Plane crash near airport kills S.F. man

Full story: The Santa Fe New Mexican

Irene Herrera used the brightest star in the sky to pinpoint the location of a plane crash Monday night, then watched as emergency vehicles sped past her in the wrong direction.

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julia spinelli

San Diego, CA

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#1
Oct 1, 2008
 
what a well written thorough story. Bravo Jason. Finally, a jouralist that one is able to follow the story and make sense of it without a back and forth reference.
Thank you very much
Julia
marysol

Albuquerque, NM

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#2
Oct 1, 2008
 
I am sorry a life was lost but glad that not a whole neighborhood.It is scary to read situation such as this, we the people that live around that area are always at risk not only having the walls of our home cracked but having to live with all the noise when planes are landing.
grace

Santa Fe, NM

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#3
Oct 1, 2008
 
Sympathies to the family.

I too am against the air traffic that threatens our neighborhoods and families that live beneath these 3-6million dollar inconsiderate low flying hobby planes.

Since when is the air space above one's home the play zone for the rich and accident prone.
ME Carroll

Santa Fe, NM

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#4
Oct 1, 2008
 
Trains, yes
Planes, no
Expanding the airport beyond its current size is unsafe and foolhardy.
The airport was

Los Alamos, NM

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#5
Oct 1, 2008
 
There first.
Lila

Houston, TX

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#7
Oct 1, 2008
 
He truly was one of God's people on earth. So kind, generous and loving. So shocked at your post, so hope his family doesn't read it.
grace wrote:
Sympathies to the family.
I too am against the air traffic that threatens our neighborhoods and families that live beneath these 3-6million dollar inconsiderate low flying hobby planes.
Since when is the air space above one's home the play zone for the rich and accident prone.
Ronnie

San Marcos, TX

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#8
Oct 1, 2008
 
I am flabbergasted at the uncaring attitude of the lot of you writing. I did not know him personally- neither did you- but I know that he made something of himself while he was here. He was more worried about raising great daughters than he was his "portfolio", and he already had a charitable foundation established to help others, before he died. You should ignore your jealousy and neighborhood inconvenience until you have accomplished something in your own lives. I know his family and I hope that they do not read your pathetic comments. A great man has died tragically.
Caroline

Tucson, AZ

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#9
Oct 1, 2008
 
I agree with "Ronnie" completely. I just have one thing to ask to all those who have commented/ plan to comment on this article. Please just for the sake of his family- keep your complaints about air traffic and careless remarks about Rick to yourselves. I hope to God that his familly (who are some of the most amazing people I know) never read this. I am not trying to be confrontation, just simply asking for you to take a second and think about the fact that if his family or friends ever read negative/careless comments about this horrible tragedy, the hurt they will feel will outweigh by a thousand your satisfaction of expressing your opinion.
Rick Gardner was an incredible man with a beautiful, loving family and this is truly a tragedy. Rest in Peace.
Caroline -Schiller fyi-

Tucson, AZ

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#10
Oct 1, 2008
 
p.s.'Ambro'- your comment makes me sad for humanity.
p.p.s.'grace'- I understand your concern for the safety of other but just wanted to add that not only was this a "low flying hobby plane", but it was also a plane he used to fly children with cancer and their families for free from all over the country to the Houston Medical Center so that they could receive better treatment than what was available to them otherwise.
Sloan Santa Fe NM

Rio Rancho, NM

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#11
Oct 1, 2008
 
I am ashamed of the people making the comments they have. A special and loving family have tragically and suddenly lost a dear man, husband, father, son, brother, special and great friend to many. A big heart has died and the planet has become sadly smaller.
I will hope these postings are not read by those left behind with a huge hole in their life. But if so, they are bigger and much more intelligent.
Fly high Rick. Heres a toast to you.
Kelly

Plano, TX

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#12
Oct 1, 2008
 
I read the article, and I was a journalism major, it surprises me that you would write such detailed remarks about the debris. Rick was an amazing person, and had wonderful friends and family.
Before you decide to write a piece, maybe you should think about his family or friends who are reading this...it is crude. of course you can talk about the crash, but dont bring his name up or how he was left. It is journalism 101..you must be amateurs. You have no idea who he was....you have no idea who is reading this..I am from Austin. This article should be deleted and you should write it again. Yes, you can discuss about the crash, the plane, FAA, but dont discuss where his remains laid.
If you are a good journalist, do me a favor, get this article off, so his wife and 3 daughters dont read it.
Kelly Hamilton
Austin TX
Kelly

Plano, TX

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#13
Oct 1, 2008
 
How is it Bravo Jason? obviously you know him..good story, yes, but neither you or Jason knew him.
If that was your loved one, would you want to know the details of what he wrote about the body, no.
good story, but leave that one part out.
if he is good..he will discuss next what went wrong, and how do we fix the problem.
again, whomever Jason is..bravo because detailed story, but you have to be compassionate.
Hector_Sanchez

Santa Fe, NM

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#14
Oct 2, 2008
 
"Since when is the air space above one's home the play zone for the rich and accident prone."

This is the dumbest comment I've read in years...truly reflects ignorance and bias. Where to start? How about all those "rich" people like me who make under $50,000 a year and bought a $40,000 used, 40-year-old plane on 20-year credit to fly on business so I don't have to drive 6 hours to my other business location? It allows me to get there and back in the same day so I can spend more time with my family and attending all the meetings for volunteer organizations I belong to.

Or what of all the people who rent planes at the Santa Fe airport for a hobby? Most of them are middle or lower class. They aren't "rich." Flying costs about the same as any other hobby, be it owning a boat, camping in an RV, golfing, or whatever. You certainly don't have to be "rich" to do it. 2-3 people can own a $20,000-$30,000 airplane, and often do. That's not rich, folks.

Accident prone? You know NOTHING about what caused this accident and don't have the right to assume this pilot did anything wrong.
Marc Coan

Santa Fe, NM

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#15
Oct 2, 2008
 
I'm a day late in posting, so no one will read it, but NO ONE has proposed "expansion" of the Santa Fe Airport. The only proposal I've heard of is for airline service, which won't require any expansion of the facilities. And it probably won't happen now because of the economy. 3-6 flights a day in ultra-quiet, 50-seat regional jets won't even be noticed. We had 108 takeoffs and 108 landings a day through 6/08. Since then, due to fuel prices and the economy, this is down about 10%. Did you notice? 10% is 10.8...more than the number proposed for airline service!

BTW: The RJ airliners are far, far quieter than many of the older-generation jet aircraft which currently use the airport.

And, let's not forget: The airport has been where it is since 1942. If you were so dumb to buy property under the approaches to the runways, I don't feel sorry for you: Like those who bought houses on "teaser" mortgage rates, you should have done your homework first. Your lack of planning does not constitute a community-wide problem with any of our public facilities. Personally, I won't buy a house under an aiport approach, near a freeway, busy railroad track, landfill, sewage treatment plan, fire station, factory, etc. I do my homework before I buy.
Audrey

United States

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#16
Oct 2, 2008
 
I am appalled at Grace and her comments. I think she has to be the most insensitive person I have luckily not met. Is she investigating? Does she think Richard was flying low for fun and to be dangerous? I didn't know Richard. I know his sister. After reading the other comments above I can see the whole family are special, caring people. Grace needs to crawl back in the hole she came out of.

Since: Sep 08

Santa Fe, NM

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#17
Oct 2, 2008
 
Re: "The airport has been where it is since 1942. If you were so dumb to buy property under the approaches to the runways, I don't feel sorry for you."

Three points:

(1) La Cienega has been where it is for the past 300 years or so. The airport was built in 1942 -- a comparative newcomer -- but many of its flight paths go over the village. Didn't anyone notice that when it was built?

(2) It doesn't seem dangerous to buy a house near an airport that accommodates only small private planes. It's quite another matter when that airport starts handling 50-seat commercial jets.

(3) I commend the pilots who use the airport for staying out of the airspace over adjacent neighborhoods. Unfortunately, in an emergency the pilots may not have that degree of control. If a small private plane goes off course and crashes in a neighborhood, it'll take out a couple of houses, but if a 50-seater crashes it could blow away the whole neighborhood.

Of course no one has proposed "expansion" of the airport; we're expressing concern about the use of the present airport. But that's another point: located where it is, the airport can't expand, so would it not make more sense to find another location before the need for expansion arises?

Since: Sep 08

Location hidden

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#18
Oct 2, 2008
 
P_Katz wrote:
(2) It doesn't seem dangerous to buy a house near an airport that accommodates only small private planes. It's quite another matter when that airport starts handling 50-seat commercial jets.
(3) I commend the pilots who use the airport for staying out of the airspace over adjacent neighborhoods. Unfortunately, in an emergency the pilots may not have that degree of control. If a small private plane goes off course and crashes in a neighborhood, it'll take out a couple of houses, but if a 50-seater crashes it could blow away the whole neighborhood.
A Gulfstream G-V "private jet" is larger than an ERJ-145 (the 50 seat commercial regional jet). So over 100 takeoffs and landings that include planes that might be bigger than the discussed RJ's is ok with you, so long as their "private", but 3-6 RJ takeoffs/landings are not ok? Seems an arbitrary standard you've got there.

My condolences to the family and friends of this pilot, seems he was a good guy.
Marc Coan

Santa Fe, NM

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#19
Oct 2, 2008
 
Airline crashes are so rare, that I don't think it matters, statistically, where your house is located. I bet that you have a better chance of your house catching fire from lightning or getting hit by a truck or having a propane explosion than getting hit by an airplane. Airliners using a big airports like Denver or Chicago rarely, rarely ever crash off-airport. And that's for 100's of flights a day. For 3-6 flights a day at SAF, the chances are even more remote.

So "safety" is just another a red herring issue used primarily by those who regret not doing their homework before moving under the flight paths of the airport.

And, yes, aircraft the size of a 50-seat regional jet use the airport already quite often...

As for moving the airport: Where? Would those living around the airport pay the $50+ million cost? I don't think it's fair that the the rest of the taxpayers who live in the city and county should have to pay to move the airport so that a relative (note use of word) few who leave near the airport can feel "safer" in the extremely rare once-in-an-airport-lifetime airliner crashes. Once again, the needs of the many outweight the needs of the few.
Marc Coan

Santa Fe, NM

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#20
Oct 2, 2008
 
Really, the chances SAF will get the 50-seat RJ's in an era of $5/gal. fuel and declining economy are now very remote. That was all proposed before the airline depression began. The carrier this would have done it for Delta, Express Jet, no longer flies for Delta. Airlines are parking 50-seat RJ's in the desert, and they are CUTTING flights and routes, not adding them.

In addition, cannibalizing their existing traffic from ABQ never made sense...anyone thinking of flying into or out of SAF already flies into ABQ, so it was not a revenue stimulator for the airlines; never made sense. If ABQ was 2 hours away or more, it would have already happened, but since it's 50 min., it doesn't make sense.

Name another city <1 hr. from a Southwest Airlines-served medium-sized airport that has jet airline service to faraway hubs? Especially one that has a market population less than 200,000.

Spend your time worrying about something else.
Karen O

Houston, TX

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#21
Oct 4, 2008
 
marysol wrote:
I am sorry a life was lost but glad that not a whole neighborhood.It is scary to read situation such as this, we the people that live around that area are always at risk not only having the walls of our home cracked but having to live with all the noise when planes are landing.
How insensitive can you be at a time like this, someone died and all you can think of is the stupid noise . Did you realize that he was a pilot for Angel Flight, someone who takes children to hospitials..rethink your ideas, what is your contribution in this life

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