It can get a little dicey to fly with any airplane over water. Airplane accidents frequently involve flying straight down into the water, but there are times when a plane just doesn’t feel right crossing the water’s surface. And sometimes, the pilots will just make up a scenario to justify their decision not to fly into the water at a higher speed!
On Tuesday, October 30, 2003, a 737 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was flying out of Terminal 2 to depart from Seattle-Tacoma Airport, when it suddenly began to turn to the left and then continued straight down the runway before coming to a stop at the landing ramp. The NTSB, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), reported the aircraft went down for approximately 18 seconds as it came to a stop about 18 feet up off the ground.
As well as the plane turning left and coming to a stop, there was a small explosion and there was the sound of a bomb detonating in the cockpit! The plane was carrying seven passengers on board: a woman and a man from Hawaii, a woman from Germany and a woman from Canada, two men from England and two people from Australia. There were three children onboard as well – a 6-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl.
All were able to leave the plane safely just after the accident and were returned to their flights shortly afterwards, leaving the flight crew stranded with one of the most unfortunate aircraft mishaps in recorded history!
The NTSB initially investigated the case as an act of sabotage by someone who was angry over a new policy change at the airport. Since the accident, the investigation has been turned into a full-court press to find who did this! So far, four airlines have been identified as suspects for this crime… one of these is United Airlines.
A statement released by UAL’s Corporate Vice President of Marketing at Monday’s press conference, James Halloran, said,
“The NTSB has interviewed witnesses and employees. We have reviewed extensive safety data; we have looked at the video. And we are confident that the investigators are in the process of gathering, evaluating, and analyzing all of the data. Ultimately, we will have answers to the questions we’ve posed here today. Until we’re able to do so, there’s no official statement.”
For more information on this bizarre case, please visit the official NTSB website here.
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