Three FlyerTalk Members Give First-Hand Accounts as Passengers About Aircraft Accident in Philadelphia
As a follow-up to an eyewitness account of the collapse of the landing gear of an Airbus A320 aircraft — which was operating as US Airways flight 1702 in an attempt to transport 149 passengers and five flight crew members to Fort Lauderdale — at Philadelphia International Airport on Thursday, March 13, 2014 by FlyerTalk member phlwookie was posted here at The Gate last week, no fewer than three people registered as FlyerTalk members in order to recall and share their accounts as passengers.
The first account was posted by FlyerTalk Rectiffied:
“Hi, I came across this sight searching for REAL information. Finally someone is telling the truth!! I was on this flight. It was by far the scariest event in my life. The pilot spoke for 5 minutes before takeoff warning us of severe turbulence. I was in the back of the plane. As we started taking of there was a huge jerk to the left (I described it as trying to avoid a pot hole..but obviously a lot stronger) The plane then kicked into a higher speed, we hit another strong burst of turbulence as we were still going up, Then suddenly it felt as something just slammed us back down on the ground. We hit the ground and went back up and again it sounded like the plane hit it into a faster speed like he was trying to continue taking off and fight through whatever it was (my inital thought was wind) We then slammed the ground a second time. We were then on the ground and he was hitting the breaks as we were being rocked back and forth. (I was pretty much bracing for impact) After the plane came to stop, You could smell smoke from the tires but we could see and smell from the back window smoke. The pilot came on and said EVACUATE NOW. Chaos broke out, people were screaming, our attendant stood still in a panic and would not open the back door until we literally screamed and cursed at her to do so. I had to yell at people to leave their F**king bags, Stop grabbing your bags!, The attendant was still just standing in place. We had to wait for people to come hold our slide bc the wind was blowing it into the air. I was pushed from behind out. Thank god I landed on my feet, Other people were landing on each other and hitting the ground hard. We were in a field a lot longer than they are saying. Thank you for you account of the time the busses were dispatched. They then brought us into a room, gave some of us free alcohol but never assessed our conditions. I never heard a sorry or an explanation. They kept us for 3 hours, finally brought our bags and tried to get us out of there as fast as possible. I commend the pilot, but the attendants did not keep us calm or do their job, The airport kept us in freezing temperatures (many of us dressed for warm weather) for over an hour, and US AIR kept us in what I can only describe as a brainwashing room for 3 hours before releasing us with nothing but a See YA.”
Next is this account posted by FlyerTalk member Survivor1702:
“I would like to thank phlwookie for posting this thread with your eye witnessed details. As a passenger on this plane, I’ve been searching for more details to what happened. What has been posted in the news leaves out A LOT of detail and made this crash seem as though it was a little skid down the runway. I was starting to believe I was going nuts, literally. What happened on that flight was extremely traumatic and it was a CRASH, twice!
“Our flight began with the usual safety talk/demo. Our pilot came on welcoming us aboard, discussed ft. Lauderdale’s weather, etc. and prepared us for a bumby ride the first 10min. Or so of flight.
“As we speed down the runway for take off our plane had a huge shift/jerk to the left, at this time I think we were off ground or at least the very beginning of that. After that jerk I looked at my friend and said ‘that’s not normal.’ Right after that we accelerated, which to me did not seem like the normal acceleration. It’s hard to explain, as I know nothing about planes. But the acceleration was very forceful but at the same time felt as though skipping gears (does this make sense?) my initial thought to this was the pilot hit turbulence, which he prepared us for and was trying to get the plane through it. We then plummeted what felt straight down as I was in the back of the plane. After we hit ground we then accelerated much like the acceleration from the first crash. And my thought was ‘why the f— is he still trying to get us in air.’ We then smashed the ground a 2nd time…hard. I believe I blacked out at this 2nd impact, as I do not remember the rocking back and forth and skidding as another passenger stated in a previous post.
“The next thing I remember is the person in front of me standing up and screaming ‘what the f was that?’
“It was then 30-60 sec. Before the pilot came on and in a monotone voice said evacuate the plane now. I say 30-60sec. Because there was enough time for the girl in front of me to turn to us and ask if this was our phone she found on the ground. There was enough time for passengers to remove their safety belts and start standing up. Then the mid section of the plane had passengers saying we’re ok, everything is ok, calm down. I believe this what made some people to start gathering their belongings because of people saying we’re ok. Honestly, both impacts hit the ground at a lot of force, there is no way anyone was thinking logically. We were all in shock.
“The passengers in the rear of the plane however saw and smelled smoke and started to scream to get off the plane. This is when the pilot came on….
“We then turned to the stewardess who looked like a deer in head lights. I don’t fully blame her because I do believe she was in shock, however her passengers were looking to her for help and assistance and she was unable to deliver. She did hesitate for awhile. I do believe it was a passenger who finally opened the door for us.
“Again, thank you phlwookie!! At this point I still am looking for answers as to what caused this.”
Finally, FlyerTalk member Flight1702passenger posted the following account:
“I was another passenger on flight 1702 and was sitting in the back of the plane at a window seat. Thank you goes out to the witness who first posted what they saw from the airport because my friends and I were feeling like we were going crazy because of how the news was making it seem like we blew a tire and skidded alittle bit and were ‘safely’ evacuated from the smoking plane, when that honestly is beyond the truth. The evacuation was completely chaotic and everyone was in shock and freaking out. If you notice, a lot of the pictures that are being shown of people ‘safely’ evacuating is only showing the front exit with a low sloped slide and then people evacuating from the wing the wing exit. The back exit, in most of the pictures, isn’t even open yet because our stewardess was in shock and refused to open the exit for us to escape. We repeatedly screamed at her to let us out! I in fact saw smoke steaming uncontrollably from left side of plane and was scared that we were going to blow up at any second. The initial start of takeoff was in the roughest I’ve ever experienced and we were literally rocking and felt like we were trying to fight through waves of air and We were in fact airborne and hit a massive amount of turbulence in the first 2 seconds in the air it felt like and everyone was like whooooa and it teetered in the air and then it felt like a massive force smashed us head first into the ground which caused us to bounce back into the air and it felt as though the pilot was speeding up to try and actually get us into flight again and I was scared to death! Thankfully we slammed back into the ground and proceeded to skid uncontrollably down the runway rocking back and forth and I remember looking out the window and feeling as though pieces of the plane were smashing off as we were skidding. Pit was a huge emotion of what the hell just happened after the plane finally stopped and the. A huge feeling of panic came over us, we didn’t know what happened and we weren’t advised to do anything by anyone until the pilot came on and only said evacuate now! I watched my friend literally get shoved off the back exit of the plane and then I just jumped and flew right past the two men trying to catch us since our slide wasn’t touching the ground. People were running around the field everywhere and it took an hour for a bus to finally pick us up from standing in a field in 20 degree weather, it was awful. We then were taken to a room for hours and fed alcohol and crackers for dinner, and never were once asked if we we were okay, it was the most traumatic experience of my life and I would love to know what really happened to make the plane crash.”
Please click here for further discussion by FlyerTalk members pertaining to the Airbus A320 aircraft which had operated as US Airways flight 1702 — as well as additional comments posted by FlyerTalk members Rectiffied, Survivor1702, Flight1702passenger, and phlwookie.