Carrollton, GA Airliner Crashes Soon After Takeoff, Aug 1995
GA. PLANE CRASH KILLS 5, INJURES 24.
SURVIVORS STAGGER FROM BROKEN, BURNING AIRLINER.
Carrollton, Ga. (CNS) -- Passengers staggered out of the broken and burning airplane, some unhurt, some on fire, and in the cockpit the co-pilot screamed for help as flames closed in on him.
A man in his underwear, his body scorched, staggered to a farmhouse door and asked the woman who answered to call his wife and tell her he was alive.
"I've never seen anything like it and I hope never to see anything like it again," said paramedic Mark Sullivan, whose ambulance was the second to reach the hayfield near Carrollton where Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight 7529 fell. Five of the 29 aboard -- including the pilot, ED GANNAWAY -- were killed.
A passenger and a witness praised the pilot.
He "seemed to do an outstanding job of bringing that plane down as best he could and I think that's what saved most of us," said passenger CHUCK PFISTERER.
"He missed the wires and landing on the houses, and found an opening," said Frances Boone, who lives near the crash site. He "had to be a marvelous pilot."
The Embraer 120 turboprop left Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport at 12:28 p.m. bound for Gulforp, Miss., according to Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Christy Williams. It had been airborne only minutes when the pilot "reported he had an engine problem. He was attempting to land at West Georgia Regional Airport." The plane disappeared from radar screens at 12:45 p.m., she said.
Maj. CHUCK LeMAY, an Air Force officer aboard Flight 7529, said there was an explosion "and we saw looking out over the left wing that the metal framing around the engine was gone. We could see part of the propeller" hanging on the wing.
"The pilot came on the intercom and told us we're going to go make an emergency landing in Atlanta," LeMAY said.
"We were told we could fly on one engine," said KEVIN BUBIER of Portland, Maine.
"The next thing we heard was, they said, 'Get in your crash positions!' and then we were sliding along the ground, and all of a sudden people were on top of me, and I was on the bottom. I just hoped that the window would hold and protect me."
"I started to get out of the plane and noticed a guy hanging upside down in his seat. I unbuckled him and he just dropped to the ground and then we both climbed out." Once out of the plane, BUBIER said, "My clothes caught on fire; I think it was the engine fuel. I couldn't put my pants leg out. But I was lucky. Others were totally engulfed in flames."
Neighbors who ran to the crash scene heard the co-pilot screaming for help.
Paul Butler said rescuers, "took a couple of axes I had in the barn" and began hacking at the wind-screen.
"The co-pilot said, 'You're not going to let me die, are you?'" recalled passenger PAUL McCORKELL, 37, of Northfield, Minn. "He said he loved his wife."
One axehead snapped off its handle, but when a hole was chopped in the windscreen firemen ran a hose through it to beat the flames back from the badly injured co-pilot. Eventually the hole was enlarged enough to get him out, and he was taken by helicopter to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga.
Butler said some of the survivors were running off into the woods, and he tried to round them up and bring them back near the highway to wait for emergency rescue workers. "All we could do was get some blankets out of the house and try to calm them down," Butler said.
John Beiser, president of Atlantic Southeast Airlines, said at a brief news conference at Hartfield Airport that "we do not have any specific cause for the accident. We have nothing further to add at this point."
He said no passenger list would be released until today, and declined to identify and of the three crew members.
Syracuse Herald Journal New York 1995-08-22
Listing of the casualties and survivors:
Killed in crash or from cause of crash:
MARY JEAN ADAIR, 64.
ED GANNAWAY, pilot, 28.
BOND RHUE, 56, attorney.
CHARLES BARTON, 57.
SONYA FETTERMAN, 37.
JIM KENNEDY, 62.
ROBIN FECH, flight attendant, 37.
JEAN BRUCATO, 40.
DAWN DUMM, daughter of Mary Jean Adair.
DAVID SCHNEIDER, 28.
JASON ALESHIRE, 18.
MATT WARMERDAM, co-pilot.
TODD THOMPSON, deputy sheriff.
DAVID McCORKELL, 37.
ALAN BARRINGTON, 35.
BARNEY GASKILL, 57.
KEVIN BUBIER, 37.
JENNIFER GRUNBECK, 29.