It Was NOT a Good Weekend to Be Traveling on the East Coast
This was quite the eventful weekend for air travel in the Northeast. First, severe thunderstorms struck their lightning bolts for a few hours on Friday, delaying and diverting flights. This was immediately followed by a damaging fire at an FAA air traffic facility in New Jersey that caused airport, aircraft and ATC communication issues.
It only got worse on Saturday when a West Palm Beach-bound JetBlue flight had a bird strike on one engine and returned (safely) to Westchester County Airport. Finally, to cap off the weekend, an x-ray machine started smoking at the security check at one of the terminals of LaGuardia Airport, forcing the evacuation of all passengers for a few hours and further delaying and mixing up flights.
WHEW. Welcome to summer travel, eh?
Amidst all that breathless breaking news, the local broadcasting stations briefly glazed over what we thought was really the most intriguing story of allthat of a massive terror drill at JFK Airport.
The details are few, but we did catch that the simulated tragedies were an A320 plane crash and a car bombing. Over 700 first responders and volunteers were involved, making it what Newsday called "one of the largest, most complex, interagency training drills in New York City history."
Regular passengers departing from JFK would not have had any clue what was taking place out on the tarmac, as few would even have seen it; the drill happened around 1am on Sunday morning. Newsday has a great photo gallery of the event, but it's behind their stupid subscription pay wall so we guess no one will ever get to see it. As we already mentioned, some news channels touched on the drill and even included a few seconds of video, complete with the volunteers and actors playing the parts of wounded passengers.
Of course there's a reason this important exercise was given the briefest of mentions; no one likes seeing bodies on a tarmac, even if they are perfectly alive actors.
[Photo: Fox NY]