Friday, January 18, 2008

An Uncomfortable Day

Long-time readers know that the IFR Pilot's office has a breathtaking view of BKL. For those that don't know, and those that need a reminder, here's the view, captured via camera phone (the new BlackBerry Pearl, in blue, thankyouverymuch):


Yesterday, however, the view wasn't so great. Or pleasant. It was still breathtaking, but in a fundamentally different way.

See, while most other folks were reading about the British Airways 777 that landed short at Heathrow, folks on the North Shore had their own parochial aviation disaster. Wednesday evening, at 7:24 p.m., a Beech Baron took off from BKL, and promptly went down into Lake Erie. With water temperatures hovering just above freezing, the pilot, assuming he could have survived the impact, would have had a heck of a time not perishing from hypothermia.

So, yesterday was spent watching out the window as the United States Coast Guard attempted to locate the wreckage and the pilot. By the end of the day, news reports confirmed that the pilot had perished in the accident, and that his body, still strapped into the fuselage, had been located.

As you can imagine, it was rather eerie, watching the Coast Guard vessels and helicopters combing the waters of Lake Erie immediately north of the IFR Pilot's office. They were there when work started at 8:00 a.m., and they didn't finish until well after 4:00 p.m.

The throngs of media that had been gathered most of yesterday at the foot of East 9th Street are all gone now. It was overcast and crummy most of the day yesterday; today, it's bright and sunny. But there's still a pall outside my window, even though flight operations continue at BKL unabated.

Remember when you go home tonight to kiss the one you love.

2 comments:

Cliff said...

The first official report on the BA incident is out:

http://www.aaib.dft.gov.uk/latest_news/accident__heathrow_17_january_2008___initial_report.cfm

Cliff.

PlasticPilot said...

I've been given the opportunity to see a wreckage only once. It was already moved from crash site to a hangar, but it was really impressive. Sadly, seeing it was a life-changing experience.