Passenger: Story of plane skidding into river doesn't get easier to tell

'Each time you tell it, you relive it,' Bob Gibson says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nearly 72 hours after the Miami Air Boeing 737 made a hard landing at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, passengers said the impact is lasting not only physically, but mentally.

Bob Gibson, a Virginia Beach resident who was on his way home for a prescheduled knee surgery when the plane skidded into the St. Johns River, told News4Jax on Monday that this story does not get any easier to tell.

"It doesn't and in some cases, it probably is worse because each time you tell it, you relive it," he said.  

Gibson had to push his surgery back until Monday because of the incident. News4Jax caught up with him shortly after, just now being able to take the last few days in.

"I'm getting back to normal. I try and not to sit and think about the accident," Gibson said. "It's a little tough to just sit and dwell on it, so I do anything but."

With an ongoing investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, he said that it's impossible not to continually watch the updates coming in. News4Jax was the first to alert Gibson that Miami Air International planned on giving $2,500 to each passenger aboard Flight 293.

Gibson visibly laughed before he said, "OK, but I'm not sure what that does for me. I'm just glad everyone got off that plane."

He is sincerely grateful the whole situation is over, saying he is "absolutely" thankful to be alive.

"I certainly believe that God had his hand on that plane," Gibson said.

Gibson said if there was anything he learned from the incident, it would be to pay attention to the safety procedures at the beginning of a flight. It may seem redundant at the time, but it could save your life.


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