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USAir Flt. 427 Crashes Near Pittsburgh
Chicago, IL, September 9, 1994, (ENN) 2130CDT -- Reports from both emergency service personnel and official sources indicate that a USAir 737-300 aircraft, enroute from Chicago to Pittsburg, has crashed into a field Northwest of Pittsburg International. The plane, Flt. 427, was scheduled to arrive in Pittsburg at 7:09 p.m. (local time). Neither the FAA nor Pittsburg International airport have reported any distress signal being recieved from the striken aircraft. Eyewitness reports from the scene indicate that the plane banked and dove directly into the ground, then burst into flames. All 131 passengers and crew have apparently perished in the crash.
Rescuers from Hopewell Township have described the scene as "gruesome" with "body parts hanging from the trees". The largest piece of the plane, that is left intact, is believed to be the tail and it is described as being a piece of slivered metal about the size of a person. Bits of baggage, shredded parts of the plane, and severed limbs are reportedly strewn over a large area. Rescuers are believed to be hampered by darkness and the rugged terrain in the area of the crash.
Unconfirmed reports have suggested that the plane had exploded prior to impacting the ground, which would account for the debris being spread over a very wide area. Other eyewitnesses have said that it "dove into the ground under full power". Contradictory reports continue to be received as additional witnesses are interviewed. The FAA has ordered the scene sealed, and it is being surrounded by local and state police officials. CBS News is reporting that the FBI has been called in to the case because of the mysterious circumstances under which the plane crashed. At least one unconfirmed report said that the possibility of sabotage exists and that the explosion may have been altitude detonated.
Originally posted by nick7261
Unconfirmed reports have suggested that the plane had exploded prior to impacting the ground, which would account for the debris being spread over a very wide area. Other eyewitnesses have said that it "dove into the ground under full power".
However, note the differences. When Flight 427 crashed, body parts were hanging from the trees, and severed limbs were spread over a large area. In contrast, the coroner on the scene where Flight 93 is said to have crashed stated that he didn't see one drop of blood.
Why such a big difference between crash sites?
Secondary Debris Field
Flight 427 is another airliner that crashed intact and ALSO had debris found 2.5 miles away. We can try to compare it's debris field with that of Flight 93. From the 427 report in 1999:
Several lightweight items (for example, pieces of interior insulation and a passenger business card) were discovered as far as 2½ miles east-northeast of the main wreckage; these items exhibited soot and smoke damage. One witness stated that he heard the sound of the crash while he was playing golf about 2 miles east-northeast of the accident site; about 2 minutes later, he observed blackened insulation falling onto the golf course. www.ntsb.gov...
Comment: In the case of Flight 427 it was determined there was no midair breakup. When reading through the report it is clear the only debris found away from the crash is a very small amount of very lightweight debris. All the major components of the aircraft were found in a 350 foot diameter of the crash. The debris field of Flight 427 looks nothing like the debris field of Flight 93 which has much more debris scattered over a much larger area. The engine of Flight 93 was located far enough from the main debris field that it was not located until the a day later. It was not part of the 100-200 yard main crash debris as the engines of Flight 427 were. It is interesting to note that insulation from 427 was spotted 2.5 miles away within 2 minutes of the crash. That seems physically impossible to me.
Theory 1 - It blew there (The NTSB/FBI Story).
Comment: Wind speed that day was 9 knots (or 10.4 MPH). Video from that morning shows a very light breeze.
The NTSB theory is that a lot of lightweight paper-like material survived the crash fireball and escaped the 35 foot deep, wet mud crash site and floated at 10 mph 2 - 8 miles over more wet, muddy fields. And how did clothing, books and large engine parts blow there again? And is there stuff 2 to 8 miles away at the Pentagon crash? Or another crash you can think of? Oh yea, at Lockerbie and Flight 800 there was (both had in-air explosions).
The village of New Baltimore is a dozen or more miles by automobile but eight as the wind blows, which it was doing a year ago. Melanie Hankinson was at the church next to her home, transfixed before a television that showed the World Trade Center ablaze, when the man who sprays her lawn stopped by to tell her he was finding odd things in the weeds.
"He said there was a loud bang and smoke and then these papers started blowing through your yard," she said. "I said, 'Oh.' Then I went back to the TV." Then the parish priest, the Rev. Allen Zeth, told her an airplane had crashed in Shanksville.
For the next few hours, Hankinson gathered charred pages of in-flight magazines, papers from a pilot's manual -- she remembers a map showing the Guadalajara, Mexico, airport -- and copies of stock portfolio monthly earnings reports.
"And there was some black webbing -- a lot of people found that," she said. The webbing, flexible where it hadn't burned, crisp where it had, was from insulation lining the belly of the jetliner.
One passenger who called Westmoreland County 911 said he was inside a locked bathroom. Dispatcher Glenn Cramer said the unidentified man repeatedly said, "We're being hijacked!"
"He heard some sort of explosion and saw white smoke coming from the plane and we lost contact with him," Cramer said.