On Sunday evening I was given a ride home from Chessiecon by Michael "Herveus" Houghton. First I helped him load Chessiecon stuff into his
car and unload it at a the con's storage locker in Gaithersburg.
On the way, we mostly discussed plane crashes, as it was an interest we
had in common. As we approached Gaithersburg we noticed there was a widespread power outage. This was odd since, although there was drizzle
and fog, there was no thunder, lightning, high winds, or freezing temperatures.
After I got home I checked the news and learned that the power outage
was caused by a plane crash. In Gaithersburg a small plane had embedded itself into high voltage lines, or rather into one of the towers that
holds them up. Both people in the plane survived, though rescuing them
was slow and difficult.
We're fortunate that the power outage didn't extend to the storage
place, since it has an electronic lock. Without power we couldn't have gotten in.
I'm surprised that there's as little damage as there is, to the plane
and to the two people in it, given that it must have decelerated from >cruising speed to zero in a fraction of a second. Apparently the main >medical complaint by the people in the plane was hypothermia. (The
rescue took several hours, and it was a chilly night.)
At the time that the crash was reported to have happened the ceiling
was about 600 feet as recorded at DCA. It was about that time that
I happened to check the relevant Weather Service web page after
noticing the totally featureless gray sky visible from our windows
here in Northeast D.C. I have been annoyed that the published
photos are all from one angle from the rear so that you can't see
what happened to the plane's engine.
There are two photos of the front of the plane in today's Washington
Post. The plane is on the ground, so the view isn't blocked by the
I'm no expert on plane engines, but it's pretty obvious that that plane
will never fly again. I'm not sure whether the front half of the engine
is missing or whether the engine got very compressed.
I saw those pictures too, later in the morning. It looks like the
nose, with engine, isn't in the picture and fell off somewhere.
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