Miami plane crash latest: ‘Miracle more not hurt’ aviation expert says as NTSB probe budget airline

Plane emergency at Miami International Airport

A plane carrying 126 people caught fire when its landing gear collapsed on the runway at Miami International Airport on Tuesday.

The dramatic incident took place when a Red Air flight arrived from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, said Miami-Dade aviation department spokesperson Greg Chin.

Three people received minor injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment, while the remaining passengers were bussed from the site of the accident to the terminal.

The plane was arriving from Santo Domingo around 5.30pm when the incident took place.

It appeared to have come to rest near a grassy area by the side of the runway.

Some flights were delayed due to the fire, airport officials said.

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ICYMI: Video shows terrified passengers fleeing after the crash

Just before 5.40pm on Tuesday, a Red Air flight arriving from the Dominican Republic had a landing gear failure upon arrival, sending a jet with 126 people sliding across runway nine at MIA.

The craft quickly caught fire, sending passengers running from the grounded jet, which was inbound from Santo Domingo.Some were filmed hustling away from the wreck, while others stopped to film the crash with their phones.

Many were seen hauling away luggage from the burning plane as emergency crews arrived.

Josh Marcus reports the details:

Oliver O’Connell22 June 2022 16:00

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The Red Air plane that caught fire on Tuesday when its landing gear collapsed as it landed at Miami International Airport

(AP)

Oliver O’Connell22 June 2022 15:46

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NTSB launch Miami crash probe as survivors speak out

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to arrive at Miami International Airport on Wednesday to begin their probe of a Red Air flight after its landing gear collapsed on the runway and caused it to crash.

“NTSB is sending a team of investigators to Miami following today’s gear collapse and runway excursion of an MD-82 jetliner at Miami International Airport,” the investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accidents wrote on Tuesday night, just a few hours after 5.40pm incident that felt RED Air Flight 203 into smoke.

Johanna Chisholm reports.

Oliver O’Connell22 June 2022 15:30

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It’s a miracle more people were not hurt in crash, aviation expert says

Weighing in on the crash at Miami International Airport, aviation expert Scott Harrington told CBS News that it is a miracle that more people were not hurt in the plane crash.

“Absolutely, it seemed like… again I’m not exactly sure of the specifics of this flight… but it seemed like the pilots did a good job to keep it all in one piece. To get it stopped so the plane could be stopped in a position so rescue equipment can access the airplane,” he said.

Pilots are trained to be calm in such situations, he added.

“We are just hyper-focused. Our brain goes into flight mode. We are focused on the problem, focused on taking care of the solution as much as we can. Sometimes if a mechanical part breaks, there’s really not a whole lot we can do.”

Oliver O’Connell22 June 2022 15:05

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Watch: Red Air Flight 203 passenger shares footage of his escape

One of the passengers traveling on board Red Air Flight 203 from Santo Domingo to Miami on Tuesday night filmed the terrifying moments before he and other passengers made an emergency exit down the plane’s evacuation slide.

Paolo Delgado, who shared his cellphone footage with CBS Austin’s John-Carlos Estrada, can be seen fleeing the grounded plane while passengers ahead and behind him are heard hurriedly trying to get off the smoking airliner in a safe but violent manner.

As Mr Delgado descends the emergency slide, a plume of black smoke can be seen wafting from the plane that he has just seconds ago escaped from.

Watch the full clip below:

Johanna Chisholm22 June 2022 14:45

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What is the McDonnell Douglas MD-80, the airliner that crashed in Miami on Tuesday?

On Tuesday at approximately 6pm, a McDonnell Douglas MD-80 that had taken off from the Dominican Republic, the home base for the recently founded airlines RED Air, caught fire when its landing gear collapsed on the runway at Miami International Airport.

The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 is a mid-size, medium-range jet airliner and is manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. Since taking off in 1979, it has been used by dozens of airlines from around the world, with major customers including Delta Air Lines, Spirit Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Swissair.

American Airlines was the first major US carrier of the airliner and began by leasing 20 of the 142-seat aircraft from McDonnell Douglas in 1982. In the early 2000s, the airline announced that it would withdraw all of its MD-80s and replace them with the more fuel efficient Boeing 737-800s. The final American Airlines MD-80 flight flew on 4 September 2019.

As of May 2022, there were 148 MD-80 series aircrafts in service, with operators including USA Jet Airlines, who has a total of 18 of the airliners, and Canadian Airways Congo, who has two of the jets in service, among a number of other carriers with smaller fleets.

According to the Aviation Safety Network, the database has documented 88 occurrences of accidents involving the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 since 1979, with 1,446 fatalities.

Johanna Chisholm22 June 2022 13:45

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RED Air mechanic describes ‘shocking’ landing

A 36-year-old mechanic from RED Air interviewed by the Miami Herald provided his first impressions about the landing of the plane on Tuesday night, which he describes as being a “hard landing”.

Hector Dejesus, employed by the airline and a former Dominican military aviation mechanic, first told a reporter from the Florida-based outlet that he thought perhaps there was a pilot error in the landing.

“I suppose it was a hard landing. We do maintenance all the time. I suppose it was that,” he told the Miami Herald. “I’m in shock. I would see things like this in the air force.”

An investigation into the crash is being handled by the National Transportation Safety Board, who told reporters they’d be sending a team of investigators to the incident site on Wednesday.

Johanna Chisholm22 June 2022 12:45

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Passenger onboard the crashed flight describes ‘frightening’ scene

A passenger who was onboard RED Air Flight 203 when it crashed at the Miami International Airport described a “frightening” scene to local news outlet the Miami Herald.

“People were very frightened,” said Mauricio Davis, who was returning from Venezuela and grabbed a connecting flight in Santo Domingo to Miami.

“People were grabbing the seats to keep from spinning around,” he added, noting that when the 126 passengers traveling onboard realized there was fire, they collectively began screaming with panic.

Read more from the Miami Herald here.

Johanna Chisholm22 June 2022 11:45

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Flights at the Miami International Airport are running on schedule

After Miami International Airport closed two of its four runways following the 6pm crash on Tuesday of RED Air Flight 203 onto its runway, flights are now running on schedule, according to the airport’s spokesperson, Greg Chin.

Initially, the south Florida airport warned that there would be temporary delays, but according to the latest updates on their arrivals and departures website, flights inbound and outbound are landing and taking off on time.

Flights taking off and landing at the Miami International Airport are running on schedule

(Miami International Airport website)

Johanna Chisholm22 June 2022 10:45

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Red Air: A new airline heralded as tourism sector boost

Red Air, the airline whose flight crashed on Tuesday, is based in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. It has been conducting flights since late 2021.

The company began by flying charter flights between the Dominican Republic and Miami, and has authorization for flights to Tampa, Florida; San Jose, Costa Rica; Medellín and Cartagena, Colombia; Panama; and Caracas, Venezuela.

A Red Air plane that caught fire on 21 June 2022

(AP)

Leaders in the Dominican Republic had celebrated the launch of the airline.

“With these flights, the country benefits from greater interconnection with the rest of the world. And of course, the tourism sector benefits directly, which is in its best moment, even surpassing pre-pandemic numbers,” president Luis Abinader said in December.

Namita Singh22 June 2022 09:30

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