Air Florida Flight 90: A Cabin Crew Perspective

Air Florida Flight 90: A Cabin Crew Perspective

On January thirteenth, 1982, Air Florida flight 90 was set to depart from Washington’s Nationwide Airport headed for Tampa after which Fort Lauderdale. There have been 74 passengers onboard. The captain was Larry Wheaton, and the primary officer was Roget Pettit. The flight attendants have been Marilyn Nichols, Donna Adams, and Kelly Duncan.

The flight attendant

Kelly was the youngest flight attendant at 22 years outdated and was a self-confessed ‘occasion lady’. She’d simply come again from a weekend along with her buddies within the Florida Keys. Kelly had beforehand flown for Air Sunshine, an airline acquired by Air Florida. She cherished the liberty she had and the management she had over her life. She was working within the rear of the cabin that day. Kelly went to her leap seat and strapped into her harness, prepared for take-off.


What occurred subsequent

The flight had been delayed by one hour and 45 minutes as a result of snow, which quickly closed the airport. De-icing has taken place 45 minutes earlier than take-off. The take-off roll was lengthy, and the plane shuddered violently. The person within the seat in entrance of Kelly turned spherical, trying scared and she or he shrugged her shoulders. The plane wings and a few of the fuselage have been contaminated with ice and snow. The plane didn’t get totally airborne and, 30 seconds later, smashed into 14th Road Bridge, hitting seven automobiles. It then plunged into the river.

Air Florida Flight 90: A Cabin Crew Perspective

Freezing circumstances

Kelly and 4 passengers from the rear of the plane have been thrown out of the plane into the icy Potomac River. One passenger remained trapped within the wreckage. No different passengers or crew had survived the influence. Kelly discovered herself underwater. She managed to floor and swim to the wreckage pushing chunks of ice out of the way in which. She might see individuals standing along with the river, trying on helplessly. She was afraid that these individuals would watch her die.

” My subsequent feeling was that I used to be simply floating by way of white and I felt like I used to be dying and I simply thought I am not able to die.”

Kelly – flight attendant on Air Florida flight 90.

She was confused and preventing hypothermia however clung to the wreckage and tried to assist the opposite survivors. There have been now 4 of them holding on to the tail part of the plane. The wreckage was sinking. Among the witnesses of the accident dove into the river to try to assist the survivors. The rescue helicopter arrived on the scene, which gave Kelly hope. She discovered a life vest within the wreckage and gave it to essentially the most injured survivor.

Combating for survival

One survivor who was not holding on to the wreckage was pulled by way of the ice to the shore by the helicopter. One other survivor trapped by wreckage grabbed the rescue rope however handed it to Kelly, who was towed ashore. The helicopter dropped one other two ropes, and once more the trapped man handed the ropes to 2 others. One other rope pulled a 3rd survivor. Two had fallen again into the water. One was rescued by being pulled onto the plane skid. One man jumped into the river to drag ashore, one other survivor who was too weak to seize the rope. Sadly, the person trapped within the wreckage, drowned earlier than he might be rescued.



Kelly was rescued after 20 minutes within the water and was critically injured and hospitalized. She wakened the following day, probably not realizing what had occurred. She might hear a information reporter’s voice within the distance after which realized that she had been within the accident. Seventy passengers died that day as did two flight crew and two flight attendants. 4 individuals died, and 4 have been injured when the plane hit the automobiles on the bridge. The flight crew had failed to interact the anti-ice system and the captain had didn’t abort the take-off realizing there was ice on the wings.

Kelly returned to her flight attendant place after 5 months and flew for one more one and a half years.

“The Security Board acknowledges the unselfish act of the flight attendant who inflated the one accessible life vest and gave it to one of many extra severely injured passengers.”

-NTSB report