SAN FRANCISCO-- Red Neri, 41, and his wife Lynne, 43, were aboard United Airlines Flight 885 bound for Osaka, Japan, and scheduled for takeoff at 11:15 am., when the Asiana jetliner came hurtling down the adjacent runway.
“It sounded like a sonic boom, which of course was an explosion,” said Red Neri, who lives in the East Bay community of Livermore and was headed with his wife on vacation.
The commuter operations manager said he glimpsed the face of the flight attendant, who had a better view of what was happening. “She just kept saying, 'Oh, my God, Oh, my God,’” said Neri, who was preparing to return home after sitting in the plane for three and a half hours. The couple rebooked another fight for Sunday.
They watched in horror as the Asiana aircraft shed debris, including the wheels and the tail.
“There’s your tail,” he said, displaying an image on his digital camera. “It happened so fast. It just happened so fast.”