Albert Coggs a veteran of numerous helicopter missions in Vietnam was ferrying luggage out to Flight 1210, bound for Houston, when he heard an old familiar sound — a high-pitched shrill – the sound that something heavy and metallic makes when it’s falling towards earth. In Vietnam that something heavy was usually bombs.
For a moment he was back — back in the heat and stink of the Vietnam jungle with the bombs falling all around him. He squeezed his eyes shut in an effort to block out the powerful images that the sound had evoked.
In-spite of the minus five-degree wind chill, sweat poured from his forehead, his heart was in the seat of his pants and he had a white-knuckle grip on the trolley’s steering wheel. He wanted to scream INCOMING! Instead, he took a deep breath and let it out slowly while reminding himself that he was safe and nowhere near the jungles of Vietnam. Years of therapy had taught him how to control his flashbacks.
He repeated the chant his therapist had given him for situations like this, but the shrill sound kept getting louder and closer. He opened his eyes, turned his head and looked to his right and there, was the source of the sound. What he saw made him slam hard on the little trolley’s brakes.
Lit a stark gray against a black velvet night was Nations Air Flight 625, her left wing edging down toward the Bay. Both her engines were silent and she was going in. No doubt about it.
He sat mesmerized by the sight, unable to comprehend why the big jet was going down and not up. With both her engines gone she eased down out of the night sky with only that shrill sound to signal her passing. Even in death she was beautiful.
The force of the plane as it hit the bottom of the bay shook everything in the immediate area. The shockwave tossed carefully placed items from their shelves, set off fire, and burglar alarms.
People in the airport terminal building knew something bad had happened. Within minutes word began spreading through the airport – a plane had gone down in the Bay.
Fire trucks and emergency vehicles headed to the scene. When the airport rescue team got there, no one was quite sure what to do. Only bits and pieces of the plane were left on the surface. Nations Air Flight 625 had sunk!