Associated Retired Aviation Professionals
Post Office Box 90, Clements, Maryland 20624 USA

Eyewitness Report sent to NTSB


On 11/12/01 at approximately 9:16 a.m. I was in the bathroom of my home on the second story and about to shave. I live at 194 Beach 114th Street with second story windows looking west towards Belleharbor. I heard a very abrupt and loud bang which appeared to be "elevated" or originating from the sky and very different from the sound of two cars colliding. The sky at that time was clear and completely cloud free. I immediately looked westward and saw a large aircraft heading south towards Belleharbor, flying out of Kennedy at approximately 2,000 feet. Flames and smoke were clearly visible in the rear door area and debris ( some large parts) could be seen falling to the earth. The smoke, debris etc was occurring within one second or almost simultaneously with the abrupt bang I heard. At that point the aircraft seemed to hesitate and drop a few hundred feet in the sky continuing for a few seconds on the same flight path, heading south towards the beach and Atlantic Ocean.  Over Belleharbor it suddenly made a sharp

turn to the left and nose dived into the ground behind some houses. I was deeply shocked and prayed for the unfortunate passengers.  I did notice, before the plane hit the ground that the wings seemed to be relatively intact. The aircraft looked beautiful in the last seconds of its life with the morning sun glinting on the fuselage. I had my cell phone and immediately called the 100th precinct. I took note of the time which was approximately 9:17 a.m. I then called the NTSB with an account of what I had seen and ran to the crash site. As a Catholic Priest (retired) I got as close as I could to the impact zone and gave a general blessing and absolution to the dead. I feel I am a reliable eyewitness with a deep interest in aircraft. My nephew is presently a captain with Irish Air Lines (Aer Lingus.)

Sincrely Yours

Patrick Twohig

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