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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."


Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

In Memory of TWA 800



July 17, 1996

17 years ago a TWA 747 took flight, headed for Paris. That flight lasted only 12 minutes. But the terror and pain would last a lifetime.


What began as a normal flight, would turn the world upside down with grief. The Seattle Times recently said that it's official, "the fuel tanks exploded." Many still believe that it was a missile that took out the plane. Today a documentary will air and maybe we can learn more.

Despite the reason how this happened, the result was the same. Families were blown apart over the senseless loss of their loved ones. One such person, Captain Mark L. Berry, had lost his fiance, and his years of healing, ended up in a memoir, 13,760 Feet Living with TWA Flight 800.

It's hard to imagine having the love of your life depart the world in such an accident. But to have it happen on your airline with your friends, it's hard to imagine how to cope. Mark learned how to survive through his writing and music.

Moving forward when tragedy happens takes strength and courage. It doesn't mean we forget, but we owe it to those who have passed to live our best lives. In memory of TWA800 I am honoring Mark for sharing his story of how to live again.



I have the honor to read the most incredible memoir, and doing so has brought tears to my eyes, and pain to my heart for a love that was and should have lasted a lifetime. In essence, it had. How I connected with this pilot/author... I'm not sure. But I was touched by a moment in the history of his love story. New York. 1996. I was flying to Paris behind TWA 800. - See more at: http://karlenepetitt.blogspot.com/2013/05/in-loving-memory-of.html#sthash.0eDp6of6.dpuf
Follow Mark on Twitter @AV8R_Author  
And visit him at MarkLBerry.com
- See more at: http://karlenepetitt.blogspot.com/2013/05/in-loving-memory-of.html#sthash.0eDp6of6.dpuf
Excerpt from Mark L. Berry’s Memoir:

"The sky was that deep shade of blue you only see at dusk during summer, in the moments just before the sun finally sets. The ocean, having absorbed radiation, heat, and light all day, set up a low shimmer above the steadily rolling waves as the atmosphere tried to reclaim what the sun had tirelessly delivered while passing overhead. The sea and sky seemed to be shaking a thousand hands along that stretched horizon. The distant colored sails of leisure boats jibed and tacked—small irregular triangles bending and pulling their water-skimming vessels. And above the were departing aircraft... A recent departure from JFK International airport joins the procession...unaware that anything was about to go fatally wrong."




Mark L Berry is a contributing editor at Airways magazine, and you can find additional excerpts in up and coming issues. One day his memoir will be available and you can own a copy, too. But for now check out his novels: Pushing Leaves Towards the Sun and Street Justice

I hope one day we will know the truth. This event is one of my most visual memories flying. While I did not see anything that would give me reason to believe one way or another, I suspect this plane blew up from more than fuel tanks. For those who know the truth, the truth shall set you free.

Whatever you are doing today, 
take a moment and remember.  


Enjoy the Journey
XO Karlene

Follow Mark on Twitter @AV8R_Author  
And visit him at MarkLBerry.com
- See more at: http://karlenepetitt.blogspot.com/2013/05/in-loving-memory-of.html#sthash.0eDp6of6.dpuf
Follow Mark on Twitter @AV8R_Author  
And visit him at MarkLBerry.com
- See more at: http://karlenepetitt.blogspot.com/2013/05/in-loving-memory-of.html#sthash.0eDp6of6.dpuf
Follow Mark on Twitter @AV8R_Author  
And visit him at MarkLBerry.com
- See more at: http://karlenepetitt.blogspot.com/2013/05/in-loving-memory-of.html#sthash.0eDp6of6.dpuf
Follow Mark on Twitter @AV8R_Author  
And visit him at MarkLBerry.com
- See more at: http://karlenepetitt.blogspot.com/2013/05/in-loving-memory-of.html#sthash.0eDp6of6.dpuf

10 comments:

  1. Thank you for the post.

    I just read Berry's soon-to-be-published book, and it's an intense read. I'm hoping to review it for Airways.

    I too have serious q's about the investigation. Not saying the missile/conspiracy theory is right, but there's still a lot of unanswered, unsatisfying Q's.

    Looking forward to tonight's documentary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Eric! His book is amazing. I have no doubt they were shot down. Hopefully we'll know the truth one day.

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  2. Karlene, this is a great tribute and I remember that day very well. I had just come back from my first Europe language study trip and my high school cut the overseas study program as a result. Especially with the fact that there was a French class on board TWA 800 headed to Paris.

    Thank you also for bringing Mark and his memoir to life. I for sure look forward to reading and recommending it.

    I hope all is well your way.

    Live from Grand Rapids, MI.,

    Jeremy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Jeremy. I did not know there was a French class on board. So sad. Thank you for your comment!

      Delete
  3. I was going to say that the KLM flight in Tenerife (1978?) was shorter, but it didn't seem appropriate to make the comparison. So sorry for everyone who lost loved ones on that flight (and others).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes... that might have been shorter. But not sure if we could call it in flight yet. I'm so sorry too. Thanks for your comment.

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  4. Thanks for a great tribute post, Karlene!

    From these terrible, heartaching tragedies, we must learn so that they never happen again. Whatever happened to TWA800, let education, research and defense politics move forward to prevent it from happening again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cecilie, Thank you so much. If only we could get whoever did this admit it, and learn why. The worlds best coverup. Not sure. But one day hopefully we'll know the truth.

      Delete
  5. I watched the documentary last night on EPIX, it appears that all of the facts may not been examined as they should have been (especially the six accounts of the eyewitnesses on the ground seeing something in the sky heading directly at the aircraft). It is definitely worth investigating further. God Bless all those onboard flight TWA800 and the families who lost their Loved Ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This definitely should be investigated. I'm not sure how they got away with what they had in the first place. But time will tell.
      Thank you so much for your comment.

      Delete

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