UMass Survives An Emergency Landing

Posted by nvr1983 on January 25th, 2011

Earlier tonight a chartered flight carrying the Massachusetts basketball team to their game tomorrow against St. Bonaventure was forced to make an emergency landing when smoke began to fill the cockpit. Information on the incident is still limited, but it appears that the crew first became aware of the problem when several people on the plane smelled smoke about 10 minutes into the flight, and soon after the team was informed that they would have to make an emergency landing in Albany. The team was understandably shaken, as coach Derek Kellogg said, “It came as a little bit of a shock and surprise; to see some of the facial expressions of the players was priceless.” Senior guard Gary Correia added, “I was afraid. I didn’t know how to respond. It was out of my hands. I just prayed and luckily we’re here.”

When the plane landed it was met by a group of fire trucks, then the team was escorted off the plane and onto buses that took them away while maintenance crews worked on the plane. The fact that the team actually decided to take another flight to make their game tomorrow is relatively meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but it is worth noting that the team and staff made a decision to get on a plane again just a few hours after an incident that would leave many hesitant to board a plane for months, much less a few hours.

We're All Thankful History Didn't Repeat Itself Tonight

The more sobering fact for many of us who follow college basketball is that this incident comes nearly 10 years to the day after a plane crash that killed 10 members of the Oklahoma State entourage on board, including two players. Cowboys’ coach Travis Ford, who coincidentally took the job in Stillwater after a stint with the Minutemen, will lead a ceremony to honor those who lost their lives on that flight during tonight’s game against Texas. Perhaps the combination of that tragic event and this near tragedy will remind us of how trivial the sport we love is and how lucky we all are to be able to participate in it at some level either as players, coaches, journalists, or fans.

nvr1983 (1398 Posts)

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