MUSEUM Public Programs

Public Programs of the National Law Enforcement Museum

Witness to History | Eagle One: Rescue and Recovery of Air Florida Flight 90

National Law Enforcement Museum held a discussion about the daring rescue of five people and the sad recovery of the remains of many more from Air Florida Flight 90 on January 13, 1982. On a snowy day in Washington, DC, the Florida-bound Boeing 737 carrying 74 passengers and five crew members crashed into the Potomac River after striking the 14th Street Bridge and killing four motorists. Four passengers and one crew member survived the impact and escaped the wreckage to wait in freezing water for rescue. After several failed attempts by law enforcement, firefighters, and private citizens to reach the stranded survivors, U.S. Park Police’s Eagle One helicopter was their only hope. Pilot Don Usher and Rescue Technician Gene Windsor used their skills, training, and ingenuity to pull off a harrowing rescue.




Frank Bond, Former anchor at WUSA-TV in Washington, DC


  • Don Usher, Pilot of Eagle One
  • Chester Panzer, Videographer
  • Detective Eric Witzig (ret.), Metropolitan Police Department

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