September 15, 2003

Air Shows

Fellow Munuvian Stevie went to an airshow yesterday and had a great time.

We've recently been hearing about the annual Oshkosh Airshow up in Wisconsin. Some rocket buddies of mine live up in that area and get to see it every year. It sounds great. My favorites are the biplane originally built in 1937 and modified to fly with a Lear-jet engine slung underneath, and the grand finale - the Wall of Fire. Basically, they simulate a bomb drop by overflying warbirds. The wall is ¼ mile long and reaches the height of a three story building. Neat (if you like smoke and fire – and I do)!

Not all the Airshow news was good though:

Thunderbird Jet crashes at Idaho Airshow

The amazing part of that story is that the pilot stood up and waved to the crowd, because you can't imagine how violent an airplane ejection can be. If nothing else, today he feels like the entire NFL used him for tackle dummy practice.

I saw the video of the crash, and he did a fine job keeping the aircraft under control. Something you may have noticed is that the crash happened parallel to the crowd.

I believe that it's a requirement of U.S. airshows (at least) that the aircraft do not fly over the crowd. It's been that way since the Flugtag Airshow disaster in 1988. Three Italian aircraft clipped each other during their performance and one crashed into the watching spectators. We were stationed at Ramstein AB at the time, and some of my people were on the ground near where the plane impacted. My kids and I weren't there, because we had watched the practice the day before, and went to a carnival instead. My son's teacher was severely burned, and we had neighbors who were killed. My kids had nightmares for years about that, and to this day we haven't gone to another airshow.

Airshows are cool, but the danger is there, and when things go wrong they can go spectacularly wrong in a hurry.

Posted by Ted at September 15, 2003 07:58 PM
Category: Flugtag '88 Flugtag '88

I am a Air Force Medic, I was asigned to the clinic at Ramstein the day of the Airshow disaster
The injuries I withnessed was horrific but also a since of pride comes from the fact that We did the best job that could be done for so many injured and though there were 70 deaths from that incident there are plenty that survived due to prompt quick action by Security, Fire and medical forces and from the assistance of by standers and lesser injured folks. Ramstein may never have another air show but it wont forget 28 Aug 1988

Posted by: John F Williams at January 25, 2004 04:36 AM

I was about 150 feet from the impact of the Solo jet with the Ice-Cream Tractor trailer Refrigerator van. I was in the 377th CES at Einsedlerhof and we did crash surveys as part of our duty. I was a TSGT and in charge of the shop and so we got to do the flagging of all the metal and human ‘parts’. It took us about three days and what many people do not know is that there were THREE planes that crashed that day. The Solo plane went into the crowd after first striking the runway, bursting into flames, and then picking up the concertina wire as it cart-wheeled into the many Germans who were by the Ice Cream van picking up the FREE Neapolitan Ice cream we were giving out to them. They love our Ice Cream (as compared to theirs)! The approach road from the control tower, past the LOX plant, and to the perimeter road (where all the people were lined up to view the show) was PACKED with people getting an early start home DURING the last air flight of the day!

The Second plane went into a drainage ditch of taxi way 10…that plane was the one that had sliced off the nose and cockpit of the solo plane. Both pilots were in so many pieces that it was impossible to tell whose parts belonged to what pilot. I rolled over a helmet and there was pink brain material in it!! It did not click at the time but later it sure did!

The third plane got caught up in the debris and went into the far side of taxiway 10 opposite the ditch side. The pilot got out but he was too close to the ground and his cute did not deploy…he was laid out like a rag doll…all together with the cute stretched out behind him…but…his plane continued on and its left wing cut through the canopy of the ONLY Blackhawk rescue helicopter that was stationed (in a safe place) for emergencies evacuation (to Landsthul hospital up on the far hill overlooking the base). The cockpit of the helicopter looked like a large knife went through it and there was blood and goo all over the place!

I drew up the crash survey map

And I actually have some pictures that I took (personal types) so that I could then help remind myself of the MESS as I drew the map. They were Polaroid and I might be able to scan them.

In the area of the Ice Cream Van I remember a baby stroller upright and oddly not damaged at all while everything around it was blackened and torn up…I remember looking it over real close for blood stains…and was relieved to find (oddly) that there were none! There was also a blue German (plated) four door car (BMW I think) that was on the runway side (closer to solo side impact and its travel) of/to the van. There was what looked like a landing gear strut driven through the car and into the front seat. The car was position parallel to the runway with the driver’s position nearest to the runway. BOTH the drivers door and the passenger door behind the driver were CLOSED (the doors closest to the runway and the oncoming plane) but the two doors on the other side (away from the plane) were wide open…I bet those two people (at least) are STILL running!

There is also a story I heard of a German father standing beside a dumpster and watching the plane coming at him in flames and in a spark of wisdom…he picked up his boy…and did a side leap into the dumpster…! He and his son walked away while all around them were burned and cut up by the concertina wire.

I was with my wife Donna, and new born handicapped (premature) daughter Erin, and my German Friend Rudi Gephardt. When I walked up the approach rood at the start of the show, I decided to go to the left (away from the Ice Cream Van) mainly because there were a few of my CES friends near the van (I did not want to take attention away from my German Friend by paying too much attention to them and not to Rudi). Had I gone right (to my friends) rather than left I might be dead! Moving Erin would have been difficult to do quickly.

Immediately after the plane stopped…the welling up of people who rushed away from the flames was frightening. The screams were chilling and time seemed to slow to a snails pace. I felt like I was in a fog and that my legs were made of lead…nothing moved fast. After the plane hit…there was this flash and crunching grinding noise and then SILENCE (for about five LONG seconds) then the screams and cries for help…strange time! I remember going back with the rest of the crowd (after about 20 seconds) and putting people’s feet (those who were laying on the ground but conscience) up on top of the soda crates and trying to calm them down. Some had burns but most were OK…just shock! Heck…I was in shock too…we all were! Had this really happened!!?!?!? I asked myself! I remember looking over toward the Ice cream van (after about 2 minutes…it’s hard to judge time) and there was this body…laying in the road…and just as black as the road…his (her?) arms were up as if (it) was wanting help to stand/get up. BUT, this person was burned completely black and upon closer observation (about 15 feet away) you could easily see the pink and blood like fluid oozing from the corpse. This person was gone! Five minutes prior…he/she was a live person probably getting Ice Cream! That vision and many more will NEVER leave my brain.

I spent a total of nine years at Ramstien (from 1970-73 (7SOS Sq) and from 1982-88 in 86th CEG and 377th CES). I retired after 23 years as a MSgt in 1991

Gordon Tatro

Posted by: Gordon Tatro at February 9, 2004 07:13 PM

I was stationed at the Stein during this terrible and horrific accident. My family and I were at the airshow that day standing in front of the AVIS van. Gordon, by the grace of GOD, something told me to round up my family and depart just as the French were ending their demo. That something was JESUS I'm convinced. We left but a family we were standing next to didn't. He ended up on the front page of every major newspaper in the world. When the planes collided he and his wife took off running, during the confusion they forgot their baby, he is pictured running back into the inferno to get JJ his son. All three lived a miracle. I will never forget the next several weeks, as a supervisor of flying I saw many things I wish I hadn't. THANK YOU LORD FOR WATCHING OVER US.

Posted by: LtCol. Robert "PeeWee" Edlund at March 17, 2004 09:19 PM

A couple of hours ago I finished looking at the photos and reading the posted narratives. I had to stop and walk away for a while. The memories were intense (even now). I was a Lieutenant and the arriving Disaster Preparedness Officer for Ramstein at that time. The outgoing DW Officer (Captain) was working inside the Command Post during the event, I was on the flightline. I remember wishing (then) that I still was a 902 (Medic) instead of a Disaster Preparedness Officer. I would have preferred staying in the midst of the triage efforts instead of forming up the Disaster Control Group.
Somewhere at home I believe that I have a copy of some of the video footage of the crash. I'll hunt for the video tonight. If I still have it, next week I'll convert some of the video to mpeg. Maybe others who were there will want to view the video, too.

Posted by: Wayne Paradis at May 21, 2004 02:52 PM

I was also there that day.
I was stationed at Landstuhl.

I had my son in a stroller and I had taken the day to spend time with my German girlfriends.
This was the first time that they had been on post.

I remember having a bad feeling that day.
Someone made a comment behind me... "One of these planes is going to end up crashing". That statement from a fellow soldier somewhere in the crowd garnished a roll of muttered agreement through the crowd.

We were standing very close to the ice cream van.
I remember thinking that people were being very nice to let us up front with our baby in the stroller.

As the French team flew overhead I had a terrible ominous feeling. I turned to my best friend Christiana. "I don't think they are supposed to fly right over the crowd". I said to her.
"If they had an accident we would not be able to get out of here".

I remember everything like slow motion from that point.
Christiana looked at me like she was really scared. "We wouldn't be able to get the stroller out of here. Somebody would trample it".

At that point she removed my son Joshua from the stroller and held him as we turned and started walking towards the barracks. We had a friend who's barrack's were right off of the flight line and, although we knew that we would not be allowed to go into the barracks, especially with the baby, we still headed that way.

I figured my friend would have some idea where we could go to wait for the next bus back to post.

My husband Troy (we weren't married yet) was working that day at the emergency room at LARMC so I could not get a ride from him.

I remember it was so pretty out there.
Just a beautiful day.

My other friends had run off to flirt with GI's and do the things that 20 year old German girls do when they are finally let loose with a bunch of Air Force guys.
I asked Christiana if we should go look for them.
"No, let's just get to the barracks and we'll let the guys go find them.

We got to the front door of the barracks. As I reached my hand down and grabbed the front door, the planes hit. There was screaming.
I still had my hand on the door as the plane hit the crowd. I will never forget that feeling. My entire body was shaking from the blast. It felt like an earthquake. The building was groaning and every glass window was shaking so hard that I thought for sure they would break.

I screamed at Christiana. There wasn't any blast noise really. More like something had hit and sucked all the air away for a minute. I had the sensation that there was ringing in my ears, but I couldn't hear it.
Just intense pressure.

I was yelling as loud as I could to get inside and Christiana couldn't hear me. I felt like my eardrums were going to burst.

We made it inside the door and we were screaming that there was an earthquake. Airmen came running from all over the building, somebody grabbed me and asked if I was Okay.
"The planes just crashed", he said.
"No, I think it's an earthquake"! Sounds crazy now, but somewhere in my mind I knew it COULDN'T be the planes. A plane crash would be loud and this was just heat and pressure.

We found my friend as he was leaving his room to run outside. He grabbed my son and said, "you have to go they called a mass-cal (mass casualty) at LARMC”.

I worked on 1 Delta at LARMC. That is the psyche ward. What the hell good was I going to be in a mass casualty situation?

My friends took Josh and said they would take him back to my girlfriend's house. I had to get on a bus. The Emergency Commander on Ramstein got a bus to carry all soldiers back to LARMC.

When I arrived, at the emergency room it was already full of gurneys. It was nearly silent.
I have never witnessed anything like it.

There was a little blond haired girl laying on a gurney, she could not have been more than five. Her burns were so severe that she wasn't even crying. Her eyelids were burned off and she was staring at me and her chest was heaving up and down struggling for breath. The only sound from her was a gurgling as she tried to breath. I don't know if she lived, my husband worked on her, but refuses to discuss it.

At this point I remember almost passing out. My husband came up behind me. "Go see 'So and So' (sorry, can't remember her name), she is in charge of setting up beds”.

I was taken upstairs to an empty ward. The guys were bringing in empty beds and we began putting linen on them.
Some guys were bringing in some other material for burn patients to lay on, they explained to me that this would stop them from sticking to the sheets.

I wish I could remember more... or not.
I don't know... it is like a movie I saw, but kept closing my eye's through the scary parts.
I know what happened, but I can't remember it.

I went back to Ramstein and our psych department set up an information center for the people who were waiting to hear news about missing loved ones.

It wa in some type of auditorium. It was packed full of crying families. I spoke a little German and I was taking names to compare with the ones coming in from the hospital. I was there a long time, but again, I cannot remember more than one or two things. I remember sitting with a German grandma and grandpa who were looking for their daughter and granddaughter. I remember sitting and rubbing her back while she was crying and clinging onto me. I remember at some point passing out Kool-aid in dixie cups.

If I met someone who had gone through a traumatic experience like that and couldn't remember what happened, I would tell them to see a psychiatrist. I however, don't want to talk about it.
This is the first time I've ever written about that day. I was much more traumatized than I realized. I am crying as I write this.

I received a 'Letter of Commendation' from the Air Force Commander for helping set up the Information Center.
My husband, who saved countless lives in the ER that day, did not.
My friend from the barracks was given the task of walking the flight line and picking up body parts the next day, did not receive a 'Commendation' either.

I have never read that 'Commendation'. I have seen it only once since we left Germany. I found it, when we were in the process of moving... I don't know where it is now.

I don't want to see it. It is just a reminder of how utterly useless I felt on that awful day.

There were many more deserving than I, and if I could give that 'Commendation' to anyone I would have given it to my husband... he was truly a hero that day.

Posted by: Tricia Weight at August 9, 2004 01:14 PM

Thank you for the opportunity to unload the memories from that day. We are forever joined by what we experienced that day. Few can understand the enormity of that particular event.

I would like to add my story to the others.

I was a nineteen year old new medic when the infamous day occured.

I was going to work at the fire station in Vogleweh when my team leader wanted me to stay at Landstuhl to work at the hospital till 1500. It was a calm day, nothing much going on until the earth rumbling sonic boom hit.

I remember saying that it was a plane breaking the sound barrier or something, nothing bad could happen right?

We got the phone call to get everyone in for the mass cal right away. My teamleader called the barracks and sent a medic over in a PTV to bring in people to work. I stayed in the ER waiting for the first wave of injured to arrive.

Our 66 passenger mercedes bus was already there and filled quickly. It was the first and only time that I had seen this many patients at one moment.

Time froze as the bus showed up with many patients still smoldering, tourniquets on limbs, moaning and groaning, smoke still so thick it was hard to see what was happening.

The first thing that struck me was the smell of burning flesh and the amount of kids and German nationals on the bus.

My job, with all of this going on, was to assess who to take care of first. Everyone seemed like an emergent patient to me, but in a split second we had to take live or die now patients first and leave the expectants to die.

This was a new sensation for me; someone's loved one, child, father ,mother etc. could die as a result of going out and watching an air show and having fun together.

I wanted to save everyone... Now!
My senior medic took over and told me that we can't save everyone but to focus on the one's that can truly be saved versus letting my emotions dictate who gets saved.

I remember thinking airway, breathing, circulation... the abc's of the medical field. Sucking Chest wound emergent now, O2 ,chest tube, IV, amputee tourniquete stable but start IV for blood loss.

Put fires out fluid, fluid, fluid...I learned a lot that day.

In retrospect, I did not realize the enormity of the situation because I was engrossed in the moment. We ran out of supplies, the war crates were opened and used up.... then it happened.
The NATO trucks started comming in with all kinds of supplies and we had to translate the packages to make sure what we were giving was correct. All kinds of helicopters were landing on our open helipad area from different NATO countries as well.

The hospital filled up and we stabilized the new patients and took them back to the different helicopters for transport to surrounding hospitals. I was amazed later to find out that we treated about 400 patients and only around 70 died.

Please don't misunderstand me, I think that loosing one life is a big price to pay... given the circumstance we did one hell of a job... From the flight line triage and treatment to the hospital level care and transport in all areas in between.

I am truly proud to say that I did my best with everyone else involved to save all that could be saved...My unit at the 2nd general hospital in Landstuhl did not receive any awards that day for exceptional treatment under such dire circumstances, but that does not diminish the collective acts of exceptional people rising to the occasion...I was only nineteen at the time, and saw more suffering and death in that short 2-3 hour time frame than most will see in a lifetime.

Having to make the decisions about who gets treated and who goes to our waiting room with an expectant tag still haunts me, but I am here to say that I'll never forget those people that I treated and I hope they are all well...

Posted by: Troy Weight at August 29, 2004 10:11 PM

wow. these stories are amazing.

im speechless.

Posted by: vadergrrrl at August 30, 2004 10:03 PM

It's been over 16 years and for some reason a lot of feelings are coming back. I was 20 years old and a brand new security police officer. I was in the theater at the time of the accident with other SP's as a emergency response team. When the explosion happened we went outside and immediately doubled timed to the flightline and what I saw I still don't believe. We didn't know where to start. We had to get order to the site but at the same time we had to decide which people we could help and which were beyond. The worst feelings were when we found the kids. The sights and sounds were unbearable. I can still remember the smells of that day. The absolute worst part came after it finally calmed down and all of the wounded were transported. We had to stay out there all night to secure the area while the investigators did thier job. That night was extremely long. I was forced me to remember it over and over again as I'm standing in the blood soaked ground that it happened in. I swear that I could hear the screams thoughout the night. This week is the first time that I've actually talked in detail about it. My wife know nothing of this until last night. Thanks for your ear.

Posted by: Eric at March 28, 2005 03:34 PM

I was that time in Ramstein with my wife and my daughter.They died, and I was a year long in a hospital.It's been over 16 years,but for me like yesterday.I hope for informations from anyone who helped us in Ramstein 1988.After the crash I was yet three hours in Ramstein before I came to Koblenz.The same was with my daughter.It is possible that she came with a bus to Ludwigshafen but no one knows it exactly.She died on 9.September 1988.
I have learned to live with this disaster.
But I know not much from the last hours in Ramstein.Can anyone remember?
Thanks for all your stories here,they are important.

Posted by: Roland at April 7, 2005 12:02 PM

i was stationed at RAF Alconbury but was part of the air show because our plane, the tr1 spy plane was on static display. I was in the crowd that day and was very very to escape without injury or harm because the plane came down in front of me and people around me were either hurt or killed. For you who have read these stories or wrote them, God bless you and your families if you lost a family member or a good friend. What i remember at the time of the disaster was a giant cloud of black smoke in front of me with fire rolling upwards. The screams of people in pain, the screams of people in fear as they run away from the fire. It was like a war zone and there were many people burned and worse. All i could do is react and help. It seemed to be all everyone wanted, how can i help these people who need help. All the helicopters on static display got involved and give the base alot of credit, it was so fast in getting its emergency services in action, i am sure it also saved many more lives. I transported victims that day into helicopters, helped move people to the gymnasium, and also went around collecting blood donors to bus out to give blood. it was about nine o'clock at night and i still found myself wanting to help along with everyone else. It really didn't sink in that night because of the shock and reality that has just taken place that i was never prepared for before that day. It hit me hard waking up in the morning and seeing all the parked vehicles down by the taxi way, knowing these people were injured or worse, it made me shake and emotion overcame me as i began to tremble. But along with sadness came the only good thought i had since the disaster took place. People still care, in the worst of times can bring out the best in all people, and on that day it did.....M. Guerin United States Air Force

Posted by: M. Guerin at April 15, 2005 12:03 AM

Thanks for a great tribute to a terrible day. I, like so many other posters, haven't revisited the sights, sounds, smells of Flugtag 88 for a long time. Today happens to be the day before our airshow here at Langley, and I have a view of the flightline from my office window, which brought to surface many memories. I was working security that day with my future wife. We were on standby on the hot cargo pad (where all of the accrobatic planes were parked) just in case something happened. I remember watching the Italian team members joking around and having a good time before their flight. They had purchased a mountain bike from the BX and were riding it around on the ramp. A strange sight, since bikes were generally not allowed on the ramp. I had watched the performers practice the day before, including the Italian team, so was familiar with the Pierced Heart maneuver. In fact, I readied my camera and captured the moment just before impact. It is interesting to note that the #10 plane had it's landing gear down; I heard later that was a technique to reduce air speed. At the moment my shutter clicked, there was a flash of light and a "pop" sound, which was caused by the #10 plane colliding with two other planes above taxiway 10. I have seen maps drawn out to look like the planes were above the runway, but they were actually above taxiway 10. Watching the #10 plane head toward the crowd was almost like slow motion. It slowly rolled and tumbled, then impacted with a huge fireball. The other two planes were immediately driven into the taxiway in front of us and slid to the left, taking out the medical helicopter. One interesting note I haven't seen posted is that there was a man on a lawn chair sitting just in front of the helicoptor, who surprisingly was completely unharmed (the plane must have missed him by inches). There were 30 of us security police on this detail, and we immediately deployed in line formation and swept perpendicular to the taxiway, toward the runway and accident site. Our primary mission was to ensure the crowd didn't spill into the flightline area, but it immediately turned into a search and rescue mission. I was side-by-side with my future wife, and the first casualty we came across was the #10 pilot. We could see where he impacted the runway, almost in the middle, and slid about 30 meters across and into the grass on the other side. This would be the first of many grizzly sights that day. We tagged and continued on our way to the crowd. I grabbed three other SPs and established a landing zone for incoming medical helicoptors, which began arriving almost immediately. Aside from assisting the injured and marking the dead, there are a couple of things I remember most vividly: I remember watching a couple of german police extracting their K-9 from a burned-out police car. The dog was in the front passenger floorboard, and was practically melted into the floor. It took two strong men to rip the poor dog out of the car. Also, there was a car behind the ice-cream truck that had a large piece of wreckage in the driver's seat. It could barely fit through the side window, but there were no marks around the window frame. After loading bodies onto trucks, we later went back to the hot cargo pad and swept down taxiway 10, along the wreckage of the other two planes. The wreckage there was very spread out, so finding one of the pilot's was difficult. We finally found him in a water-filled ditch, pulled him out, and loaded him into the back of a truck. I remember the mixture of blood and water leaking out of the back when the truck pulled away, and also how heavy he seemed to be. I have come to terms with everything that happened that day, but will never attend another air show unless duties require me to. I have found that this is an event you have to live through to really understand, and in the long run, believe it has made me stronger. I want to thank you again for maintaining this site, very good therapy :)

Posted by: A. Aldrich at May 13, 2005 02:14 PM

i managed to construct a digital virtual docu on what happened.
check it out here:

[bizarre fact:if they had flown the show WITHOUT droptanks the accident had not occured !]

Posted by: HEXJUMPER at June 3, 2005 08:56 AM

Hi, I remember being at the Flugtag in the afternoon of that day, I believe it was 3-ish? We had taken a bus tour to the "Monsters of Rock" concert the night before and I had been the chaperone of the bus. We did not get back until 6 am due to one the girls having been lost and we had been searching for her, she was at home when we got there, had gotten a ride with someone, unbeknownst to us.
Anyway, I was to work a beer stand at noon for the MWR, as I was a child care provider part-time prior to joining the Air Force, and directly after High School.
I had sat down to smoke a cig, our stand was down the taxiway towards the larger aircraft static displays. Right as I lit my cigarette, I was looking towards the Frecce Tricolore performance and was thinking,"Why is this guy flying towards the crowd like that?" At that instant, they made contact and the realization of what was happening struck me like a solid punch to the head. The second aircraft landed directly across the runway from us, somewhere near the bomb dump (where I later was assigned). The reaction was instantaneous, looking back on it, the response to the disaster probably couldn't have been better. They came around and got everyones Ice from the stands for the injured. I remember within 2 minutes, a German man came running to the stand with a video camera and showed me his video through the lens, he was in a state of shock and rambling on about the crash, He had been right near the concertina wire about 300 feet to the (west?) of the solo planes crash, the video was amazing and sickening at the same time. This was now 3 mnutes after the crash and Everyone was running from the runway area, people throwing up, screaming for their children, children crying, at this point we were not worried about the beer in fact I downed 3 in a row to calm myself. I proceeded towards the crash site to offer assistance, but was turned away by off-duty SPs who had put up a perimeter around the disaster. We are 10 minutes after and everything is in a frenzy, there are sirens going, but not getting here fast enough, the first helicopters probably didnt make it for 30 minutes, and didnt quiet down again for three days solid, 24/7, volleying the injured & deceased to Landstuhl and beyond. They had hijacked (for lack of better term) POV pickups to transport less critical patients by ground, they werer putting injured in buses, VW vans, pickups, flatbeds, anything they could find. The phones were down for days, the congestion had overrun the local system, you couldnt call loved ones stateside or otherwise.
The most awful part was not knowing where your family and friends were. I remember for literally months afterwards, the eerie feeling of seeing those visitors cars still parked there on the grass, not knowing if they were hospitalized or dead. The sirens and chopper sounds kept me awake for the next 3 nights, endlessly they worked trhough the day and night, transporting everyone and everything.
A year later, even 3 years later, that eerie patch of bright green grass near the control tower where the plane had crashed and so many had perished. It was a bright landmark denoting a dreary event. The sights, sounds and smells of that day are scorched into my mind forever, I can remember certain events of that day as if they happened yasterday. I, as well as many, too many others, have learned to cherish the rest of their days on this planet as if tomorrow may be the last. God Bless all the injured people. May the deceased rest in peace.
There is no way to try and highlight the good parts of the show on that Sunday afternoon at Flugplatz Ramstein, Rheinland Pfalz.
Thanks for allowing me to get this off my chest after so many years.

Posted by: rob harvey at June 18, 2005 05:57 AM

I was only 8 when it happened, but I remember almost every horrific detail. I remember we had just arrived at Ramstein AFB because we were in TLF. That day started as a very exciting one because my family loved air shows. There were my parents, my brother(13 at the time) and myself (8) all climbing into our Subaru stationwagen ready for an awsome day at the show. My family, being airshow junkies, knew that with 2 kids you needed a spot in between the food stands and the bathrooms. So my mom found the perfect spot, about 50 yards ffrom the ice cream stand. I'll forever remember the ice cream lady. She had her hair pulled back in a ponytail and a t-shirt on with a infant on her hip. Why I can still after all this time rememeber that detail I'll never know. But I'd gone to get ice cream right as the Italians started. I'd returned to my family and ate the treat I'd begged for, but as soon as I'd finished all hell broke loose. Right at that moment my dad had gained super-human stregth. He grabbed all three of us, all at once, thrown us behind a car and jumped on top of us screaming to my brother and I not to look up. But there was space enough for me to make the biggest mistake. I looked up to see plane parts and ashes raining from the same sky that had me so excited just seconds earlier. I could also see the ice cream stand in flames. When all this happened I remember also I couldn't breath for a couple of seconds. It was like the air was sucked from around me. When it got quiet,my dad slowly got up and gathered the rest of us and said" don't look back." We had reached the car and we sat to collect our thoughts. I know my parents were trying to be brave for my brother and I but I could see the terror in their faces. As we sat in the car I could see men carrying the women like small children in their arms and some men were still running with the women over one shoulder. I can remember that I could see people screaming and see my family crying but I couldn't hear. It was like a slow motion sequence in a horror movie. When we finally got back to TLF my dad explained what had happened. Since then my family hasn't spoken of it. I'm now married to a wonderful man who is also in the military and we have two children. He understands my fear and doesn't question my reservations about air shows. I've tried to go to another one since we've been married,but all it took was that first jet to pass and I was reminded suddenly of what had happened so many years ago. This is the first time I've written about my experiance. All I know is that I saw hell's fury and I never want to see it again. Thank you for allowing me to use this as an outlet.
Jessica Saunders-Cooley
Daughter of:
Lt.Col.(Ret)Thomas H. Saunders (HERO)
Wife of:
TSsgt. Scott Cooley (Mr. Wonderful)

Posted by: Jessica Cooley at July 11, 2005 02:41 PM

I was a dental officer from Wiesbaden Regional Med Ctr. who arrived on the scene shortly after the accident occurred. We were tasked with opening the body bags and making dental charts from the teeth of each victim. I remember horrible injuries, lots of lacerations, decapitations, missing arms and legs. I also remember identifying one child, bad memories. Luckily, I rerely think about this

Posted by: Richard S Finlayson at August 29, 2005 11:23 PM

If  Designer replica handbags are indeniably the most popular choice of modern women, other leading brands continuously experience huge demand. Also, our Louis Vuitton Handbags, associating sophistication and tradition, attract the eye of tasteful women... Also, to satisfy the tastes of each woman, we carry a very wide range of replica handbags, including copies of bags by Chanel handbags, Fendi handbags,  Mulberry handbags,Marc Jacobs handbags,Gucci handbags,Yves Saint Laurent handbags, Balanciaga handbags, Miu Miu handbags, Thomas Wylde handbags, Mulberry handbags, Prada handbags ,Coach handbags,and Hermes handbags...We are continually updating and adding more and more products from famous brand such as LV,Marc Jacobs handbags , Gucci,Dior, Chanel,Chloe handbags,Fendi, Balenciaga ,Coach handbags and more!Such as,all Fendi handbags of the materials are exactly the same as the genuine and all the products are produced with elaborate technique. . . Al

Posted by: gag at July 3, 2009 02:15 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Site Meter