Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Oh What A Flight

TORONTO — A jetliner carrying 309 people skidded off a runway while landing in a thunderstorm Tuesday, sliding into a ravine and breaking into pieces, but remarkably everyone aboard survived by jumping to safety in the moments before the plane burst into flames.

While Shaw said there were 43 injured passengers, Air France said in a statement that 22 passengers were treated for minor injuries.

Tuesday's airplane crash in Toronto came exactly 20 years after an American disaster that focused renewed attention to wind shear, a natural phenomenon that can make airplanes drop out of the sky.

While the cause of the Toronto crash has not yet been determined, the fact that it happened during a thunderstorm raises the possibility of wind shear.

The 1985 airline crash at Dallas-Forth Worth airport, which killed more than 137 people, made dealing with wind shear "a national imperative" for the U.S. federal government, said Larry Cornman of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

Since then, he said Tuesday, systems to detect wind shear have been installed at almost all major airports in the United States. Cornman said the Canadian government investigated installing such systems during the 1990s, but added he did not know how many have been installed.

Wind shear is a sudden change in wind speed or direction. The most dangerous kind, called a microburst, is caused by air descending from a thunderstorm.

This on the anniversary of the tragedy here in Dallas. I thank God that there were only "minor injuries" and no fatalities.

I would also like to congradulate the Pilot, and Co-Pilot for what I know from avation knowledge was incredible skill for getting the plane on the ground with no fatalities.

Also to the rest of the crew for their brilliant handling of the situation and leadership to organize the evacuation of the plane.

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