CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
NTSB Press Conference on Charlotte Commuter Crash
Aired January 8, 2003 - 12:24 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: John Goglia of the NTSB is speaking to reporters over at National -- Reagan National Airport. Let's listen in.
JOHN GOGLIA, NTSB: So it's not clear what that means yet, but at least we know that there was some sort of a catastrophic event that led her to declare an emergency. So that's about the extent of our knowledge at this point, and I will keep you posted later on today.
QUESTION: Two things, have either of the recorders been recovered? And also, you know in the past family notifications have been an issue. It's been three hours since the accident, do you know if the NTSB is in possession of the passenger manifest and if notifications have been made?
GOGLIA: I don't know that we're in possession of the list. I do know that we have had -- we know the names that are on the list, but I don't know if they've given us -- a hard copy to us. And I don't know if the families have been notified, but that will be on the top of my list when I get to Charlotte.
QUESTION: What about the black boxes? Do you think that they're recoverable given the extent of the fire...
GOGLIA: It's too early to tell, because oftentimes in these kinds of accidents, the boxes, because of where they're located, get thrown clear, and that's the reason why most of them are located in the tail. So we will have to see. This airplane is small and probably not in the tail. I don't know where they are, but we will find out. And the fire, I suspect the fire was put down pretty quickly. The real fire, the intense fire. And if that's the case, then I would suspect the boxes would survive.
QUESTION: Do you know -- can you tell us any more about the circumstances of the crash itself, what position the plane was in or anything about it?
GOGLIA: I don't know any of that yet.
QUESTION: You mentioned that the pilot did declare an emergency on board?
GOGLIA: Yes. Yes.
QUESTION: Can't give us anything...
GOGLIA: That's all -- that's all I was told. QUESTION: Any indications that this might have been a terrorist incident?
GOGLIA: I can't say one way or the other on that yet. But I -- it was -- an emergency was declared, so that would sort of rule out a terrorist act on the surface at least.
QUESTION: Was the emergency made in communications with the air traffic controllers or to the airline's maintenance folks?
GOGLIA: ATC, I believe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not clear right now.
GOGLIA: Oh, it's not clear right now. All right, thank you. And...
QUESTION: Sir, one other thing...
QUESTION: Can we get your name?
QUESTION: One other thing, you were -- you were a mechanic for U.S. Airways at one point in your career...
GOGLIA: That's correct. That's correct.
QUESTION: Was it -- is that a factor in you going or...
GOGLIA: Yes, if this were a U.S. Air airplane, part of their system, not part of a contract, I would not be going. But since this is a Mesa Airlines or Midway Airlines, Midway owned airplane and all they have is a contractual relationship with U.S. Air, then I am not bound by any ethics permit (ph).
QUESTION: Can we get your name?
GOGLIA: John Goglia -- G-O-G-L-I-A. Pronounced Goglia. OK.
QUESTION: Thank you (UNINTELLIGIBLE), thank you.
GOGLIA: Am I going to see any of you down there? Are you going down?
OK, thanks guys.
BLITZER: John Goglia of the National Transportation Safety Board at Reagan National Airport here in Washington, D.C. about to leave, takeoff for Charlotte where that plane crash occurred earlier today, confirming there was an emergency declared, the pilot, the co-pilot declaring an emergency. Getting the message off apparently to the air traffic controllers, although not necessarily. Said they're still checking that.
They will also be looking for those so-called black boxes to determine what exactly happened. But the news is that the investigators are leaving Reagan National Airport here in Washington right now, heading to Charlotte to investigate, begin a lengthy investigation to determine what happened to that plane and the 21 people on board all now confirmed dead. We'll continue to follow that story.
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