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Old Mar 13, 14, 5:27 pm   #1
 
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Just Witnessed US Accident at PHL

Sitting in the A-West lounge, just watched what I think was a US A319 bounce twice on takeoff from 27L, then have front gear collapse at high speed. Can't see where it stopped but smoke from the west end of 27L. Will update as I see more.

Update 6:28pm, listening to tower in LiveATC.net ... aircraft evacuating, emergency vehicles en route, people walking around near aircraft.

Update 6:30pm - emergency vehicles told to take care due to # of people walking around, probably thinking of the Asiana SFO incident where someone was run over. All PHL departures and arrivals halted airport at "alert 2" status per tower.

Update 6:40pm - no more smoke from the area of where the aircraft likely stopped. I'm still shaking and I was only watching from afar. Will type up my recollection shortly. No pics and can't see where it wound up from the west end of the A-West lounge. Hope everyone's getting out OK, would have been some pretty strong G-forces from what I saw.

Update 6:50pm - tower reports A320 aircraft involved.

Here's what I saw ... at approx 6:26 pm or so, I was in the US Airways Club in Terminal A-West over gate A15, able to see roughly the eastern half of runway 27L. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a plane get 30-50 ft in the air, then come down and bounce on the runway, then be airborne for another 2-3 seconds, then land with more weight towards the front landing gear. Front gear collapsed, sparks on the runway, it then skid out of my line of sight. Light white smoke visible for about 7-10 min afterwards. Winds are still pretty strong here, but I doubt that was the primary cause. Weather otherwise clear and sunny here.

Update 6:53pm - airport on alert 1 status, should reopen runways 27R and 35.

Update 6:56pm - steady number of ambulances still passing the terminals west towards the accident site. No idea on injuries.

Update 7:05pm - thanks to one of my coworkers via Twitter, this is report is encouraging: https://www.facebook.com/DennisFee/p...?stream_ref=10 I still do not know which flight # it was.

Update 7:12pm - first takeoffs from runway 27R as we approach sunset. I will not speculate here as to the cause of the accident, I just don't have enough information.

Update 7:18pm - to the media asking, unfortunately I don't have pictures or video. While the smoke was briefly visible over the west end of Terminal A-West, my long distance attempts at iPhone pics of it did not turn out as it was white smoke on a bright background.

Update 7:28pm - two ambulances with lights on just went east about a minute apart past Terminal A-West away from the accident scene. At least 4-5 buses heading towards the accident site presumably to collect passengers.

Thanks to CREN for noting the incident flight was US 1702. That means it was a legacy US East A320, not older than about 2000, and possibly quite a bit newer.

Update 7:44pm - poor quality image of a an ambulance leaving the scene from the A-West lounge opposite gate A15: https://twitter.com/khecht/status/44...311360/photo/1

Barring new information, my updates are likely to taper off or cease at this point. I've reached out to the Chairman's Preferred desk at US Airways should their flight safety personnel, NTSB, FAA, etc. investigators wish to interview me.

I think it is extremely likely that at least the same part of the accident I saw was captured by CCTV cameras as local news media routinely show a similar view to the vantage point I had and I hope that indeed exists and is available to the investigators.

Update 8:20pm - two more ambulances leaving with lights on. A number of what appears to be police cars just raced down 27L towards the accident site. No idea what that's about.

LiveATC link, listen starting at 24:10, includes limited radio communications with cockpit: http://archive-server.liveatc.net/kp...2014-2200Z.mp3 (A bunch of folks are having trouble getting more than 9 min of audio. Download it without a media plugin or try pulling the KPHL Tower archive from 3/13/2014 2200-2230Z from http://www.liveatc.net/archive.php)

Final update 11:00pm - As I left the airport about an hour ago the passengers were being released, apparently to leave the secure area at A-East. Numerous news media there doing interviews. I ducked out - been a long day but certainly nothing like what those folks experienced. They're very fortunate, as this could have been a really bad accident.

Last edited by JDiver; Mar 18, 14 at 1:51 pm. Reason: restore original post title
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Old Mar 13, 14, 5:32 pm   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phlwookie View Post
Sitting in the A-West lounge, just watched what I think was a US A319 bounce twice on takeoff from 27L, then have front gear collapse at high speed. Can't see where it stopped but smoke from the west end of 27L. Will update as I see more.

Update 6:28pm, listening to tower in LiveATC.net ... aircraft evacuating, emergency vehicles en route, people walking around near aircraft.

Update 6:30pm - emergency vehicles told to take care due to # of people walking around, probably thinking of the Asiana SFO incident where someone was run over. All PHL departures and arrivals halted airport at "alert 2" status per tower.
can't find any news reports...any more updates?
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Old Mar 13, 14, 5:40 pm   #3
 
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Ok, i'm listening to liveatc.net as well; hearing lots of diversions away from PHL. Looks like this could turn into a significant incident. Hope there's no injuries.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 5:47 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phlwookie View Post
Sitting in the A-West lounge, just watched what I think was a US A319 bounce twice on takeoff from 27L, then have front gear collapse at high speed. Can't see where it stopped but smoke from the west end of 27L. Will update as I see more.

Update 6:28pm, listening to tower in LiveATC.net ... aircraft evacuating, emergency vehicles en route, people walking around near aircraft.

Update 6:30pm - emergency vehicles told to take care due to # of people walking around, probably thinking of the Asiana SFO incident where someone was run over. All PHL departures and arrivals halted airport at "alert 2" status per tower.

Update 6:40pm - no more smoke from the area of where the aircraft likely stopped. I'm still shaking and I was only watching from afar. Will type up my recollection shortly. No pics and can't see where it wound up from the west end of the A-West lounge. Hope everyone's getting out OK, would have been some pretty strong G-forces from what I saw.
Was the aircraft ever actually in flight? Or did the rear wheels never leave the ground and the nose wheel just came up, but then back down?
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Old Mar 13, 14, 5:51 pm   #5
 
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Here is what I've heard on ATCLive.net:
A320, aborted takeoff, possibly airborne for a short time on Runway 27 Left(it sounded like the tower does not know specifics). Airport is Alert 2, Ground Stop, for at least 30 minutes. Nothing on the field can move.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 5:53 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCdeacon View Post
Was the aircraft ever actually in flight? Or did the rear wheels never leave the ground and the nose wheel just came up, but then back down?
Definitely was. Twice.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 5:53 pm   #7
 
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From local CBS:

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Old Mar 13, 14, 5:55 pm   #8
 
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They just went Alert 1 and are starting to use the other runways.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 5:56 pm   #9
 
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https://twitter.com/PzFeed/status/44...280832/photo/1

first photos.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 5:57 pm   #10
 
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From Twitter (whoa):

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Old Mar 13, 14, 6:01 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by fL1Pm0d3 View Post
Thanks, that is encouraging.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 6:06 pm   #12
 
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I guess people didn't read the safety card section about leaving your belongings on the plane during evacuation.

Hope everone is OK, but leave the damn bags.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 6:08 pm   #13
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Thank goodness there was no fire...with a full load of fuel. Awaiting more details. Thanks to the OP for the heads-up on this. Hope you get where you're headed tonight.
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Old Mar 13, 14, 6:11 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by skunker View Post
I guess people didn't read the safety card section about leaving your belongings on the plane during evacuation.

Hope everone is OK, but leave the damn bags.
Exactly!
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Old Mar 13, 14, 6:12 pm   #15
 
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US Airways Flight 1702 PHL-FLL A320
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/A...150Z/KPHL/KFLL
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