:10 AM on November 12, 2001


And I would have missed all this if I wasn't sick today.

I wasn't sick till I got to work and saw the news.
posted by sacre_bleu at 9:14 AM on November 12, 2001


So if its all just a horrible plane crash, its good news.

Sad, isn't it?

When a pilot is trying to fly a plane with one engine, the last thing he's going to do is call the tower

Its far from the last thing. The copilot might take on the task, so as to declare an emergency and get vectored back into the airport asap.

Rest assured its a high priority of a flight crew to declare a mayday to the outside world. Just like its CNN's duty to creatively specualte about every possible worst case scenario as cause of the disaster to fan the flames of fear and horror so as to maximize their ratings bonanza.

"What was it like watching the Trade Center Tower coming down like that?" --actual hard-hitting journalist question asked by newsperson of a fireman on the scene aprox 9:45am, Sept. 11 (The only real news reporting, IMO, is to be found somewhere between C-Span and The Daily Show)
posted by BentPenguin at 9:22 AM on November 12, 2001


Grum, this is not directed at you, I just saw your post in the preview.

I like having MeFi to keep up to date, but could we try to keep unsourceable rumours out of the mix? I think "blahblah reporter on CNN just said 'x' from an interview with y" is probably still in the realm of okay, but vague memories of reporters on poorly remembered tv or radio can only add to the confusion.
posted by cCranium at 9:24 AM on November 12, 2001


Would you?

I'm flying to Chicago thursday. (as long as my flight is still scheduled) I'm suprisingly not real concerned about it.
posted by jbelshaw at 9:33 AM on November 12, 2001


Its far from the last thing. The copilot might take on the task, so as to declare an emergency and get vectored back into the airport asap.

When an engine fails after take off you do whatever you can to fly the airplane. When you have some bit of control, then you contact the tower and declare an emergency.

Aviate, naivigate, communicate. In that order.
posted by bondcliff at 9:38 AM on November 12, 2001


Oh, I completely agree with you cCranium.

That was my point when I mentioned the "car bomb" rumour and the "Them be HARD facts" comment.
I was sort of chastizing myself for even mentioning the rumours, but I figured I'd post it anyways in hopes that other people will see that and think twice about adding more.
posted by Grum at 9:39 AM on November 12, 2001


This footage shows the devastation of the residential area as a result of the crash.
posted by crayfish at 9:44 AM on November 12, 2001


One of the hallmarks of Bad Stuff Happening is when the MeFi page goes static.

Fuck it, it's in the 70's, I'm going to get some lunch and walk down to Waterfront Park where, last I checked, there are no news outlets.
posted by ebarker at 9:46 AM on November 12, 2001


For what it's worth...

Costas and Bondcliff are both correct - you can fly one of these planes with one engine. The motors are supposed to spit debris out the back of the engine if they come apart, but metal fatigue over time can allow fragments to burst out the side of the engine housing, which can then ignite tanks or fuel lines.

And you declare the emergency when you can. I believe the voice recorder will confirm this. At least, I hope it does.
posted by TeamBilly at 9:48 AM on November 12, 2001


What I love is that, when a disaster like this happens, in a context like this, we're all in the wrong for speculating about it, but it's fine to bitch about the speculation ...

I should go through and measure the size of purely speculative comments, and comments arguing about whether this thread should exist, and whether it contains too much speculation. Then I should measure the number of comments that actually contained information.

But I'm scared that if I posted the results I'd be "wasting bandwidth".
posted by walrus at 9:49 AM on November 12, 2001


more chicken gun stuff
posted by Frasermoo at 9:50 AM on November 12, 2001


BREAKING NEWS from CNN.com

-- A senior administration official tells CNN there are initial indications of an explosion aboard an American Airlines A300 in New York, but that the source is unknown.
posted by jacobw at 9:51 AM on November 12, 2001


And saying it's an accident before the facts emerge is speculation too. I've actually seen more speculation on that side of things.
posted by walrus at 9:53 AM on November 12, 2001


Info about the A300 and it's engines from Aviation week, seems to be a pretty reliable aircraft with the engines powering four other types of aircraft.
posted by zeoslap at 9:55 AM on November 12, 2001


sorry 'bout this, but I am fascinated by the chicken gun.
posted by Frasermoo at 9:56 AM on November 12, 2001


Like everyone else, I almost hope this is an accident: it would be horrible and tragic, but not as scary. However, an accident would be a huge coincidence for the following reasons:

1. It's November 12, almost exactly 2 months since 9.11 (and the 11th was a Sunday). The 11th was also Veteran's Day.
2. The plane was an American Airlines jet, and a jumbo widebody -- although an Airbus rather than a Boeing.
3. The plan suffered a catastrophic failure not long after takeoff, which is very rare for this make and model of aircraft.
4. Did I read somewhere that this plane originated out of Boston's Logan airport? Can't find the link...

It might be an accident. In fact, it probably is. But the coincidences involved are almost beyond belief.
posted by mrmanley at 10:00 AM on November 12, 2001


No, the plane left from JFK.
posted by swerve at 10:02 AM on November 12, 2001


ok everyone, just hang tight. we'll know about everything we need to know in a few hours. Early panic news sucks. No one is right and speculation kills.

What I really hate is when fox news shows footage that was shown earlier, however there is no "earlier" badge across the top of the screen. In this case, they were showing the blaze/crahsite and no firefighters in sight, however, the at that time the fire was completely undercontrol. "Hey, lets show the fire footage again" "martha! looks queens is burning out of control STILL!".
posted by tomplus2 at 10:06 AM on November 12, 2001


BTW, there is currently an investigation underway in China concerning and A300 accident/crash.
posted by tomplus2 at 10:07 AM on November 12, 2001


Frasermoo: Please don't apologize for the "chicken gun" links! I never heard of it before and I'm fascinated. Feel free to post more ;)
posted by realjanetkagan at 10:10 AM on November 12, 2001


Here's a link to that chinese A300 crash.
posted by walrus at 10:11 AM on November 12, 2001


1. It's November 12, almost exactly 2 months since 9.11 (and the 11th was a Sunday). The 11th was also Veteran's Day.

And Saturday was almost exactly 2 months since 9.11, and 10/11 was exactly 1 month since 9.11. And 10/31 was Halloween, etc etc

2. The plane was an American Airlines jet, and a jumbo widebody -- although an Airbus rather than a Boeing.

So are a plurality of the planes in the air on any given day. Besides, why would terrorists care which airline they used?

3. The plan suffered a catastrophic failure not long after takeoff, which is very rare for this make and model of aircraft.

It's very rare for any make and model of aircraft.

4. Did I read somewhere that this plane originated out of Boston's Logan airport? Can't find the link...

The plane came from JFK.

I don't know what brought down this plane, but we're seeing connections to 9.11 that simply aren't there.
posted by jpoulos at 10:11 AM on November 12, 2001


To my knowledge, the plane was from boston, and landed at JFK to refuel.
posted by Darke at 10:17 AM on November 12, 2001


To my knowledge, the plane was from boston, and landed at JFK to refuel.

Right, these jumbo jets only get 250 miles to a tank.
posted by jpoulos at 10:19 AM on November 12, 2001


admittedly, this mornings news was a kick in the head.

however, now that it seems to be more of an accident than anything else, something about the unraveling of this news on television, has made it completely clear to me about the watershed of reporting style since 9/11. while this is undoubtedly a very chilling event, and very reasonably subject to further scare people about 9/11 events... i really didn't need the various news channels (i've been watching cnn, msnbc and local, switching back and forth through them) jumping to conclusions and providing theories to attempt to scare me *more* through their current *stay alert/biggest news of the century* coat they've had on since sept 11th. anyone else know what i mean here?

when is the news going to take a step back and start reporting things sensibly again? i understand the need for theory, but it's thoughtful and practical reporting of news events that i think we require, not the constant, 'flash alert! new and improved' style that's been everywhere just to compete for viewership.
posted by eatdonuts at 10:21 AM on November 12, 2001


i sell engineering controls, and when one fails in the field or is damaged you take it on the chin. but two / three in a short space of time? then you get suspicious, and for good reason.

on it's own, this would be the biggest story of the year let alone allied to 9/11. i cannot believe it's not connected

i say strap a chicken gun to an apache and hit them with poultry.
posted by Frasermoo at 10:27 AM on November 12, 2001


Eh, I had a brainpop. The flight was from boston to santo domingo, connecting at JFK, where they switched planes.
posted by Darke at 10:32 AM on November 12, 2001


"Unconfirmed reports, the plane was flying to San Domingo from Boston via NY. It was full of kerozene."

This was posted by talos at 7:08 AM PST, evidently it has caused some confusion. I found nothing to confirm this.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 10:35 AM on November 12, 2001


I. need. a. chicken. gun.

*Wondering if you can fire kitties and pancakes as well...*
posted by adampsyche at 10:38 AM on November 12, 2001


Dominicans React to Plane Crash. NY Times story from Santo Domingo.
posted by Carol Anne at 10:39 AM on November 12, 2001


They just found the flight data recorder.

I think this will prove to be nothing but an accident with bad timing, in the end. Hopefully the data recorder will be able to prove, or at least strongly suggest, that that is the case very soon, and put some people's minds at ease.
posted by Sapphireblue at 10:44 AM on November 12, 2001


NYT story providing some historical context on A-300's and its engines that seems very relevant to y'all's speculations:

The Airbus A-300 that crashed shortly after takeoff from Kennedy International Airport shed part of one of its two engines, raising the possibility that the jetliner suffered a catastrophic breakup of the engine or that the engine itself detached from the plane — an event so severe that pilots do not even train for it.

The plane carried two General Electric CF-6 engines, one under each wing, and these normally would have been at or near maximum thrust on departure. Fast-rotating internal parts have been known to come lose on such engines, sometimes penetrating the outer shell of the engine and sending parts as missiles into the plane.

A CF-6 engine on a Continental Airlines DC-10 broke up on takeoff from Newark International Airport in April 2000, and in June 2000 a CF-6 on a Varig Airlines Boeing 767 broke up.
...
In several cases, engines of various types have come loose entirely. An engine on an American Airlines DC-10 came loose when the aircraft was taking off from Chicago in May 1979. The plane crashed near the airport, killing about 270 people.

posted by Zurishaddai at 10:45 AM on November 12, 2001


*Wondering if you can fire kitties and pancakes as well...*

it's being worked on.
posted by Frasermoo at 10:47 AM on November 12, 2001


My mother who works for American Airlines said that there was an internal memo on Friday that employees were to be on highest alert. (This is not very common, even in the last month where security has been at its highest.) This probably adds another factor to the "coincidence" or perhaps suggests foul play.
posted by alex3005 at 10:52 AM on November 12, 2001


chicken gun = fowl play.


*sorry*
posted by Frasermoo at 10:53 AM on November 12, 2001


Frasermoo, you beat me to it. I hesitated, and was spoiled again.
posted by adampsyche at 10:54 AM on November 12, 2001


To my knowledge, the plane was from boston, and landed at JFK to refuel.

Right, these jumbo jets only get 250 miles to a tank.


Planes don't typically load up full o' fuel for every flight. They fill up enough to reach their destination and then a bit more for insurance.

Flying around with a full tank of unneccessary gas is expensive.
posted by Tacodog at 11:00 AM on November 12, 2001


Check out the parallel thread on Free Republic for some conspiracy madness.

I just read the first two pages...it goes on for 14 more. Enjoy.
posted by thewittyname at 11:08 AM on November 12, 2001


I really don't understand this drive to find "coincidences" and "patterns" in events. It happened 2 months and one day after 9/11! Would it have made a difference if it was 3 months, 14 days, and 6 hours?

Same thing happened after 9/11... people were trying to figure out the significance of that day, and WHY it would be on that day. It was just a random day.
posted by mkn at 11:16 AM on November 12, 2001


can we have 'random' days?

that is a conversation in itself.
posted by Frasermoo at 11:19 AM on November 12, 2001


It happened 2 months and one day after 9/11! Would it have made a difference if it was 3 months, 14 days, and 6 hours?

I think that it was the time-spatial proximity, not necessarily the numbers 2 (months) and 1 (day).
posted by adampsyche at 11:28 AM on November 12, 2001


Why do so many people WANT it to be terrorism?


I don't think people -ordinary people- want it to be. But yeah, the TV media WANTS it to be because they want to see their stupid ratings soar and because thanks to the widespread psychosis having people suffering in the US everyone , like, instantly switch their thoughts that plane crashes in NYC = terrorist attacks.

Trying to take hand of my common sense, if all evidences so far conclude is "just" a plane crash, then by God's sake odds are it really is. I don't see why some terrorist act would like to hit a residential area... maybe I'm just ignorant but I don't see where could a connection be, except for the NYC area.

One thing I can see for sure: This can be really the beginning of the end for American Airlines, for no one with half a brain will ever choose this airline to fly for a long, long time ever. AA is the biggest loser here.
posted by betobeto at 11:29 AM on November 12, 2001


Then again, they (2 and 1) add up to three, which is a magic number, if you watched schoolhouse rock.
posted by adampsyche at 11:30 AM on November 12, 2001


"Check out the parallel thread on Free Republic for some conspiracy madness."

thewittyname - wow, how annoying is that page? it hurts my eyes to look upon it, and everybody writes in short, incomplete sentences. MiguelCardoso sure doesn't post there.

I will not take MetaFilter for granted.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 11:32 AM on November 12, 2001


adampsyche - just be lucky it didn't happen on 11/11, then we would have to go through that number eleven thing again.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 11:36 AM on November 12, 2001


Airbus's reliability record BBC News: "This latest incident brings to more than a dozen the number of crashes the Airbus has been involved in over the past 13 years. But with an Airbus taking off or landing every 10 seconds, the plane is considered in the aviation industry to have a good safety record."
posted by Carol Anne at 11:38 AM on November 12, 2001


I hid under my desk when we hit 9/9/99. I am also a shameless Robert Anton Wilson junkie.
posted by adampsyche at 11:41 AM on November 12, 2001


But yeah, the TV media WANTS it to be...

I've got to object there. Yes, it's good for ratings, but I don't think anyone, including those in the media, want to be terrorized. After all, the networks are in New York, where planes and bulidings fall from the sky, and anthrax is showing up at their doorstep. People demonize the media so readily today...

Let's please remember that those in The Media are people too.
posted by jpoulos at 11:59 AM on November 12, 2001


One thing these stories are teaching me is to not go running to the TV to find out what's going on. Better to wait a few hours, if not days.

This morning it was an inbound (with little fuel) Boeing 767 (CNN and Fox News Channel were both showing graphics and waving models of 767s, talking about 2-3-2 configurations), but it turns out to be an outbound (fuel-laden) Airbus A300.

Do I sense a conflict between speed and accuracy?
posted by fpatrick at 12:01 PM on November 12, 2001


jragon - you have a timeline for your life? Please explain. btw- I don't think I'll be regretting any posts soon.

MiguelCardoso - If you don't understand the point I was trying to make then I can't help you. What does the amount of posts one makes here have to do with anything?

fpatrick
- "One thing these stories are teaching me is to not go running to the TV to find out what's going on." Same can be said of MeFi in this case.


posted by chainring at 12:48 PM on November 12, 2001


Somebody's wearing their crankypants today.
posted by jpoulos at 1:13 PM on November 12, 2001


chainring, your contributions (or relative lack thereof) impact things simply because you are telling people who have been here for a long time (and have been responsible and beneficial members) what to do with this site. as far as i'm concerned, the only person with the authority to say something in a thread ordering that conversation change course is mr. matt haughey.

if you have a problem, take it to metatalk. discuss it and don't just order people around.
(if i were playing a mefi drinking game, that'd be the "chug" trigger)
posted by pikachulolita at 1:58 PM on November 12, 2001


To summarize, here's what we know so far.

Nothing.

We now return you to people speculating, already in progress.

;)
posted by Outlawyr at 1:58 PM on November 12, 2001


pikachulolita - And how many of the first two dozen or so contributions were worthwhile? 3? 4?
i.e. "I just heard it too, looking around for info...."
"CBS is running coverage right now. Initial reports says it's a 767 (same that hit the towers), unknown origin and destination."

I "ordered" somebody around?
Puleeeze!

(Children)
posted by chainring at 2:13 PM on November 12, 2001


a prayer for the lost lives and their families. and by the way, thank the universe for mefi, and those who share their points of view during these amazing times. some of us who hate cnn are stuck at our jobs without alternate forms of up to date info. i heard the news on npr at 9:30 am EST. now i'm without live broadcasts and depend on sites like mefi.

i think fellowship is always a good thing in times of crisis. let's ignore the cranks (i'll try too).
.
posted by mirla at 2:27 PM on November 12, 2001


1. Thank you, jpoulos. My father is in The Media. Kind of makes it sound like the Mob, put that way.

2. I'm not so sure American Airlines is history. I'm planning to fly American to DC for Thanksgiving. They have these little American Eagle fifty-seater shuttles. I figure they're too small for anyone to bother flying into a building. Hey, whatever works.
posted by swerve at 2:30 PM on November 12, 2001


What's funny is that I do have a timeline for my life. That must explain my choice of words above. I won't clutter the thread with a self-link.

I said "resented", not "regretted". As in, people resent your cavalier attitude about this issue. You cope how you want to, and we'll cope how we want to. Do not lecture us about how to handle the news.

(hey, look at that -- I used dictionary.com to double-check the spelling of cavalier, and one of the examples was "a cavalier attitude toward the suffering of others.")
posted by jragon at 3:23 PM on November 12, 2001


when is the news going to take a step back and start reporting things sensibly again?
again? shit. cronkite's been dead a long time. ever since him we've got nothing but talking ken and barbie dolls. over the next couple of years, tv news will become indistinguishable from tv marketing.
posted by quonsar at 5:19 PM on November 12, 2001


perhaps the 'media want this to be terrorism' proposition could be explained in this conspiratorial way;
the government want to promote a state of panic within the population. this quashes reason and logic in favour of emotional desperation.
the majority of the media are doing what they are told to do by the government.
the media will not be sending the message that, if you take a step back, you can dis-associate yourself from the media whipped maelstrom and feel vindicated in your own convictions.
posted by asok at 4:37 AM on November 13, 2001


the majority of the media are doing what they are told to do by the government.

glad to hear someone else say this.

i couldn't argue my case very well, but still...
posted by Frasermoo at 4:48 AM on November 13, 2001


Upon listening to the voice recorder, it appears to have been an accident.
posted by mirla at 7:24 AM on November 13, 2001


Voice Recorder Indicates Plane Crash Was Accident (the Reuters article mirla linked above).

I'm playing devil's advocate here, since I truly do think it was an accident, but just because there wasn't a cockpit struggle doesn't mean shit. Did anyone actually believe the plane was hijacked? The question is whether there was a bomb on board. The voice recorder, and probably even the data recorder, won't tell us anything about that. I'm so sick of half-ass reporting.
posted by jpoulos at 9:01 AM on November 13, 2001


The composite tail fin broke off and BOTH engines detached. I find it difficult to believe this could happen "naturally," not because I'm an aeronautics engineer (I'm not), but because the same forces have been working on other A300's for years; and the weather at the time was clear.

On the other hand, for it to be sabotage or terrorism would have to be an epic inside job. Any Al-Queda composite materials experts?

My guess is that terrorism/sabotage is a somewhat more likely explanation than "natural causes." I also think that if evidence was found for this theory, the government would hide it, lest the public really panic, and the the airline industry face certain financial ruin.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:30 PM on November 14, 2001


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