Ten years later: Recalling climbing out of home from Flight 3407 wreckage

Feb 12, 2019

Ten years ago Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed in Clarence Center killing 50-people. The Continental Connection flight was heading to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport when the pilots failed to recover a stall from the Bombardier Dash-8-aircraft plunging into the home on Long Street. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley met with the homeowner, Karen Wielinski, who lost her husband Doug in the fiery plane crash. 

"And then I heard the crash, so that's when I looked out and I saw the orange fireball." "We never thought it was going to be a plane landing in Clarence Center - it's nothing you think would never happen," delcared Clarence residents.

Those were the voices of nearby neighbors who heard the plane crash into the Wielinski home. Inside that house Karen and her daughter Jill both managed to escape. She recalls those dreadful moments.

Karen Wielinski, author, One on the Ground, appeared in the WBFO studio.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

“You know I think I really wondered if I had died too – I mean I wasn’t every sure I was still alive,” Wielinski reflected. 

Wielinski rememberd how she watched a news report hearing 'one on the ground' was killed.  It's that phrase that inspired Wielinski to author a book about the tragedy. 

Wielinski is now a writer. Some proceeds from her book, One on the Ground, go to a Flight 3407 scholarship. Wielinski now lives in East Aurora.