Tag Archives: Plane crashes

Airlines face scrutiny for continuing to fly in Iran

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Despite warnings to avoid flying over Iran and the Persian Gulf, several airlines continued to do so, including a Ukrainian airliner that crashed and killed 176 people

Airlines are coming under increasing scrutiny for continuing to fly in Iran after a missile barrage and warnings by U.S. safety regulators about the dangerous conditions.

American, British and Canadian officials said Thursday it is “highly likely” that Iran shot down a Ukrainian airliner near Tehran this week, possibly by accident during a time of high political tension in the region.

About two and one-half hours before the Ukraine International Airlines jet with 176 people on board took off, the Federal Aviation Administration issued emergency orders that prohibited American pilots and airlines from flying over Iran, the Persian Gulf or the Gulf of Oman.

The notices warned that heightened military activity and political tension in the Middle East raised “an inadvertent risk” to U.S. aircraft “due to the potential for miscalculation or mis-identification.”

Foreign airlines aren’t bound by FAA directives, but they often follow them. In this case, however, several large international carriers including Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways and Aeroflot continued to fly in and out of Tehran after the missiles were launched, after the FAA warning, and after the Ukrainian jetliner crashed, according to data from Flightradar24, which tracks flights around the world.

“It was awfully peculiar and awfully risky,” said Peter Goelz, a former managing director of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. “That’s a theater of war and these guys were acting like there was nothing going on.”

Goelz said airlines should have canceled all flights when Iran fired a barrage of missiles at military bases inside Iraq that house U.S. troops. Those attacks occurred the night before the Ukrainian plane was scheduled to leave Tehran.

Despite the FAA warnings, planes kept flying at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport. After the FAA notices, 12 airliners took off or landed without incident early Wednesday, according to data from Flightradar24. Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 was No. 13.

By late Thursday, some major airlines had changed their thinking. A Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Tehran turned back over Romania and headed back toward Germany. Austrian Airlines said on Twitter that “due to the latest reports and the changed assessment of the security situation for the airspace around Tehran airport,” it canceled a flight Thursday and another Friday. Turkish Airlines temporarily halted flights to Iran and Iraq.

Some safety experts defended the airlines and said that if turns out the Ukrainian plane was shot down, even by accident, the blame rests entirely with Iran. Under international agreements, countries are obligated to monitor their own airspace and tell operators about changes in safety conditions. The governments are expected to know more than airlines, especially those from other countries, as was the case in the loss of the Ukraine International Airlines plane.

“I don’t think you can fault the airline,” said John Cox, a former airline pilot and now a safety consultant. “Iran could have shut their airspace down if they believed there was a threat.”

Airliners rarely get hit by missiles, although the threat has existed for many years. Aviation-security experts worry about portable, shoulder-carried weapons that could be used against planes as they take off or land — when they are closest to the ground.

It takes more sophisticated weapons to threaten jets at cruising altitude. That, however, is exactly what happened to Malaysia Airlines flight 17, which was brought down by a Russian-made Buk missile in July 2014 as it flew about 33,000 feet over Ukraine, on the way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people on board died.

In that incident and the 1988 downing of an Iranian airliner by a missile fired from the U.S. Navy cruiser USS Vincennes – killing all 290 people on the plane – it appeared that the combatants fired their weapons before they were certain whether the target was a military plane or a civilian one, Cox said.

This week’s crash in Iran “is a needless tragedy, but it doesn’t change my view of the safety of aviation,” Cox said.

Goelz said, however, that airlines need to be more stringent in tracking combat zones and avoiding them.

In 2014, aviation authorities issued warnings about Ukrainian airspace, telling airlines to fly above a certain altitude because of the fighting involving pro-Russia rebels armed with Russian-made surface-to-air missiles, who had already shot down government military planes.

Some airlines opted to fly around Ukraine completely, even though that meant longer flights and more fuel burn. Malaysia Airlines opted to keep flying over Ukraine, just at a higher altitude. The result was catastrophic.

“If you told passengers, ‘It’s going to take a couple more hours to get where you want to go, or we can get you there quicker but you might get shot down,’ I think they would say, ‘We’ll take the extra hours,’” Goelz said.

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International air crash deaths fall by greater than half in 2019

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Far fewer folks died in main air crashes all over the world final 12 months

FRANKFURT, Germany —
The variety of deaths in main air crashes across the globe fell by greater than half in 2019, in line with a report by an aviation consulting agency.

The To70 consultancy mentioned Wednesday that 257 folks died in eight deadly accidents in 2019. That compares to 534 deaths in 13 deadly accidents in 2018.

The 2019 dying toll rose in late December after a Bek Air Fokker 100 crashed Friday on takeoff in Kazakhstan, killing 12 folks. The worst crash of 2019 concerned an Ethiopian Airways Boeing 737 MAX airplane that crashed March 10, killing 157 folks.

The report mentioned deadly accidents in 2018 and 2019 that led to the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX raised questions on how aviation authorities approve aviation designs derived from older ones, and about how a lot pilot coaching is required on new techniques.

The group mentioned it expects the 737 MAX to finally achieve permission to fly once more in 2020.

The report mentioned the deadly accident charge for big planes in industrial air transport fell to 0.18 deadly accidents per million flights in 2019 from 0.30 accidents per million flights in 2018. Meaning there was one deadly accident for each 5.58 million flights.

The agency’s annual compilation of accident statistics harassed that aviation must hold its concentrate on the fundamentals of getting well-designed and well-constructed plane flown by well-trained crews.

Final 12 months might have seen fewer deaths however didn’t equal the historic low of 2017, which noticed solely two deadly accidents, involving regional turboprops, that resulted within the lack of 13 lives.

This report is predicated on crashes involving bigger plane used for many industrial passenger flights. It excludes accidents involving small planes, navy flights, cargo flights and helicopters.

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Report: International air crash deaths fall greater than half in 2019

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Far fewer individuals died in main air crashes all over the world final yr

FRANKFURT, Germany —
The variety of deaths in main air crashes across the globe fell by greater than half in 2019, in response to a report by an aviation consulting agency.

The To70 consultancy mentioned Wednesday that 257 individuals died in eight deadly accidents in 2019. That compares to 534 deaths in 13 deadly accidents in 2018.

The 2019 demise toll rose in late December after a Bek Air Fokker 100 crashed Friday on takeoff in Kazakhstan, killing 12 individuals. The worst crash of 2019 concerned an Ethiopian Airways Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that crashed March 10, killing 157 individuals.

The report mentioned deadly accidents in 2018 and 2019 that led to the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX raised questions on how aviation authorities approve aviation designs derived from older ones, and about how a lot pilot coaching is required on new programs.

The group mentioned it expects the 737 MAX to ultimately achieve permission to fly once more in 2020.

The report mentioned the deadly accident price for giant planes in business air transport fell to 0.18 deadly accidents per million flights in 2019 from 0.30 accidents per million flights in 2018. Which means there was one deadly accident for each 5.58 million flights.

The agency’s annual compilation of accident statistics pressured that aviation must preserve its deal with the fundamentals of getting well-designed and well-constructed plane flown by well-trained crews.

Final yr might have seen fewer deaths however didn’t equal the historic low of 2017, which noticed solely two deadly accidents, involving regional turboprops, that resulted within the lack of 13 lives.

This report is predicated on crashes involving bigger plane used for many business passenger flights. It excludes accidents involving small planes, army flights, cargo flights and helicopters.

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1 lifeless after aircraft touchdown on Alaska island went off runway

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One particular person died after a commuter airplane went off the tip of a runway whereas touchdown at an airport within the distant Aleutian Islands fishing group of Unalaska, authorities stated Friday.

Alaska State Troopers recognized the sufferer as David Allan Oltman, 38, of Washington state.

The aircraft, operated by Peninsula Airways, or PenAir, left Anchorage round 3:15 p.m. Thursday with 42 individuals on board, together with 39 passengers and three crew members, a press release from the corporate stated. One passenger was a toddler below age 2, stated Clint Johnson, chief of the Alaska area for the Nationwide Transportation Security Board.

The flight landed round 5:40 p.m. and went off the tip of the runway. PenAir is owned by Ravn Air Group and stated it’s cooperating with federal investigators.

“On behalf of PenAir, Ravn Air Group and all our workers all through the corporate, we want to prolong our deepest sympathies and condolences to the household and family members of our passenger who handed away,” Dave Pflieger, president of RavnAir Group, stated in a press release.

Johnson stated a crew of 9 NTSB investigators was anticipated in Anchorage late Friday. Some members would stay in Anchorage whereas others have been anticipated to journey to Unalaska early Saturday, he stated. Moreover, an company investigator from Alaska was anticipated to be on scene because the flight knowledge and cockpit voice recorders have been faraway from the aircraft, he stated.

The town, in a press release, stated responders arrived on the scene inside 5 minutes of the crash. It stated 11 individuals have been taken a neighborhood clinic with accidents starting from minor to essential. That quantity included the person who died and one other one who was flown to Anchorage for medical care.

Metropolis Clerk Marjie Veeder stated she was advised by the top of the native first responders that the flight manifest was 39 individuals on board. Informed of the discrepancy concerning the variety of individuals on the aircraft, Debbie Reinwand, a media contact for PenAir, didn’t touch upon the manifest however reiterated firm statements saying there have been 42 on board.

Regulation enforcement has secured the scene pending the arrival of NTSB investigators, town stated.

Unalaska is about 825 miles (1,330 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage.

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4 Americans, 1 Canadian die in small plane crash in Honduras

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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Four Americans and a Canadian pilot were killed when a small plane went down off the coast of Roatan island in Honduras, officials said Sunday.

Armed Forces spokesman Jose Domingo Meza confirmed the nationalities of those who died in Saturday’s crash.

The Piper Cherokee Six plummeted into the Atlantic shortly after takeoff from the popular tourist destination of Roatan en route to the port of Trujillo. The military said in a statement that rescue boats with police divers and firemen recovered four bodies within minutes of the crash, and transported another to a hospital, where he died shortly after of internal injuries.

The US State Department also confirmed the deaths of four US citizens and Global Affairs Canada confirmed that a Canadian also had died. They did not release names.

Honduran authorities identified the pilot as Patrick Forseth, a Canadian national who developed tourism projects in the Trujillo Bay area.

Forseth was involved in a legal dispute with Afro-indigenous Hondurans who accused him of trying to develop their ancestral lands into vacation properties for international tourists. Forseth defended his company in a 2017 statement, saying it had purchased the land in 2013 and had made several attempts to reach an amicable resolution.

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Small plane crashes near Dubai’s busy airport, killing 4

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A small plane involved in upgrading a runway at Dubai International Airport crashed Thursday night, killing four people and halting traffic at the world’s busiest airport for international travel for nearly an hour.

Authorities gave no explanation for what caused the crash of the Diamond DA62 aircraft with a tail number belonging to Flight Calibrations Service Ltd. of Shoreham, England.

The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority said the three British citizens and one South African on the plane were killed.

Early Friday morning, police, paramedics and flight investigators worked at the crash site, some 8 kilometers (5 miles) southeast of the airport in Mushrif Park near the city-state’s water reservoirs. Police told Associated Press journalists they could not visit the crash site, which was hidden from view by sand dunes.

The airport, home to long-haul carrier Emirates, is the world’s busiest for international travel. It halted flights from 7:36 p.m. until 8:22 p.m. over the crash.

Flight Calibrations Service announced in November it signed a contract to work on the airport’s “navaids,” the beacons around an airport that show pilots where runways are and how to land on them. Dubai International Airport later told The Associated Press that the plane “was being used to calibrate the approach systems” at the airport.

An employee at Flight Calibrations Services, which has two Diamond DA62s stationed in the United Arab Emirates, declined to comment on the crash Thursday night.

The work comes as Dubai has shut down its southern runway for resurfacing and replacing the light and support infrastructure. It closed on April 16 and officials hope to reopen it on May 30.

Dubai has cut back on some of its scheduled flights and redirected others to Al Maktoum Airport at Dubai World Central, the city’s second airport.

Dubai is a major city in the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula.

The city-state’s last major aircraft incident happened on Aug. 3, 2016. An Emirates Boeing 777-300 coming from Thiruvananthapuram, India, crash landed, but no lives were lost among its 300 passengers and crew. A firefighter was killed in a subsequent explosion of Flight EK521.

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Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellap



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Panel to review approval of Boeing 737 Max flight controls

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A global team of experts next week will begin reviewing how the Boeing 737 Maxs flight control system was approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA says experts from nine international civil aviation authorities have confirmed participation in a technical review promised by the agency.

Former National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Chris Hart will lead the group, which also will have experts from the FAA and NASA. They will look at the planes automated system including the way it interacts with pilots. The group will meet Tuesday and is expected to finish in 90 days.

The Boeing jetliner has been grounded around the world since mid-March after two crashes killed 346 people. Investigators are focusing on anti-stall software that pushed the planes noses down based on erroneous sensor readings.

In a statement Friday, the FAA said aviation authorities from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to help with the work, called a Joint Authorities Technical Review.

The group will evaluate the automated flight control design and determine whether it complies with regulations. It also will decide if changes need to be made in the FAAs approval process.

Chicago-based Boeing is working on a software fix to the planes anti-stall system, known by its acronym, MCAS. In both an October crash off the coast of Indonesia and a March crash in Ethiopia, a faulty sensor reading triggered MCAS and pushed the planes nose down, and pilots were unable to recover.

Pilots at U.S. airlines complained that they didnt even know about MCAS until after the October crash. They then received computer training that described the system and how to respond when something goes wrong with it.

On Wednesday, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the company completed its last test flight of updated flight-control software. Muilenburg said test pilots flew 120 flights totaling 203 hours with the new software. The company is expected to conduct a crucial certification flight with an FAA test pilot on board soon, possibly next week.

We are making steady progress toward certification and returning the Max to service, Muilenburg said as he stood in front of a Max jet at Boeing Field in Seattle.

Muilenburg said he went on a test flight that day and saw the updated software operating as designed across a range of flight conditions.

In the U.S., United Airlines has removed its 14 Max jets from the schedule until early July, while American, with 24, and Southwest, with 34, are not counting on the planes until August.

It could take longer before foreign airlines can use their Max jets. Regulators outside the U.S. once relied on the FAAs judgment in such matters but have indicated plans to conduct their own reviews this time.

Foreign countries may impose additional requirements, delaying the use of the Max by their carriers.

For example, FAA experts concluded in a draft report that while pilots need training on the anti-stall system, they do not need additional time in flight simulators. Canadas transportation minister said this week, however, that he wants simulator training for Max pilots. Air Canada has 24 Max jets.

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