What Is 'The Skutnik?'

On a bitterly cold and snowy day in January 1982, Air Florida flight 90 took off from Washington D.C. heading to Tampa, Florida.

Immediately after takeoff the plane began experiencing problems from the ice that had formed on its wings. It plummeted, skipping off Washington's 14th Street bridge and crashing into the icy waters of the Potomac River.

The ensuing rescue effort was broadcast on local television. Frigid temperatures and bad weather hampered the first responders. With time running out to save the crash victims, a bystander named Lenny Skutnik suddenly jumped in and saved flight attendant Priscilla Trijado, who had twice fallen back into the water after slipping away from rescue lines.

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