2001-12-08 / Letters

Airplanes Over Rockaway

Airplanes Over Rockaway

Dear Editor;

The following is a letter sent to Senator Charles Schumer.

First let me thank you for all you have done in the past and, hopefully will continue to do, for the residents of Rockaway Beach, NY.

As you can see from my address, I live only a few blocks from where American Airlines flight 587 occurred. My husband and I were home at the time and saw the engine detach from the plane and plummet to the ground a mere three blocks from our home. Fuselage littered our block. I realize that the flight path will not change over night. That is not the reason I am writing to you. I am writing because I am extremely frustrated at the lack of response that appears to be shown to all our neighbors now that the media blitz has calmed down. We have been told one possible scenario for the crash was that the plane directly ahead of flight 587 departed JFK a mere minute plus a few seconds. Senator, I have lived in Rockaway my entire life and planes have been going over our rooftops within 59 seconds of each other. If that is in fact a possible cause, why are the planes still departing JFK 50-59 seconds of each other? If I had a video camera to prove this point, I would not know who to forward it to.

I have tried calling Congressman Weiner’s office more than five times since this crash happened and since our Town Hall Meeting, which I did not find particularly productive. I also tried calling the FAA at least five times and have left messages. I was also disappointed that they did not attend the meeting. The NTSB was there from Community Affairs, and not the technical people. The people of Rockaway needed more than what Community Affairs could explain. Despite all my calls, and concerns, to date, I have note had the courtesy of one phone call. My husband also called NBC news and was told that the government was investigating the crash and they no longer considered it newsworthy.

I, like many other residents of the peninsula, awake every night with the sounds of airplane engines above our heads. I cannot tell you how unsettling this is. Every time I hear a plane I look up in anticipation of another horrific event happening.

I would appreciate some sort of correspondence so I know that my fears and concerns are being addressed.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.


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