Private airplane crashes into apartment building across the street from me.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jack Briggs, Jun 6, 2003.

  1. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    As I post this, I am in my apartment without LAPD's knowledge, and I intend to keep it that way and stay here.

    At just before 4 p.m. PDT, I was making my way to the bedroom, listening to my cat Attila munching on his food in the kitchen and smiling to myself. I hear a wooshing noise and, suddenly, all the shutter windows in my apartment blow open. A rocking sensation occurs and then I hear a loud—and I mean loud—explosion. Through my bedroom window, I see people running in both directions. Looking out, I first notice the heat. The entire top floor of the apartment building directly across the street from me is in flames.

    You know the time-dilation effect when you're going through an automobile accident?

    It was sort of like that. In my confusion, I looked around for Attila but couldn't see him anywhere.

    Next, I walked out the apartment and into the hallway. Two of my neighbors were in a frenzy. With them, I walked out the back door and marveled over the conflagration. The heat is what I noticed the most.

    People were screaming, "Is anybody in there?"

    Turns out there was.

    A rescue worker asked me if I could get a blanket, that she had a man in shock on the ground. So I went back inside to grab a blanket and to look for Attila.

    Fire engines started arriving at this time, and I began to panic about Attila. Then a loud rap on my door brings me face to face with two LAPD officers. The building is to be evacuated.

    "But I can't find my cat!" I told the taller officer. His companion—get this—asked if he could use my bathroom. Once done, he emerged and told me I could have two minutes and they'd be back. Still couldn't find Attila.

    Eventually, I was hustled a block south of my apartment building. Thing is, I didn't even know it was an aircraft until I saw a television report. Funny. I live across the street from the carnage, and it was thanks to KABC that I learned exactly what happened.

    The sky was festooned with helicopters—at least twelve that I could count. And the entire neighborhood was behind yellow police tape as far as I could see.

    So, here I am, an editor with a newspaper, and I find myself being interviewed by an AP wire reporter and two television crews. Humiliating.

    But what about my cat?

    Well, folks, how's this for chutpah: An upstairs neighbor of mine had managed to fool the police into believing that he was actually a reporter. I ran into him, about three hours after the accident, and he said I could get back to the apartment if I tagged along with him. (This occurred after I was interviewed by the KNBC reporter. I was embarrassed that I was wearing a T-shirt given to me by a friend—a Queensryche T-shirt. I appeared on TV wearing that stupid T-shirt.)

    Only the fire department was around as I stood there outside my building, gazing on the burnt-out husk of a building across from me. My neighbor suggested I take advantage of the LAPD's absence.

    And so here I am.

    I found Attila, too. As I write, he is still inside the living room closet. He's there for the night. All I can feel is relief.

    And what I know is this: The pilot of the aircraft, a single-engine Cessna, is dead. His plane was completely obliterated. Worse, at least one resident in the apartment building is dead.

    Tune into the news. This, I understand, has made the national feed. I can hear the Toshiba in my bedroom right now, though. Nothing this late is on the commercial network outlets.

    But I'm keeping all the lights off in the apartment. Only the illumination from the Toshiba and my iMac are lighting my way here. Don't want to be told to leave the apartment.

    Still a bit shaken. And the thing that still gets me, after all this time, is the heat from the fire across the street.

    Eyewitnesses said they could see the airplane trying to make its way toward Fairfax High School, apparently in an attempt to land on the football field. Instead the plane spiraled into that ugly green building across the street. Others heard the engine; I only heard the sound of rushing air, followed by the explosion.

    The 1992 civil unrest. The 1994 Northridge 'quake. And now this.

    I'll probably sleep on the floor next to where Attila is in the closet.

    I love L.A. I really do.
     
  2. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2001
    Messages:
    779
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gosh Jack, when I heard the news, I figured it was near you. But not that close! What a horrible thing to happen.
     
  3. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2001
    Messages:
    1,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pretty terrifying, Jack. Just saw the story on the news. Glad you're safe.
     
  4. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    0
    Take care.

    And stand guard (don't think you'll get much sleep tonight) - hate to sound pessimistic, but in a situation like this, often the worst of human character rears its ugly head.
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    2
     
  6. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    12,735
    Likes Received:
    584
    Real Name:
    Malcolm
    [​IMG] Glad to hear you and Attila are OK.

    As Peter says, be careful. If everyone thinks the surrounding buildings have been evacuated, there could be some shady characters roaming around.
     
  7. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    just think, statistically the chances of it happening again are extremely low?
    I'll check the NTSB reports next week for the prelim to see what happened.
     
  8. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2001
    Messages:
    6,526
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow. Good to know you're safe.
     
  9. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Thanks, people!

    With all the personnel out there, I'm more concerned about them seeing me than any unsavory visitors taking advantage of the situation. I have seen FAA, FBI, LAFD, LAPD (they're back), and who knows what other people with who knows what agencies.

    Glad I have food and—better—beer in the 'fridge. I also coaxed Attila out of his hideout. He won't venture more than three feet from me. Right now, he's underneath my chair (he always goes there when there are loud noises).

    And the noise of the generators is pretty darn loud. The emergency floodlights outside my window pretty much make navigating my kitchen a non-issue. Can't hear anybody in the apartment building, so I'm sure no one has been allowed back in his or her apartment on this block. A command post was set up at Fairfax High School for the displaced; food, drink, and shelter are being provided, I understand.

    No thanks. I'll break the law and stay in my place tonight.

    What a freaking weird day. I was so happy to wrangle getting Friday off. Was looking forward to a leisurely three-day weekend. In this town, one doesn't take anything for granted.
     
  10. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  11. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 1999
    Messages:
    2,562
    Likes Received:
    29
    Real Name:
    Brian
    I saw this on the news. Thanks for taking the time to let us know that you're safe.
     
  12. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 1998
    Messages:
    9,694
    Likes Received:
    164
    Glad to hear that you're ok, Jack. I had no idea it was so close to you!
     
  13. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2000
    Messages:
    8,967
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can't find a video of this thing anywhere. I just got home, it's 1:46am EST.

    Glad you're OK.

    --
    Holadem
     
  14. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2000
    Messages:
    2,633
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey, I like Queensryche. [​IMG]

    I saw some footage of this on what I think was CNN. From the angle the footage was shot at, it looked like the roof of the building in question was on fire in several spots, though it wasn't blazing. I'm not sure at what time this was exactly but it was still daylight (of course I'm sure the fire was out by nightfall, right Jack?)

    You never knowhow far reaching the membership of this place is until someone has first-hand experience with such a terrible situation like this. Thanks for letting us in on that corner of the world, Jack.
     
  15. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2000
    Messages:
    938
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry to hear about the two who died. Last summer we had a plane drop on a house about a half mile from me. He just bought it and had only gone a mile when the carberator malfunctioned. He and his passenger were lucky enough to survive and a girl in the house they hit survived.

    I always hear about small planes going down in the state. Probably at least one a year. I'll bet the total for a year nationally is more than die in airliners that go down.

    Hang in there Jack.
     
  16. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 1999
    Messages:
    11,061
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    John Williamson
    Shit, Jack, it sounds like quite an ordeal your living through right now! [​IMG] Glad to hear your cool too. Your doing the right thing by hiding out and laying low for the time being.

    Sad to hear about the two casualties. [​IMG] At least it happened at a time of day when most people weren't home or more could have perished.

    Damn, the most exciting thing that happened to ME today was I saw a MetLife blimp flying over our house! [​IMG]
     
  17. Tim Morton

    Tim Morton Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 5, 2000
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Jack, glad to see you are OK, but can you whip out that digital camera and upload some pics for us?
     
  18. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 1999
    Messages:
    3,302
    Likes Received:
    810
    Real Name:
    Peter Apruzzese
    Glad to hear you are okay, Jack. I heard this on the radio news late last night and they didn't know what caused this tragedy yet.
     
  19. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    1,195
    Likes Received:
    0
    Glad to hear you and Attila are OK. [​IMG]

    My vet office is right across the street from Daniel Field, our local general aviation airport. Our front wall is all glass so we get to see all of the takeoffs, landings, near-landings, near-crashes, and real crashes. This airport has been here forever, and the city just grew up around it. The bigger airport, Bush Field, is about 10 miles away in a relatively open area.

    A couple of years a ago, one of our State Senators was killed, along with his wife, the dog, and the pilot, when their plane clipped a power line on takeoff, crashing about 100 yards from my office. Luckily, not much fire damage to surrounding area. The story went the plane was over loaded and could not climb. (Rumor was the plane was loaded with peaches which are really heavy).

    Then there was the time a few years ago when a large commercial airliner (genus unremembered) mistook Daniel Field for Bush Field and landed there, on a very short runway.......
     
  20. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jack, glad to know you are OK, but didn't your friend Dave warn you about that neighborhood?[​IMG]
     

Share This Page