At Philadelphia International Airport earlier today, FlyerTalk member phlwookie witnessed an accident by an aircraft — which was operating as US Airways flight 1702 transporting 149 passengers and five flight crew members to Fort Lauderdale — reportedly caused by the collapse of its front landing gear as it was taking off:
“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=10I 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.”
The take-off was aborted; and there reportedly were three minor injuries with no fatalities.
“We just got cleared to take off (about 2hrs late) and are leaving on 27R”, FlyerTalk member Loquascious reports.
Meanwhile — after viewing the photograph shown above — some FlyerTalk members are irritated about the passengers taking their belongings off of the aircraft rather than leaving them aboard in the event of an emergency. “If I were king, anyone carrying personal items off during an emergency evacuation would get to watch as those things are then shredded”, posted FlyerTalk member lupine. “That woman in front is holding not one, but two bags. What an idiot.”
If there is any more information pertaining to this article, I intend to add it here; and if any of the information is inaccurate, please let me know and I will correct it.