by Dee Finney


updated through July 28, 2000

5-2-00  - DREAM - I was in Milwaukee, WI, on 16th St. at home. It was rather like twilight time of day. The kids were playing outside and lots of people were in the streets as it was warm outside.

All of a sudden I heard a kind of 'ziiiing' noise and an airplane clipped the tree top down in the next block as it went by very low. It rather slewed through the air and crashed with a huge explosion.

Then another plane and another plane came by doing the same thing, clipping the tree tops with a 'ziiiing' noise and crashing with a huge explosion.

It almost seemed like these planes had a different type of propulsion than normal because we didn't hear them coming.  Everyone was running for dear life to get home. I got the kids in the house just as another plane came 'ziiiing' over the tree tops and exploded with an even larger explosion than all the others.

By now it was much darker. I had all the kids in the house but neighbor kids were still running by.  My white dog ran out of the house and down the steps to the sidewalk. I called it back and it ran into the house, but then a neighbor girl had a similar problem with her larger white dog and it too came up on my porch. She struggled to get her dog to go home with her and finally it did, and I ran inside and closed the door.


5-2-00 - DREAM - I was in Milwaukee, WI, in my 16th St. house. My brother Marty and his wife were there. We were upstairs in the front bedroom.  (The rooms were not the same as normal however). (Name Marty means 'warring')

We were going to go on vacation and my brother handed me his electric razor to shave my legs with so I'd look really good.  I took the razor and the rubber thing around the blades was loose so I couldn't use it. I told him I'd have to use a regular stick razor.

He was upset by that. He said his wife always had razor-stick-itis for two days after she shaved her legs. That made her in a bad mood. So it wasn't a good thing.

The room was now filled all the way up to my knees with warm water and I began to shave my legs.  (I never had this much hair in my entire life).  The razor worked good and the water floated off the hair and we would use the vacuum cleaner later to pick up all the water and hair, so there was no problem.

The scene switched and a man began dragging a military airplane through the hallway and it bumped into the walls on both sides. I noticed that the wings were rather thin, made of some rubber substance and paper glued together.  Three quarters of the right wing had pulled off, and part of the left body also got damaged. I told the guy he was out of business for the day and he was upset. He had planned to fly.

I was sitting on the bed and a woman came in the room and was looking on the dresser and the bed and we were comparing lipsticks. It seemed that this woman was Arabic, but I'm not sure. We both had lipsticks that were worn way down so it was difficult to put it on straight and cover the whole lip. We were both using the mirror on the dresser to get the lipstick on right. I managed to do pretty well, but she smeared hers way beyond the lip line. It was pretty messy. It felt a little ominous at that point.

Right then my daughter-in-law Becky came in with a gadget to put on my face that were goggles and headphones like pilots wear.  I always put her off when she brought in gadgets for me to try out, but I decided I would put them on to get rid of the other woman.

I put on the goggles which automatically adjusted for my eyesight so that my eyesight was clearer than it's ever been. I could see out these two small eyepieces to focus, but between them was a lazer light that shined out to aim the guns of the airplane automatically where I was looking.  The red light of the lazer shined out onto the mirror where the woman was standing and I could see fear in her eyes and she scampered from the room.

I told Becky that those goggles were the best piece of eyewear I'd ever had.

As I woke up I heard a song sung.   "Right - three degrees -  then through the trees -"  to the tune of  'Sinking Sand'.  The name of the song is really My Hope is Built on Nothing Less.

The music is also playing on this page:  http://www.greatdreams.com/father.htm


First of all, I received this e-mail after I uploaded the page. The sender wasn't aware of the page.

Subj: Earth Changes TV/Article - Oh The Shifting Sands

Date: 05/02/2000 10:54:43 AM Central Daylight Time

From: earthcng@earthlink.net (Mitch Battros)

Oh The Shifting Sands...05/02/00

by Mitch Battros (ECTV)

It is not your imagination. There is a quietness permeating around the world. It is not a peaceful serene stillness, it appears more to be the quiet before the storm. I have an uneasy feeling of conflict breaking out in our lives and the world. Just today I have noticed unrest starting to break out in countries throughout. I am also noticing similar distress occurring in our own lives. Could this be part of the bigger picture?

Many have written of this very event. A time of letting go of what no longer works in our lives. A time of purging, cleansing, clarifying. A time of stepping into the unknown, of looking around the corner, of pushing ourselves into another place of being. Could this be what the Hopi's speak of in their prophecy? They call it "The Great Purification".

I have received several letters from astrologist all around the world outlining the very issues I speak of. This may be no surprise to many who are familiar with astrology. As you know we are at the beginning of an incredible planetary alignment. A common thread from the many astrological reports I have received have stated this is a time of intense personal change. A time of reflection, direction and contemplation. Events will be occurring very quickly. Change is fast and what may feel uncertain. It will be how you react to the "shifting sands" that will determine your state of well being.

I have met with a person who I suppose was put on my path by design. His name is Roger. I met him at the health club were I workout. He is a scientist (physicist) who also happens to workout at the club. In typical conversation one would hear in the sauna, we were introduced. Well, it appears Roger is one of the proverbial eskimos one may encounter along life's journey. It appears Roger has been going through some very similar changes as well. It turns out he is well versed in herbs and minerals. Since our meeting three weeks ago, I have followed Rogers suggestions and have been put on what is know as a cleansing.

Watch for part II "The Cleansing" tomorrow.

Best Wishes,

Mitch Battros

Producer - Earth Changes TV



5-9-00 - MEDITATION - I wasn't thinking of anything in particular. I started seeing or dreaming of pink and brown airplanes. These were rather small, more like toy size, but still like real.

When this was over I heard a voice say, "At 3:10 p.m. the plane of Juan Gonzalez will take off and then crash."

NOTE: I hope not because if it does, no doubt little Elian will be on the plane with him.

NOTE: Juan Gonzalez flew home with this son Elian on 6-28-00 with no problem.

5-21-00 - DREAM - There was something surreptitious going on with some airplanes. In real life these planes were real size, but in my hand, the planes were miniature. I kept them parked inside a sort of reddish maroon colored garbage can type container which I could hold in my hand. If someone wanted to fly plane they had to come to me and ask me. I kept them under the lid.  The one they wanted to use the most was silver. It had no wings and no tail. It looked like a silver fish. There was a huge hole for the exhaust at the back end where the tail would be.
Plane with 19 people crashes 5-21-00

6-10-00 - DREAM -6-10-00 - DREAM - I was just moving into a new apartment on the second floor of a Port Washington Rd building.  I had lived here before and had traveled all the way to California and lived there and come back to town.  I hadn't issued any change of address and hadn't picked up my mail in a long time. I planned to work hard and make myself look good so I'd have a good reputation, but first I wanted to get my mail.

There were a lot of people around, including a toddler age boy. I took him to the bedroom with me after wiping up pee off the floor. I intended to put new training pants on him in the bedroom. I put him on the bed and told him to sit up and he said he couldn't sit, so he slid off the bed onto the floor again. I gave him clean training pants and he put them on himself.  He never explained why he couldn't sit. I was puzzled about that.

I then walked down the stairs to the lobby where the mailboxes were. I had to hunt for them.  One side had mail boxes that went up past 950. So I went on the other side where the lower numbers were. I lived on the 2nd floor but my number was 145.  The first mailbox had a slot at the top and was call the money drop box. The second one had numerous names on it, and I assumed that was special for upper management people. Mine was the third one. I had the mailbox key and I put it into the slot and turned it. The box opened and inside was one of those yellow slips that tell you that your mail is at the post office. I was disappointed. This also meant I had to go to the post office.

While I was looking into the mailbox I noted that it was divided into three parts so that when the mailman put the mail into the box, he would put the bills in one slot, the business letters in one slot, and the personal mail into one slot.  However, while I was looking into the empty box, I had a vision of a deep glass of water with grey water in it and an airplane with large wings nose down in the water.

There were other people in the lobby including two older women who were talking about where the nearest HIV clinic was. I told them that it was on the corner of 2nd and North Ave. and pointed north in that direction.  They thanked me and I went back upstairs.

6-10-00 - VISION - When I lay down to take a nap, I was thinking about the airplane nose down in the grey water. I suddenly had a vision of two women sitting at a desk like newscasters and numerous bubbles were coming down around them.


5-2-00 - Had 2 planes go down today..military and private.. this could be a result of the changes in the EMF and their effect on the electronics of the aircraft..

Wis. Plane Crash Kills Three

The Associated Press

Tuesday, May 2, 2000;

CORNELL, Wis. –– A small plane that had been giving rides to grade-school students on a field trip Tuesday crashed shortly after taking off on a final flight, killing a teacher, parent and the pilot.

The single-engine airplane went down near the airport in Cornell, a city of 1,500 in northwestern Wisconsin.

The 14 students from Our Lady of Sorrows Elementary School in Ladysmith were playing kickball beside the airport's main building before having lunch and never directly saw the crash, but they heard it and saw the fiery aftermath.

Ten of the students had taken rides on the plane, said 10-year-old Kirk Groves, a fourth-grader who had gone on the third flight of the day – the one right before the crash.

"Some of my other friends, if their mom and dad would have let them go up in that plane, they would probably be dead," he said.

The Chippewa County Sheriff's Department identified the victims as pilot Arthur P. Bresina, 20, teacher Peter J. Krajewski, 26, and parent Deborah M. Bates, 32.

Kirk said he heard the plane's engine go out and saw the flames after the plane hit the ground.

"It was really scary," he said. "Then the people, they made us go into a room at the airport and they didn't tell us anything about it. We ate our hot dogs and took a bus back to Ladysmith and then we got the news that everybody in the plane had died."

Kirk Groves' father, the Rev. George Groves, attended the meeting.

"The whole classroom broke down. Lots of moms and dads were there hugging their kids. We were just kind of all loving on each other and thinking, 'It could have been our kids,'" said Groves, pastor of Faith United Methodist Church in Ladysmith.

The plane was a 1973 four-seater Cessna 172, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which was investigating.

© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press

NOTE:  This plane crash occurred in Wisconsin where the dream took place. Even more humbling is the coincidence to the name of the school - Our Lady of Sorrows!  I cringe to think of the coincidence to my own name (Dolores - which means - Our Lady of Sorrows).


2 Die on Plane Carrying Coulthard

The Associated Press

Tuesday, May 2, 2000;

LYON, France –– A small plane carrying Formula One driver David Coulthard crashed at Lyon's airport Tuesday, killing the pilot and co-pilot but leaving the race car driver with only minor injuries.

Coulthard was taken to Lyon's Edouard-Herriot hospital after the crash, but was released later, his race team McLaren said in a statement.

Coulthard's fiancee, fashion model Heidi Wichlinski, and his personal trainer, Andrew Matthews, were also on the plane and suffered minor injuries. They were also discharged from the hospital.

The McLaren Formula One team said Coulthard was expected to take part in this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona.

"Obviously I am relieved that Heidi, Andrew and myself are unhurt, but I want to express my deepest sympathy with the families of the two pilots. It's inappropriate for me to go into details of the accident but I am extremely lucky to walk away," Coulthard was quoted as saying in the McLaren statement.

Coulthard's plane, a chartered Lear jet, was flying from Farnborough airport in Britain to Nice when it requested an emergency landing at Lyon airport following engine trouble.

But on landing in the early afternoon, the nose hit the ground and the plane burst into flames.

"On landing, the left wing hit the runway, the nose hit the ground, the plane left the runway and burst into flames," said airport director Claude Chapange.

The pilot and co-pilot were killed instantly.

French television showed pictures of the plane. The front was completely destroyed but the fuselage seemed intact.

Coulthard, who is Scottish, called his manager Ian Cunningham to confirm that he escaped serious injury in the crash.

The 29-year-old driver won the British Grand Prix for the second consecutive time on April 23. He is currently second in the drivers' standings with 14 points, trailing Ferrari's Michael Schumacher with 34.

Coulthard began his Formula One career in 1994 with Williams and moved to McLaren in 1996.

© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press


Report: Plane Crashes in Uganda

The Associated Press

Monday, May 1, 2000; 8:01 a.m. EDT

KAMPALA, Uganda –– A cargo airplane overshot the runway during its approach to the Entebbe international airport and crashed into Lake Victoria, a newspaper reported Monday.

The seven-member Ugandan crew was rescued with only minor injuries, the government-owned New Vision newspaper quoted Housing and Communications Minister John Nasasira as saying. The airport is located 20 miles south of Kampala.

Nasasira said the cause of the crash of the DC-10 was unknown.

The plane, owned by the Ugandan company, Dairo Air Services, was en route from London's Gatwick airport with 50 tons of cargo.

New Vision said the plane broke in two and lay in shallow water under police guard. One end of the runway at Entebbe leads directly into Lake Victoria.

Ignie Igunduura, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority, which runs Uganda's airports, said the East African nation lacks equipment to salvage the aircraft and might seek international help.

© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press


China Airlines Jet Forced To Land

The Associated Press

Monday, May 8, 2000; 2:18 a.m. EDT

TAIPEI, Taiwan –– A China Airlines pilot suffered a heart attack Monday en route to Vietnam, forcing the co-pilot to make a quick turnaround back to Taipei.

Capt. G.I. Gueorguiev, 45, lost consciousness about 40 minutes after Flight CI652 took off for Ho Chi Minh City, company spokesman Scott Shih said. Co-pilot Lin Hsin, 27, took control and landed the plane safely, Shih said.

None of the 259 passengers were injured, and their Airbus A300-600 took off again by late morning with a new pilot, Shih added.

Gueorguiev, a Bulgarian, was sent to a hospital but "showed no signs of life" after the heart attack, Shih said. The captain had passed the mandatory health examination given to pilots every six months, he added.

Taiwan's flag carrier has been dogged by safety issues since one of its Airbus A300s crashed at Taiwan's main international airport two years ago, killing 203 people.

Last August, three people were killed when a China Airlines MD-11 jet burst into flames as the pilot attempted to land in Hong Kong during a tropical storm.

© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press


UPDATE 2-Norway to scrap Eurofighter, F-16s plan

By Inger Sethov

OSLO, May 12, 2000 (Reuters) - Norway said on Friday it would scrap a plan to buy 20 fighters in a contest pitting the Eurofighter Typhoon against a new version of the U.S.-made Lockheed Martin F-16.

The loss of the 10.7 billion crown ($1.2 billion) order deprives Lockheed (NYSE:LMT - news) and the Eurofighter partners of one of the few current opportunities to export combat aircraft.

``The government has proposed that the acquisition of 20 new jet fighters...should not be carried out,'' the Finance Ministry said in a statement attached to a revised 2000 budget.

Defence Minister Bjoern Tore Godal said Norway could not afford to buy the fighters while it was also struggling to pay for five frigates worth at least 10 billion crowns.

``This was a completely necessary decision which was financially motivated,'' Godal told NTB news agency.

``Eurofighter and Lockheed Martin will probably be disappointed, but both will get future opportunities,'' he said. ``If we are going to buy new jets in 12 to 15 years, the process has to start in six to seven years.''

Norway, a Nato member, now planned to put its existing fleet of 58 F-16s through Lockheed's Mid-Life Upgrade programme to improve their ability for precision ground attack.

The 1999 Kosovo conflict, in which Norway provided jets for Nato operations, showed the Norwegian air force needed to make its fighters more versatile and more adaptable to future international operations, the ministry said.


While the F-16 is the world's best-selling fighter, Eurofighter is trying hard to establish its plane in the market.

Greece, the only Typhoon export customer so far, says it will buy 60 planes from Eurofighter, a consortium of DaimlerChrysler's Dasa unit, Finmeccanica of Italy and Spain's state-owned Casa -- which are merging their fighter businesses -- plus Britain's BAE Systems Plc (quote from Yahoo! UK & Ireland: BA.L).

Ominously for Eurofighter, Norway's six or seven year deferral looks timed for the country to instead buy the U.S. Joint Strike Fighter, which is likely to become the main competitor to the Typhoon and its French rival, the Dassault Aviation Rafale.

The Joint Strike Fighter, a highly cost-effective jet that Lockheed and Boeing Co (NYSE:BA - news) are competing to build, should be in the market by the time Norway again calls for new bids.

Another recent target of Eurofighter's sales teams, Australia, has also deferred any fighter purchase until the Joint Strike Fighter is expected to be on the market, electing to upgrade its old planes instead.


Eurofighter vice president Andrew Lewis said he still hoped Norway would buy new jets rather than upgrade F-16s.

``Norway is still our first priority -- absolutely,'' Lewis told Reuters after a news conference in Oslo. Eurofighter would offer flexibility in delivery and payment for the jets, he said.

Eurofighter had also offered to let Norway lease the fighters and delay payments.

``We're hoping to be able to talk with (the ministry) over the next two weeks,'' Lewis said. ``We've got indications that (the ministry) would like to talk to us before a parliamentary debate.''

Lewis also said many Norwegian companies would probably lose deals with Eurofighter if the deal was cancelled.

``I'm afraid so,'' he answered when asked whether Norwegian companies would suffer. Among others, technology group Kongsberg-Gruppen has signed a deal with Eurofighter worth 14 million pounds ($21 milion).


EgyptAir Crew Overpowers Hijacker

The Associated Press

Thursday, May 11, 2000; 10:25 a.m. EDT

CAIRO, Egypt –– An Egyptian man tried Thursday to hijack an EgyptAir plane by claiming a jar of hair gel was a bomb, but was overpowered by the crew and handed over to police in southern Egypt, airport officials said.

Flight 233, an Airbus 321 with 165 people aboard, was on its way from Cairo to the popular southern tourist city of Aswan, when Shaaban Ali tried to enter the cockpit, the officials said.

Ali had not specified any demands or aims, according to the officials. He was being questioned in Aswan, 500 miles south of Cairo, they said.

Nationalities of the passengers were not available.

On Oct. 19, an EgyptAir flight was commandeered between Istanbul, Turkey, and Cairo. Fathallah Khalaf, an Egyptian, allegedly poked a pen into the neck of a crew member and forced the plane to fly to Germany, where he was overpowered and detained. None of the 46 passengers on board was harmed.

© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press


Thursday May 11 9:23 PM ET

Plane Makes Emergency Landing

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - An American Airlines Airbus with 263 passengers aboard made an emergency landing Thursday at the Charleston Airport after reporting hydraulic problems.

Three people were taken to area hospitals for treatment of stress-related injuries, said Fred Chapin, operations director for the airport.

Flight 1416 was en route from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport when pilots reported the problem. The landing gear worked properly during the 5:15 p.m. emergency landing, Chapin said.

Chapin said the only problem at the airport was ``a lot of frustrated passengers.'' American Airlines doesn't fly to Charleston, so the company had to fly in another plane to take passengers to New York City.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Small Plane Crash Kills 6 in Hawaii

The Associated Press

Thursday, May 11, 2000; 2:47 p.m. EDT

KAUNAKAKAI, Hawaii –– A private plane crashed and burned on a hillside on the island of Molokai, killing all six people on board.

The plane, a North American Saberliner bound from Christmas Island to Hawaii, went down in clear weather Wednesday night four miles short of the Molokai Airport. The cause of the crash was under investigation.

Four men and two women were killed. Their names were not immediately released.

© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press


19 Dead in Pa. Plane Crash

AltaVista Live Staff and Wires


WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — A charter plane carrying 19 people on a flight from Atlantic City, N.J., crashed Sunday as it attempted to land in light rain at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.

A fire and wreckage were spotted in a heavily wooded area about 9 miles south of the airport in northeastern Pennsylvania. There were no signs of survivors, said Joe Thomas, manager of the Luzerne County 911 system.

"The weather was bad, it was windy and there was some precipitation. The visibility was poor,'' said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Tammy Jones.

Jones said it appeared that both of the plane's engines had failed. She said investigators found a ball of fire at the scene.

Emergency crews began searching along the planned flight path of the plane as soon as they were notified shortly after 11:30 a.m. that it would not reach the airport, said Luzerne County 911 spokesman Ron Rome. The wreckage was spotted about an hour later.

"My understanding, from talking to people at the scene, is there are no survivors,'' Rome said.

Seventeen passengers and two crew members were aboard, Jones said.

The twin-engine turbo prop was attempting to land when it apparently developed some kind of mechanical problem, said Wy Gowell, assistant director at the airport.

"There was an indication there was a mechanical problem, that's all we can say,'' Gowell said.

Peter Hartt, spokesman for the South Jersey Transportation Authority, which operates the Atlantic City Airport, said the plane was operated by Executive Airlines. He said it left the city about 10:30 a.m. and was scheduled to land in Wilkes-Barre an hour later.

Hartt said the airline typically runs casino charters, but he did not know who was aboard.

The 1988 BA-31 Jetstream disappeared from radar about 11:40 a.m. during a second instrument approach, typically performed if the visibility is poor or if there is a low cloud deck.

Megan Maguire was outside gardening at her home near the airport on the northern rim of the Pocono Mountains shortly before noon Sunday when she heard a plane apparently having problems.

"I heard the engines die, then I heard them start up again, and then they just died. I heard it rev up twice, so it died twice,'' she said.

The crash was in Bear Creek Township, about a half mile from I-476, the northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The plane was built in 1988 and was registered to Millennium Jetstream Holdings Inc. of Farmingdale, New York, as of Feb. 10, according to aviation records.

According to NTSB databases, the last fatal crash of a plane of that type was in Hibbing, Minnesota, in December 1993, when 18 people were killed.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was sending a team to the crash site.


More News on this and other crashes

Wednesday May 24, 2000

NTSB Working on Pa. Plane Wreck

By CHRISTOPHER NEWTON, Associated Press Writer

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - Computer-enhanced examination of two recordings of the final conversation between air traffic controllers and pilots could yield clues into what caused a charter plane to crash in the mountians, investigators said.

National Transportation Safety Board officials sent the recordings, one made by a teen-age amateur who was listening to tower communications, to Washington for analysis.

Officials said background noises on the recordings could indicate why both of the plane's engines apparently failed, causing it to crash as it was returning from a gambling trip to Atlantic City, N.J. All 19 people aboard were killed.

``It can be surprising how much can be gathered from the background noises,'' NTSB investigator Frank Hilldrup said Tuesday night. ``Revving of engines, propeller difficulties - those things can sometimes be picked up.''

Investigators also retrieved the plane's engines and propeller assemblies and prepared to send them to factories for closer examination.

``The study of the engines is something we want to do at the manufacturers' assembly plant. They have the tools,'' Hilldrup said.

The engines are bound for a Honeywell plant in Phoenix, Hilldrup said. The cockpit voice recorder box, which officials say did not record any sound, is to be sent to a Fairchild Inc. plant in Florida. Hilldrup said he did not know where the propellers would be sent.

Hilldrup said he also did not know how long it would take to remove the last of the wreckage from the crash site. He said a final NTSB report could take up to a year to complete.

The Executive Airlines twin-engine turboprop crashed in the rain nine miles south of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport Sunday morning.

Pilots declared an emergency situation soon after missing their first approach of an airport runway. Just before the second approach, the pilots said they had lost both engines and the plane crashed a short time later.

Authorities still had not released the victims' names by early today, though news organizations were able to confirm some of the identities Tuesday.

Many in the tight-knit communities surrounding Wilkes-Barre knew several people who died in the crash. Among the victims were Donna Barbini Cali of Dunmore; her mother, Florence Erhardt of Honesdale; Nancy Maleski, 66, of Moosic; Elaine Pilosi, 46, of Old Forge; Joan E. Kunkle, 63, of Wilkes-Barre; and Bob Supatoski and his wife, Lillian, of Scranton.

Cali, who was in her 40s, and Erhardt, who would have turned 74 on Monday, used to run a bridal boutique, said friend Michael Barrasse, a Lackawanna County, Pa., judge.

``They spent incredible amounts of time together, and it's kind of ironic that they would pass together,'' Barrasse said.

National Transportation Safety Board:

· Crash investigators recover plane's 2 engines - USA Today (May 24, 2000)

· Wayward Thunderbirds Cause Air Scare - Washington Post (May 24, 2000)

· Blank Cockpit Tape Hampers Crash Probe - Washington Post (May 23, 2000)

· Charters Used for High Rollers - AP (May 23, 2000)

· Transcript describes struggle to land crippled plane - USA Today (May 23, 2000)

· National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) - investigates every civil aviation accident in the U.S. Site has aviation accident statistics, a searchable database of accident synopses, and a list of desired aviation safety improvements.

· AirDisaster.Com - features daily aviation news, cockpit voice recordings, crash photos, movies, and more.

· Aviation Safety Network - airliner accident database with listings of all airliner hull-loss accidents since 1945.

· CrashPages.Com - special reports, ongoing coverage, statistics, forums, and photos of aviation accidents and disasters.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Saturday May 20, 2000 

O'Hare Controllers See Ghost Planes

CHICAGO (AP) - False radar images have been popping up on the screens of O'Hare International Airport's air traffic controllers, forcing pilots to take sudden turns unnecessarily, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in its Sunday editions.

At least a dozen ``ghost planes'' have been reported during the last few weeks, the newspaper said, citing documents from the Terminal Radar Approach Control center in Elgin, Ill., and interviews with controllers.

Controllers said that at least a few times, they have ordered pilots to take sudden turns to avoid what appeared to be planes on their radar, potentially putting passengers at risk.

``The ghosting is a complete terror for the air traffic controllers,'' said Charles Bunting, president of the Elgin local of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

False radar images can appear when a crane or construction tower is put up, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro. Planes from nearby airports also have appeared much closer to O'Hare than they actually were in recent weeks, controllers said.

Molinaro said there have been 13 ghost images in the last five weeks, rather than the eight or nine the FAA would usually expect in that time period, ``meaning we still need to look into them.''

But Mike Egan, vice president of the controllers union at Elgin, accused the FAA of playing down the problem. ``Maybe 130, but not 13,'' Egan said Friday. ``We had a couple of them today, as a matter of fact. ... They know there's a problem.''

O'Hare controllers have also recently complained about the FAA's plans to speed air traffic at O'Hare by stacking arriving planes vertically around O'Hare's air space rather than having them line up single-file.

Bunting said the radar situation raises questions about the safety of the procedure.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Tuesday May 23 10:22 PM ET

Air Force Jets Get Too Close to Airliner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets returning from an air show came too close to an American Airlines (NYSE:AMR - news) jet and a small private plane this week outside Washington, authorities said on Tuesday.

The incidents occurred on Monday shortly after the Thunderbirds display team left Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland for their home base in Nevada.

William Shumann, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said two of the eight Thunderbirds came within 700 feet vertically and 0.9 miles horizontally from an American Airlines (AMR.N) MD-80 flight from Dallas to Dulles airport in northern Virginia.

``We have filed pilot deviations against the two pilots'' of Thunderbird aircraft, Shumann said.

The same F-16 aircraft also came within 100 feet vertically and 1.8 miles horizontally of a privately operated four-seat Mooney.

FAA regulations generally call for a minimum three miles horizontally or 1,000 feet vertically between planes in airspace near airports.

The agency said it took the incidents seriously but any disciplinary action would be up to the Air Force.

``All we do is tell the Air Force 'we think your pilots screwed up here,' then it's up to them to deal with it,'' Shumann said.

Air Force spokesman Maj. Jon Anderson said close passes were inadvertent and occurred as an air traffic controller helped guide the planes back into their formation after losing visibility in low clouds.

Speaking of the American Airlines encounter, Anderson agreed the distance was below FAA minimums but said: ``It wasn't right outside the window.''

The Air Force was investigating, he said.

Copyright © 2000 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.


Thursday May 25 2:17 AM ET

Continental Jet Returns to LAX

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Electrical problems forced a Continental Airlines flight bound for Houston with 133 people aboard to return to Los Angeles minutes after takeoff Wednesday night, the airline said.

No one was hurt. Some of the passengers aboard Flight 1016 said they could see flames coming from an engine immediately after takeoff.

``We were climbing and before we hit altitude the right motor started making noise and flaming and shook the whole plane. We saw flames on the right-hand side,'' passenger Jamie Bufford told KCOP-TV.

``They were probably about 5 feet long after the edge of the wing,'' passenger Doug Swain said of the flames.

Continental spokeswoman Julie Gardner said the Boeing 737-800 had electrical problems.

``The captain shut down the No. 2 engine and returned to LAX,'' she said. ``Our maintenance personnel will evaluate the aircraft for the cause. The plane landed safely without a fire reported.''

The flight left at 7:28 p.m., returning to the airport about 25 minutes later. It carried 128 passengers and five crew members.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Thursday May 25 4:29 AM ET

Plane in Polar Landing Stays Afloat

By T.A. BADGER, Associated Press Writer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The five adventurers who were rescued from the North Pole last week after their biplane crashed were certain the aircraft had nowhere to go but 13,000 feet to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean.

But the 10,000-pound Antonov-2 biplane is proving unsinkable - so far.

Pilot Ron Sheardown said his plane is firmly frozen into drifting ice at the top of the world, and he's trying to put together a rescue.

``We think it's in there good enough that we can make a run up there and get it out,'' he said Tuesday.

Obstacles are many, with time and money leading the list.

Sheardown said any effort to liberate the Russian-designed, Polish-built aircraft would have to be completed within a couple of weeks because the ice is moving away from the pole.

``The plane is worth $150,000,'' he said. ``That's probably what it would take (to recover it).''

Sheardown and his companions had to be rescued May 16 after the Antonov-2 dropped through unexpectedly weak ice while landing to do some sightseeing.

The men - including Dick Rutan, who co-piloted the first flight around the world without stopping or refueling - were stranded for about 12 hours before a plane dispatched from northern Canada picked them up. As they flew away, they thought they would never see the Antonov again.

A rescue operation would require erecting a tripod over the Antonov and connecting it to the plane with cables before gradually freeing the ice-locked wings, Sheardown said. Then airbags would be slowly inflated under the plane, lifting it inch by inch until it was clear of the ice.

Sheardown said he's talking to Russian and Canadian outfits experienced in polar operations, but hasn't lined up anything yet.

Keeping track of the plane's location would be difficult, since the polar ice moves up to several miles a day.

``I'd tell him `Your chances are remote,''' said Roger DeAbreu, science projects manager at the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa. ``It's fair to call it a needle in a haystack.''

DeAbreu said most of the satellites can't see through the clouds that cover the North Pole nearly all of the time. There are two satellites aloft that can, but at least one of them doesn't fly directly over the pole, he said.

``I'd say it's 50-50,'' Sheardown said. ``But it's worth a shot.''

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Thursday May 25 7:42 AM ET

Runway Plane Collision Kills One in Paris

By Brian Love

PARIS (Reuters) - An airliner carrying 151 Spanish soccer fans collided with a cargo plane which strayed into its takeoff path at Paris airport early on Thursday, slicing through the cockpit and killing the co-pilot, aviation authorities said.

The Air Liberte MD-80 was accelerating down the runway at Charles de Gaulle airport when its left wing hit the cargo aircraft, killing the co-pilot outright and seriously injuring the pilot, the French air accident investigation bureau said.

There were no injuries among the 151 passengers aboard the Madrid-bound airliner, it said. The accident occurred minutes before 3 a.m.

The Shorts-manufactured freight plane, which made regular flights from Paris to Luton in Britain, entered from an access track and crossed the path of the McDonnell Douglas when it was already half way down the runway, the bureau said.

Thousands of Spaniards had traveled to Paris for a European Cup soccer final on Wednesday evening in which Real Madrid beat rival Spanish club Valencia 3-0. The teams played at the Stade de France stadium, north of Paris on the way to the airport.

``These two planes collided on the ground. The Air Liberte plane was ready to take off. The cargo plane...entered the takeoff runway for a reason not yet established, via an access route,'' a spokesman from the ADP Paris airports authority said:

The investigation bureau, which is part of the Transport Ministry, said ``black box'' flight recorders had been recovered from both aircraft.

An inquiry would be conducted with the help of Spain, as well as Britain and the United States, the respective countries of manufacture of the Shorts and MD planes, it said.

The accident closed down the runway for several hours and added to the havoc of returning some 20,000 Spanish fans home. Special provisions were made to fly out passengers who were still waiting to return to Spain at 6 a.m., the ADP said.

The Air Liberte aircraft was lying at the side of a runway access route on Thursday morning with around a third of its left wing missing, while the cargo plane had been towed away to an airport hangar.

British air accident investigators traveled to France on Thursday.

A spokeswoman for the Streamline freight firm whose plane was involved said the pilot's injuries were not thought to be life threatening.

Copyright © 2000 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.


Sunday May 28

Stunt Plane Crash Kills Couple

BUNNELL, Fla. (AP) - Two planes piloted by a husband-and-wife aerobatic team collided Saturday as the couple practiced a maneuver that was part of their air show.

Daniel Heligoin, 68, and Montaine Mallet, 52, were killed after the planes crashed to the ground. They had been practicing a stunt in which both planes fly straight up, stall their engine, begin falling in unison and then make a last-second recovery.

But one of their CAP 10 airplanes clipped the other at about 10:45 a.m., bringing both crashing to the ground at Flagler County Airport, authorities said.

Witness Joanna Chambers said she saw the wing of one plane hit the other.

``At first I just thought it was some trick where one plane goes around the other,'' she said. ``There was no explosion, just pieces.''

The airport, about 30 miles northwest of Daytona Beach, has two runways and no control tower. Pilots are expected to communicate with each other to arrange landings and takeoffs.

Mallet and Heligoin, both natives of France, called their routine The French Connection Airshow, which included close-formation aerobatics, such as loops and rolls, performed in unison.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the crash.

On the Net: http://www.mudryaviation.com

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Friday May 26, 2000

Small Planes Collide Over Oklahoma

NOBLE, Okla. (AP) - Two small planes collided over central Oklahoma, killing both pilots.

Witnesses reported hearing a noise about 6 p.m. Thursday and then seeing the two single-engine planes come down. One plane crashed and burned, while the other descended more slowly, the witnesses said.

The pilots were identified as Max Lee Moore, 48, of Sadler, Texas, who was flying a Cessna 182, and Muhammad Zahid, 19, of New York City, who was piloting a Cessna 152.

Both planes had flown out of the Max Westheimer Airport at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, about 10 miles from where they crashed, but their times of departure and destinations were not immediately known, said Joyce Roach, aviation safety investigator in the National Transportation Safety Board's south-central regional office in Arlington, Texas.

Moore, who was president of Oklahoma Steel and Wire, Southwestern Wire and Iowa Steel and Wire, had spent the day at a company plant in Norman and was returning to his home when the crash occurred, a company official said.

The wreckage covers about a three-quarter-mile radius, Cleveland County Sheriff DeWayne Beggs said.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Saturday May 27, 2000

Small Plane Crashes in Philippines

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - A small plane with four people aboard crashed on a mountain in the northern Philippines and there were no signs of survivors, officials said Saturday.

A report by the Air Transportation Office said the single-engine Cessna ``apparently slammed into the slopes'' of heavily forested Susong Dalaga mountain at 4,800 feet.

Col. Joe Manayao, commander of the army's 502 Infantry Brigade helping in the search, told DZMM radio station the plane was found intact ``just a little bit below the peak of the mountain'' in Isabela province, about 200 miles north of Manila.

The plane, carrying a woman, her two young daughters and the pilot, took off from Tuguegarao, the capital of Cagayan province, early Friday for a 35-minute flight to Palanan in Isabela province.

The plane was declared missing about an hour after it was due to have arrived in Palanan.


Sunday May 28, 2000

Plane Crashes Near Mall, 3 Die

By TOM VERDIN, Associated Press Writer

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (AP) - A small plane crashed on a suburban street near a shopping mall Sunday, killing all three people aboard, authorities said.

The single-engine plane had just left Hawthorne Municipal Airport when it went down about noon at the edge of the mall parking lot, snapping power lines and bursting into flames.

The four-seater, which the Federal Aviation Administration described as a Piper PA-46, was headed to Las Vegas, police Lt. James McInerny said.

The pilot did not report any problems before the plane crashed about 14 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, McInerny said.

Marisela Guerrero, 25, was working at the drive-through window of a Taco Bell restaurant about 50 feet from where the plane came to a rest on a sidewalk.

About 20 people were inside the restaurant at the time, she said. ``I came inside and said (to the customers) `Go, go, go!''' Most of the customers and workers had already run from the building, she said.

The plane caught fire, but the flames were quickly extinguished.

Jose Rodriguez, 26, said he was returning to the shopping mall after making a pizza delivery, and was at a stoplight when the plane came down.

``I saw pieces of the plane flying everywhere,'' he said.


Monday May 29, 2000

Light-plane flier killed in Southwest Dade

A Miami-Dade County man was killed Sunday in the Redland when his ultra-light airplane hit a power line and crashed into the pavement.

The crash occurred at about 10:40 a.m. at Southwest 217th Avenue and 216th Street, moments after the plane's engine backfired and began sputtering, Miami-Dade Police spokesman Rudy Espinosa said.

Zoltan Toth, 48, of 12445 SW 46th St., was probably killed immediately, Espinosa said.

An autopsy will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death.

Full story at Miami Herald


Wednesday May 31, 2000

Colombia Shoots Down Suspected Drug-Running Plane

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian Air Force fighter jets shot down a light plane on a suspected drug-running mission over the country's northernmost territory in the first such ``hot pursuit'' incident in five years, authorities said Wednesday.

An Air Force statement said bursts of automatic gunfire from Air Force A-37s downed the single-engine, Venezuela- registered Cessna aircraft over the desert-covered Guajira peninsula Tuesday night.

The plane, which had not requested permission to enter Colombia's airspace, was fired upon after its pilot refused to make radio contact or obey an order to make a forced landing, the Air Force said.

Air Force commander Gen. Jairo Garcia told reporters blood but no bodies were found in the wreckage of the Cessna, indicating its pilot and any other crew members survived and made a getaway.

``There was quite a bit of blood,'' Garcia said.

The same white Cessna was tracked by radar early Tuesday as it flew out of Colombia, without having filed a flight plan, and headed out across the Caribbean toward Jamaica, Garcia said.

Colombia's Air Force has destroyed at least 10 drug- smuggling planes in the last year, after forcing them to land on clandestine dirt airstrips and machine-gunning from the air.

But Tuesday's incident, known as hot pursuit because of the initial chase and then downing of a suspect plane with rapid-fire machineguns, was the first in Colombia since 1995, the Air Force said.

Colombia produces an estimated 80 percent of the world's cocaine and is a leading supplier of the high-grade heroin sold in the United States.


Wednesday May 31, 2000

Plane Crashes Off Australia's Coast

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) - A small airplane with eight people aboard crashed Wednesday off the coast of South Australia state after reporting that both engines had failed. Two bodies were found early Thursday, police said.

Rescue teams were still searching the area where the twin-engine Piper Chieftain was believed to have gone down in Spencer Gulf, just to the west of Adelaide in South Australia state, hoping to find survivors.

Five men and three women were flying from Adelaide to Whyalla, about 120 miles to the north.


Wednesday May 31, 2000

Ex-Bills Player Survives Crash

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly sustained minor cuts and scrapes when a two-seat plane he was in crashed into the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska during a hunting trip earlier this month.

``We lost total power of the plane and the pilot turned and said, `Jim, brace yourself, we're going down,''' Kelly told Buffalo's WGRZ-TV on Wednesday. ``I had some choice words and pretty much saw everything flash in front of me.''

Both Kelly and the pilot made their way safely to shore. Kelly said he had a few cuts to his face and also had a nail ripped off his finger.

``I had to hurry and undo my seat belt and take off my helmet and knock out the windows, which the pilot did. I had to swim to shore, but thank God, I'm still here,'' said Kelly, who had just returned with his brother Pat from the two-week hunting trip he had won in a charity auction.

The crash happened May 20 in Cold Bay, about 650 miles southwest of Anchorage, on the tip of the Alaska peninsula.

Kelly said he had just killed a large brown bear when he and the pilot got into the plane to head for their base camp.

The plane had gone a couple of hundred feet into the air when it ran into problems, Kelly said. The pilot tried to skip the plane along the water only to have it go in nose first about 100 yards from shore.

According to Kelly, the plane's troubles were blamed on water mixing in with the fuel.

Neither the FAA or National Transportation Safety Board had any record of the crash.


Thursday June 1, 2000

Actor Swayze Unscathed After Emergency Landing

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (Reuters) - Actor Patrick Swayze, star of ''Dirty Dancing'' and ``Ghost,'' walked away unscathed after being forced to make an emergency landing in his light plane onto a dirt road Thursday, aviation officials said.

Swayze, 47, was flying solo in his twin-engine Cessna from California to Las Vegas when he developed a mechanical problem and decided to make a precautionary landing, according to Luis Dias, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman in Los Angeles.

The plane landed on a dirt road near a housing complex in the small community of Prescott Valley in northern Arizona. There were no injuries.

Fire department and sheriff's department officials said the plane had a damaged wing and that when they arrived on the scene, they could find no one. It later emerged that Swayze had hitched a ride from a passing vehicle and was taken to a nearby house, where he telephoned authorities.


Thursday June 1, 2000

Jockey Dettori Survives Plane Crash

NEWMARKET, England (AP) - Frankie Dettori and fellow jockey Ray Cochrane made a life-saving climb to safety Thursday from the burning wreck of a plane crash that killed the pilot.

Britain's best-known and most flamboyant jockey, the 29-year-old Dettori suffered a broken ankle, a hand injury and severe burns to his head and face when the twin-propeller plane went down at the Newmarket race course complex just yards from the track.

Cochrane, 41, who suffered burns to his head and hair, helped Dettori out through the rear of the plane and then failed in an attempt to rescue the pilot.

``They got out and Ray went back to help him,'' said Peter Burrell, the business manager for the Italian-born Dettori. ``But by that stage the plane was on fire and they weren't able to get to him.''

Nick Lees, the clerk of the Newmarket course, said he arrived minutes after the crash and found the two jockeys conscious and huddled together about 50 yards from the scattered wreckage.

``Frankie Dettori was complaining of severe pains in his ankle and he had blood on his face,'' Lees said. ``But he (Dettori) was using his mobile phone fairly shortly afterwards and ringing his wife.''

Lees said Cochrane had burns to his face and hair and ``was complaining of pain on the top of his head and his left hand.''

``He (Cochrane) was in pain ... but he gave me four separate telephone numbers to phone for his wife and brother-in-law and other people while he sat in the back of my car.''

``It wasn't what I call an inferno, but it was quite a bad fire and there were a few small explosions.''

The crash is strikingly similar to one a month ago in Lyon, France, in which Formula One driver David Coulthard, his girlfriend and trainer walked away from a jet crash that killed the two pilots.

American golfer Payne Stewart died last year when his private plane flew out of control for several hours and then crashed.

Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly also sustained minor cuts and scrapes when a two-seat plane he was in crashed in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska last month.

A spokesman for a local ambulance service, which airlifted the two jockeys to a hospital near Cambridge, said the unidentified pilot was dead at the scene. A hospital spokesman said Dettori could be released as early as Thursday evening.

Burrell said the two jockeys were en route from Newmarket to race courses at Goodwood and West Sussex, which Burrell described as a normal day of travel for the two high-profile athletes.

Police said the plane went down shortly after takeoff on the race course complex - the home of English thoroughbred racing - in an area known as Devil's Dyke.

Dettori, Britain's best-known jockey and famous for his flying dismounts, made English racing history in 1996 when he won all seven races on the same day at Ascot.

Cochrane is a veteran and well-respected jockey who has won the English Derby, England's top thoroughbred race. Dettori, who finished seventh aboard China Visit in the Kentucky Derby on May, was preparing for the June 10 Derby at Epsom, a race he has yet to win.

``All we are thinking about right now is the pilot and his family and whether Frankie and Ray are going to make a full recovery,'' Burrell said. ``They have a very hectic lifestyle. They are flying all around the world. I am sure both Frankie and Ray will bounce back from this.''


Thursday June 1 2000

Kellys Happy EX-QB Survived Crash

By JOHN WAWROW, Associated Press Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Pat Kelly was on the beach helplessly watching as the two-seat plane carrying his famous brother - ex-Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly - struggled to land on the Alaskan coast.

``I saw the plane going up off the beach and then it started coming down and it went on the other side of a bank,'' Pat Kelly said Thursday, recalling the events of the May 20 plane crash that his brother managed to swim away from unhurt.

``I couldn't tell from where I was standing if they were going to make the water or make the beach,'' he said. ``The guide told me, 'That doesn't look good, Pat, we better hustle down and get the medical kit.'

``As we got back to grab the kit, we heard a gun shot so we knew there was trouble. We hustled up the beach about three-quarters of a mile to get to them.''

By the time they got to shore, Jim Kelly and the pilot were already making their way out of the water. And suddenly, the Kelly brothers had more than Alaskan bear-hunting stories to share.

``He was a little shaken up,'' said Pat of his brother, who suffered minor cuts to his face and had a nail torn off his finger. ``It was scary out there. But he's fine. That's all that counts. We were fortunate.''

News of the crash arose this week after the Kellys returned from their two-week hunting trip that Jim Kelly purchased in a charity auction.

``We lost total power of the plane and the pilot turned and said, `Jim, brace yourself, we're going down,''' Jim Kelly told Buffalo's WGRZ-TV on Wednesday. ``I had some choice words and pretty much saw everything flash in front of me.''

The plane went down in the Bering Sea in Cold Bay, about 650 miles southwest of Anchorage, on the tip of the Alaska peninsula.

Kelly was unavailable for comment on the crash Thursday, as he was attending the funeral of former Bills teammate Bruce Smith's father.

Wednesday, Kelly said he had just killed a large brown bear when he and the pilot got into the plane to head for their base camp.

The plane had gone a couple of hundred feet into the air when it ran into problems, Kelly said. The pilot tried to skip the plane along the water only to have it go in nose first about 100 yards from shore.

``I had to hurry and undo my seat belt and take off my helmet and knock out the windows, which the pilot did. I had to swim to shore, but thank God, I'm still here,'' said Kelly

According to Kelly, the plane's troubles were blamed on water mixing in with the fuel.

Dan Kelly, Jim's brother and manager, heard about the crash a few days after it happened.

``When Jim left, I said, 'Jim, please come home alive,''' he said. ``There's too many things that can happen. They're out in the wilderness. I said my prayers when the guys left and I said, 'Anything can happen, just make sure you can come home.'''

The Kellys can all laugh about it now.

Said Dan Kelly: ``One of the jokes between Pat and them was they asked the adventure guide: 'Do we have to pay extra for this?'''

Seriously, though, Dan Kelly was happy to see his brothers come back safe and sound.

``People take things for granted and you should just take things one day at a time because you never know what tomorrow brings,'' said Kelly.

Neither the FAA nor the National Transportation Safety Board has any record of the crash.


Friday June 02, 2000

Wreckage Found Of Small Plane/Pilot Dead

(West-AP) -- The wreckage of a small plane has been found today north of Waco and investigators say the pilot was killed in the crash.

The Department of Public Safety says the wreckage was spotted by members of the Civil Air Patrol who'd been looking for a plane missing since last month.

No official word yet on whether the victim was 70-year-old Manuel Reyes of Westworth Village.

He took off Wednesday, May 24th, from Fort Worth Spinks Airport, en route to Victoria. Reyes, in an experimental plane called a Thorpe T-A 18, was headed for his grandson's graduation.

D-P-S Senior Corporal Charlie Morgan says the wreckage of the single-engine experimental plane was spotted at mid-morning in a field about seven miles southeast of West, Texas.

Federal investigators have been notified.

(Thanks to Angela Singh of KCEN and Chris Severy of KXXV)

(Copyright 2000 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Saturday June 3 8:34 PM ET

Flight Diverted Due to Dizziness

DENVER (AP) - A United Airlines flight from Chicago to Las Vegas was diverted to Denver on Saturday after a group of flight attendants complained of being dizzy and lightheaded.

A United spokesman said five flight attendants were taken to University Hospital, but a hospital spokeswoman said six patients were treated and released.

None of the 297 passengers or pilots reported any symptoms and no problems were found with the plane, the spokesman said. The cause of the dizziness was not known.

After the plane landed in Denver, the attendants were replaced by another group. Flight 1047 continued to Las Vegas and arrived more than two hours behind schedule.

United has been in contract negotiations with its pilots, but the airline spokesman said Saturday's problems did not appear to be related to any labor dispute.

Another United plane, Flight 1227, which took off from Dulles International Airport in Washington, landed at Lambert Airport in St. Louis at about 12:30 p.m. CDT after pilots reported an engine problem.

The plane landed safely and all 327 people on board were unharmed.


Saturday June 3 4:37 PM ET

NATO Spy Plane Lands in Macedonia

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia (AP) - A unmanned NATO spy plane lost power on a mission over southern Kosovo and was forced to make a parachute landing early Saturday, a U.S. Army statement said.

The small U.S. plane, called Hunter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, went down just after midnight inside Macedonia, within two miles of the Kosovo border, the statement said without providing details.

It was unknown if the plane had been damaged. U.S. army officials in the peacekeeping force in Kosovo were reportedly working with Macedonia's government to recover the aircraft.

It was the second time in two weeks that an unmanned NATO aircraft was forced to make an unscheduled landing in the area. A British ``Phoenix'' was forced last week to make a parachute landing in the ground safety zone, which is the three mile buffer zone along Kosovo's boundary with Serbia proper, sources in the NATO-led mission said.

The border is patrolled by NATO aircraft to give early warning of any potential intrusions. However, the ``Phoenix'' aircraft was recovered by Yugoslav forces. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunday June 4, 2000

Six Dead After French Plance Crash

SENLIS, France (AP) - Six Germans traveling from England to Germany were killed when their small plane crashed in a field in northern France during a violent rainstorm, French police said Sunday.

The Piper PA-46 crashed at about 7:45 p.m. near the town of Tury-en-Valois near Senlis, a town 30 miles north of Paris.

The plane had taken off from the Island of Jersey about 5:30 p.m. and was heading to Alondorff. It flew into a violent storm, which police say was probably the cause of the accident.

The plane crashed into a field of rapeseed. Debris was spread over hundreds of feet. The remains body of the pilot and five passengers were recovered by rescue workers.


Monday June 5, 2000

Two Men Found Dead in Jetliner

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - Two men were found dead in the wheel bay of a jetliner at Stockholm's Arlanda international airport, police said Monday.

Technicians performing a routine check on Sunday found the apparent stowaways in one of the wheel bays, airport police spokesman Anders Nilsson said. The cause of death was not released pending autopsies, but Nilsson said it gets very cold in the plane's undercarriage, where the atmosphere is not controlled

The Premiair charter plane had landed in Stockholm earlier Sunday after a trip to Greece, but police said it was not clear how long the men had been hidden in the undercarriage.

Identity documents suggested that they came from the Dominican Republic, where the Airbus A300 touched down Friday, but police said the identities were still under investigation.


Tuesday June 6, 2000

Alaska Airlines jet makes unscheduled landing
LOS ANGELES, June 6,2000 (Reuters) - An Alaska Airlines jet bound for Portland, Oregon from San Diego, California, made an unscheduled landing in Los Angeles after its pressurization system malfunctioned, a spokeswoman for the airline said on Tuesday.

Alaska Flight 503, an MD-80 jetliner with 135 passengers aboard, landed safely at Los Angeles International Airport at 6:41 p.m. local time on Monday (0141 GMT on Tuesday), Jan Fisher said.

The passengers were transferred to another Alaska Flight and arrived in Portland early on Tuesday, Fisher said.

Fisher said the pressurization system on Flight 503 began malfunctioning on the plane's climb out of San Diego, forcing the pilot to descend to 10,000 feet (3,048 metres) and shutting down the air conditioning system.

She said the airline had an ``unconfirmed'' report that one passenger began to hyperventilate out of anxiety and required oxygen.

On Friday, federal regulators proposed suspending Alaska Airlines' (NYSE:ALK - news) authority to conduct major repair work after finding the carrier's maintenance procedures failed to meet federal standards.

The Federal Aviation Administration subjected the airline to an intensive safety inspection following the January crash of an MD-80 belonging to the carrier off the coast of California. All 88 people on board were killed.

Alaska Airlines has seven days to reply to the FAA's proposed suspension.

Since late 1998, the U.S Attorney for northern California has also been probing the airline's Oakland, California, maintenance base for irregularities.


Monday June 5 4:10 PM ET

Ghana Plane Crash Kills at Least 6

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) - A Ghanaian military plane operating as a passenger airliner crashed today as it was landing in the capital of this West African country, killing at least six people, airport officials said.

More than 30 of the 52 passengers on board Air Link 200 were taken to a nearby military hospital for treatment, said Andy Mensah, director general of the Ghanaian civil aviation authority.

The six killed included three foreigners, Mensah said. He did not provide their nationalities.

Airport officials blamed the weather for the crash, which occurred just before noon in pouring rain. The plane landed nose-first and broke in two at the start of the tarmac, witnesses said.

Fire and rescue crews rushed to the scene at Kotoka International Airport.

The plane, a 60-seat Fokker-27 aircraft, was on a regular passenger service run from the northern town of Tamale.

When the pilot realized the poor visibility in Accra, he attempted to land at Takoradi, about 250 miles to the west, and at Lome, capital of neighboring Togo. But the weather was bad in those places, too, and he returned to Accra, Mensah said. The pilot survived the crash.

The airport was closed this afternoon to clear up the debris, and the airline suspended all flights.

Air Link, Ghana's only domestic airline, is run by the military.


Thursday June 08, 2000

American Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing

(Phoenix-AP) -- An American Airlines flight bound for St. Louis made a safe return to Phoenix yesterday after smoke was reported in the cockpit.

The jet left Phoenix's Sky Harbor airport for Dallas and then St. Louis.

Passenger Ronnie Epert says that five or ten minutes into the flight it was announced the plane was heading back to Phoenix. Another passenger, Jim Shields, says he smelled smoke -- like burning wire-insulation.

There were 69 passengers aboard, but no injuries. Passengers booked other flights from Phoenix.

(Copyright 2000 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday June 8 1:02 AM ET

Solomon Rebels Strafe Pols' Plane

By RAY LILLEY, Associated Press Writer

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Gunmen on Wednesday fired at a plane carrying two British mediators fleeing the Solomon Islands, where fighting between rival groups intensified and truckloads of armed teen-agers cruised streets.

The British politicians - Glenys Kinnock and John Corrie, members of the European Parliament - traveled this week to the Pacific nation to act as mediators between rival islanders in the Solomons chain.

But Corrie and Kinnock became trapped in their hotel in the capital, Honiara, as fighting intensified on the main Solomons island of Guadalcanal, and they decided to fly out on a chartered aircraft Tuesday.

``When we taxied down the runway there was a tremendous fusillade of shots at us,'' Corrie said. ``A small part of the aircraft stopped functioning and we had to go back into the terminal.''

``But the second time there were no problems,'' Corrie told the BBC from Papua New Guinea. ``We took off and have safely arrived in Papua New Guinea. Everybody is fine.''

It was not known which group - The Malaita Eagle Force or the Istabu Freedom Movement - fired on the plane, although the Malaita Eagles took the perimeter of the airport in fighting Tuesday.

Kinnock, the wife of European Union official Neil Kinnock, said the situation rapidly ``became completely lawless'' after Monday's coup attempt.

``The police just seemed to concede to the (rebel) gunmen of the Malaita Eagle Force under Andrew Nori. There were armed men roaming around with homemade weapons and the streets were blocked and the airport closed,'' she said.

The indigenous Istabu have been fighting to force the Malaitans off Guadalcanal, where U.S. Marines in 1942-43 first began the long fight back against Japan in a grueling seven-month battle after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Solomon Islands government crisis had appeared to ease Wednesday when rebels from Malaita island released Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu from house arrest and dropped demands that he resign.

But New Zealand's foreign minister, Phil Goff, who has been closely monitoring the situation, said early Thursday that Ulufa'alu had apparently been placed back under house arrest. He said it was unclear whether Nori had reneged on the deal or whether Malaita rebel leaders had lost control of their gunmen.

A radio report early Thursday from the Solomon Island Broadcasting Co. said Ulufa'alu's residence was surrounded by armed men, but that there had been no new combat in the areas around the airport, east of the capital of Honiara and the scene of recent gun battles.

The broadcaster's Web site on Thursday quoted Ulufa'alu as saying of his seizure: ``Literally, it's a coup.''

Australia said it was dispatching a warship Thursday to evacuate its citizens and other foreigners who want to leave. There are 700 Australians in the Solomons but the ship could take up to 800 people, Defense Minister John Moore said.

Rebels fought around the capital Wednesday, and stranded foreigners reported seeing truckloads of armed teen-agers cruising Honiara's streets.

``We're talking about 15-year-old kids who have got machine guns. It is a little daunting,'' said Australian businessman Derek Harvey, adding that the rebels did not threaten foreigners.

Harvey said he drove to the airport Tuesday but turned around after seeing vehicles flee from shots fired by snipers sitting on top of coconut trees.

On Wednesday, the Malaitan spokesman, Nori, said that his forces fired from a stolen police gunboat on a rival rebel group on a beach, killing 100. Nori said his comrades on the ground watched from about 60 feet away.

``There were no civilians,'' Nori said. ``They were all carrying weapons. They were not holding a picnic.''

Nori's claims could not be immediately confirmed. A Solomon Islands government spokesman and New Zealand officials said there was a gunboat attack in the morning, but they had no information about deaths.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff, whose nation is 2,300 miles southeast of the Solomons and who has been monitoring the situation, said Nori's claims appear to contain ``a significant level of exaggeration.''

At least 50 people have been killed or left missing in recent fighting on Guadalcanal, and 20,000 have been forced to flee their homes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thursday June 8, 2000

Canada police dismiss plane threat as prank

(UPDATE: Releads with departure of plane, adds details of police search in para 2, police quotes in paras 7-10)

QUEBEC CITY, June 8 (Reuters) - A Canadian Airlines (Toronto:CA.TO - news) plane left Quebec City's international airport on Thursday after a written bomb threat had earlier forced the evacuation of 80 passengers from the jetliner, transport officials said.

Doris Angers, an official at Jean Lesage International Airport, said the plane departed for Toronto at around 14:40 p.m. (1840 GMT) after a delay of more than two hours while police searched the aircraft and cleared it for takeoff.

The Boeing 737 was evacuated after a passenger found a note on a seat in the plane during boarding that read in English: ``There is a bomb on this plane''.

Angers said luggage had been unloaded and that all baggage had been properly identified by passengers, which allowed the plane to take off.

``We take this alert very seriously,'' Angers told Reuters.

Police at Sainte-Foy, a suburb of Quebec City where the airport is located, dismissed the threat as a prank.

``From the standpoint that there were a lot of young people on board, it can easily be a bad joke,'' he said.

He, however, pointed out that the note might have been put on the seat during an earlier flight.

Thursday June 08 12:09 PM EDT
American Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing

(Phoenix-AP) -- An American Airlines flight bound for St. Louis made a safe return to Phoenix yesterday after smoke was reported in the cockpit.

The jet left Phoenix's Sky Harbor airport for Dallas and then St. Louis.

Passenger Ronnie Epert says that five or ten minutes into the flight it was announced the plane was heading back to Phoenix. Another passenger, Jim Shields, says he smelled smoke -- like burning wire-insulation.

There were 69 passengers aboard, but no injuries. Passengers booked other flights from Phoenix.

Wednesday June 14 9:34 AM ET
Plane Rolls Through Windows at Newark Terminal
NEWARK, N.J. (Reuters) - A parked Continental Airlines (NYSE:CAL - news) passenger plane lurched through a wall and glass windows at Newark International Airport on Wednesday in a freak accident that caused minor injuries to six cleaners, officials said.

No crew or passengers were on board the MD-80 aircraft when it suddenly moved forward at 4:50 A.M. EDT (0850 GMT) while mechanics were attempting routine overnight engine inspection, Continental Airlines spokeswoman Sarah Anthony said.

``One of the engines fired up (turned on) and the aircraft surged forward, hitting the terminal,'' the spokeswoman said. ''We don't know the extent of the damage at this point. ... The aircraft was lodged in the building.''

Six cleaners were slightly injured in the accident, said Continental Airlines and an airport spokesman.

The aircraft was parked at terminal C when ``for an undetermined reason the plane lurched forward and crashed through the wall at gate 114,'' said Airport spokesman Steve Coleman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

National Transportation Safety Board officials were investigating the accident, Coleman said.

Friday June 16 1:36 PM ET
Plane Makes Safe Emergency Landing at Montreal
MONTREAL (Reuters) - A Canadian Airlines (Toronto:CA.TO - news) jet with a blown tire and carrying 49 passengers made a safe emergency landing at Montreal's Dorval Airport on Friday.

The Toronto-bound Fokker-28 regional jet blew one of its six tires on take-off from Quebec City and the pilot requested clearance for an emergency landing at Dorval.

The plane had circled Dorval in a bid to use up fuel before making its landing, as emergency crews and ambulances waited by the tarmac.

``The plane landed without difficulty; we did not have to intervene,'' said airport spokeswoman Marie-Andre Bastien on the French all-news channel RDI. ``We are very happy that everything went well.''

Bastien added the 90-seat Fokker had been cleared to land on the airport's longest airstrip to give it room to maneuver.

Friday June 16 5:50 PM ET
F-16 Crashes in Ariz., Pilot Safe

SELLS, Ariz. (AP) - An F-16 fighter jet crashed in the southern Arizona desert Friday and the pilot ejected safely, a spokeswoman at Luke Air Force Base said.

The plane went down during an air-to-air combat training exercise 14 miles southwest of Sells east of the the Barry M. Goldwater Range, Luke spokeswoman Mary Jo May said

Luke officials grounded all F-16s at the base after the crash.

The F-16 is a $20 million jet used for air-to-air combat and air-to-surface combat missions.

Friday's crash was the ninth of a Luke-based F-16 in less than two years. Luke, located in suburban Phoenix, is the world's largest F-16 training base, flying nearly 38,000 sorties a year.

Sunday June 18 5:01 AM ET
2 Die in Malaysia Small Plane Crash

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - A small plane belonging to a local flying school crashed into the sea Sunday, killing two passengers after two others parachuted to safety, police officials said.

The Cessna aircraft was on a training flight 328 feet off the coast of Mersing town in southern Johor state when it crashed into the South China Sea, district police chief Idris Abdullah was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency.

Witnesses saw the plane hit a tree by the shore and circle over the water for some time before crashing, a Mersing police official said.

Two passengers parachuted out and survived, but the Singaporean pilot and a Malaysian instructor were killed.

Mersing is about 155 miles southeast of the capital, Kuala Lumpur.


Monday June 19, 1:12 am Eastern Time
Jet, turboprop nearly collided in New York -report
WASHINGTON, June 19 (Reuters) - A US Airways (NYSE:U - news) Shuttle jetliner and a corporate turboprop missed colliding by just 100 to 300 feet (30 to 91 metres) at a runway intersection at New York's La Guardia Airport on June 12, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

The near-collision occurred when an air traffic controller cleared the turboprop to take off as the jetliner touched down to land, the Post quoted the Federal Aviation Administration as saying.

It was the third serious near-collision within two years at the busy New York airport that controllers failed to report to FAA headquarters in Washington.

Two of those near-collisions, the one on June 12 and another in late 1998, involved the same controller, sources close to the investigation told the Post. The National Transportation Safety Board, which has expressed concern about such so-called runway incursions, launched an investigation, the Post said.

The board last Tuesday recommended new air traffic procedures to combat near misses on the runways of U.S. airports, noting that there were at least 320 runway incursions reported in 1999, an increase of more than 70 percent from 1993.

The FAA is due to open a summit conference on the issue later this month.

The FAA learned of the latest incident on Thursday after the US Airways pilot filed a ``near midair collision'' report, an FAA spokesman told the Post.

``We are still investigating this,'' the spokesman said. ``We take every episode like this extremely seriously.''

Under FAA rules, controllers must report operational errors within three hours. Incidents are considered ``operational errors'' if the controller is at fault and ``pilot deviations'' if the pilot makes the error.

The spokesman would not say whether the controller was removed from service, but it is FAA policy to ``decertify'' and retrain a controller involved in an operational error, the Post said.

The controller, who was not identified, was decertified and retrained, sources told the Post, after a similar incident on Dec. 2, 1998, in which a US Airways Boeing 737 was cleared to land on a runway already occupied by a King Air twin turboprop. The 737 landed after going directly over the turboprop in that case, missing it by an estimated 50 feet (15 metres).

Investigative sources said the latest incident took place at 12:18 a.m. June 12. The US Airways Airbus A320 was cleared to land from the southwest on Runway 4 while a King Air turboprop was told to taxi into position and hold on Runway 31, preparing to take off to the northwest. The two runways intersect near the north end of the airport property.

As the A320 touched down, sources said, the controller cleared the turboprop to take off, the Post reported. Sources did not know the A320's flight origination.

The A320 rolled through the Runway 31 intersection just as the King Air flashed overhead. The A320 pilot estimated to investigators that the turboprop missed his plane by 100 feet (30 metres). Investigative sources said radar data, now being analysed, may show that the gap was as wide as 300 feet (91 metres).

Monday June 19 5:59 PM ET
Military Plane Crashes at Air Show

By MICHAEL RUBINKAM, Associated Press Writer

WILLOW GROVE, Pa. (AP) - Investigators examined a wooded area Monday for signs of what might have caused a fighter jet to crash at an air show, killing two naval aviators and horrifying tens of thousands of spectators.

The Navy released few details of the investigation, refusing to confirm whether the flight recorders were recovered.

The $38 million F-14A Tomcat fighter was taking part in the next-to-last performance at the Willow Grove 2000 Sounds of Freedom air show Sunday when it banked steeply, shook and plunged into the woods across a busy highway.

The two men killed were pilot Lt. William Joseph Dey, 30, of Hightstown, N.J., and radar intercept officer Lt. David Erick Bergstrom, 31, of Annandale, Va.

Both men, assigned to Fighter Squadron 101 from the Oceana Naval Air Station in Oceana, Va., were experienced flyers who had been in the Navy eight years.

Witnesses said the Tomcat was displaying a ``wave-off'' maneuver, in which the plane comes in at slow speed to make a landing, then circles for another attempt as if waved off from the first.

It is an easy maneuver, especially for an experienced pilot, according to retired Navy Cmdr. Woody Woodward, who viewed an amateur video of the crash.

``There is nothing dangerous or magic about a wave-off maneuver,'' he said.

The powerful, acrobatic Tomcat is one of the most highly sought-after attractions at air shows, said John B. Cudahy, president of the International Council of Air Shows, a trade group. There are only two Tomcat teams in the nation, and up to 450 air shows a year, he said.

``A show considers itself lucky indeed to have a Tomcat come in and fly,'' Cudahy said. ``It's just a very dramatic plane that represents all that is good about the Navy.''

Pilots in the demonstration flights are instructors at Oceana, a training base for F-14 pilots and crew members. They are chosen in a highly competitive selection process and undergo additional training for the shows, said Mike Maus, a spokesman for the Naval Air Force. -

On the Net: http://www.nasjrbwillowgrove.navy.mil/

Monday June 19 5:36 AM ET
5 Killed in S. France Plane Crash

TOULOUSE, France (AP) - A small Piper plane carrying five people has crashed in southern France, killing everyone aboard, police said.

The crash occurred Sunday night near the village of Saint-Clar-de-Riviere at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains, police said.

The plane plunged into a field. All of the victims died immediately. Officials were investigating the cause.

Monday June 19 3:23 PM ET
Harrison Ford Has Rough Landing

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A plane piloted by Harrison Ford sustained minor damage while trying to land in shifting winds.

The actor was at the controls of the six-passenger Beechcraft Bonanza when it touched down at Lincoln Municipal Airport on Sunday night. The ``Indiana Jones'' star and an unidentified passenger were not injured.

The plane was bound for Lincoln from Fort Wayne, Ind., when Ford ``reported wind shear as he was coming in for a landing and clipped the runway,'' said Elizabeth Isham Cory of the Federal Aviation Administration.

She said the plane damaged its wing tips.

Ford could not immediately be reached for comment. His whereabouts were not disclosed.

Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

Tuesday June 20 10:39 PM ET
Four Dead in Alaska Plane Crash
By MAUREEN CLARK, Associated Press Writer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A single-engine plane crashed during a hailstorm near Mount McKinley, killing a National Park Service ranger, two volunteer rangers and the pilot.

The Cessna 185, owned by Hudson Air Taxi, was bringing the rangers to the Kahiltna Glacier Base Camp Monday night when it crashed, Park Service spokeswoman Jane Tranel said.

``It's hitting close to home,'' she said.

The burned wreckage was found Tuesday afternoon near the confluence of the Yentna and Lacuna glaciers, about 15 miles from the base camp. Rain, hail and thunderstorms were reported in the area at the time the plane disappeared.

``They flew into a fairly violent storm,'' Ralph Tingey of the National Park Service told KTUU-TV. ``Reports from witnesses in the area said it was one of the worst storms they'd ever seen and up to four inches of hail fell.''

Those killed were pilot Don Bowers, 52, Park Service Ranger Cale Shaffer, 25, and volunteer patrol rangers Brian Reagan, 27, and Adam Kolff, 27.

The plane was spotted at about 4:30 p.m. by searchers with the Civil Air Patrol in brushy terrain at the base of a high granite cliff. Alaska Air National Guard spokeswoman Kerre Martineau said the plane appeared to be in two large pieces.

Bowers and the rangers had radioed the Park Service at about 6:30 p.m. Monday saying they were returning to Talkeetna, 65 miles southeast of the mountain, after failing to get into the base camp.

The Kahiltna camp is at the 7,200-foot level of Mount McKinley and is used by climbers scaling the continent's highest peak.

Bowers was the chief pilot for Hudson Air and a well-known sled-dog racer in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. He ran the Iditarod five times, most recently in 1998.


Wednesday June 21 7:14 PM ET
U.S. Military Jet Crashes in Canada During Training
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashed near a Canadian military base in northeastern Alberta during joint training exercises late on Wednesday, but the pilot sustained only minor injuries, U.S. military officials said.

Master Sgt. Terry Somerville, a spokesman for Air Combat Command, which is part of the U.S. Air Force, said the F-16 and its pilot were assigned to the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base in Utah.

He said the pilot was taking part in annual military exercises of U.S. and Canadian forces, dubbed ``Maple Flag.''

A spokeswoman at Hill Air Force Base said the pilot managed to eject from the plane before it hit the ground and sustained only minor injuries.

She said the crash occurred at Cold Lake Air Weapons Range, near Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake.

There was no immediate information on the cause of the crash.


Clinton plane aborts landing

United Press International - June 21, 2000

ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md., June 21 (UPI) -- Air Force One aborted a landing approach Wednesday afternoon before touching down safely on a second try.

A base public affairs official said the control tower waved off the presidential aircrat because two unidentified vehicles and a number of people were idling at the far end of the airstrip where the plane normally lands.

"There were a couple of unidentified vehicles on the periphery of the flight line," the official said. Base security and Secret Service agents saw the unidentified people and cars as a potential security threat and ordered the Air Force One to stay aloft until the runway was cleared.

The unidentified cars and people turned out to be base contractors. Security agents escorted them from the area and Air Force One landed safely.

The airplane was carrying President Clinton and daughter Chelsea from a visit with family friends in Arkansas.-


Copyright 2000 by United Press International. All rights reserved.


Thursday June 22, 12:58 pm Eastern Time
American flight makes emergency landing in L.A.
LOS ANGELES, June 22 (Reuters) - An American Airlines MD-80 passenger jet with 133 people on board made a safe emergency landing early Thursday at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) after circling the ocean for almost 2-1/2 hours to burn off its fuel, the airline said.

In a statement, American (NYSE:AMR - news) said Flight 889 bound for Guadalajara, Mexico left Los Angeles at 1:11 a.m. PDT (4:11 a.m. EDT) but after takeoff a nose gear warning light came on and an inspection of the runway showed evidence that the plane had blown a tire, which might effect the aircraft's front landing gear.

American said the plane stayed in the general vicinity of Los Angeles to burn off its fuel and reduce its weight before making an emergency landing at 3:33 a.m. PDT (6:33 a.m. EDT).

The airline said the landing was routine and no injuries were reported among the plane's 127 passengers or its crew of six.

Thursday June 22 4:13 AM ET
Russian Plane Skids Off Runway

MOSCOW (AP) - An Il-76 military transport plane carrying 221 soldiers and seven crew skidded off a runway during an emergency landing in southern Russia, injuring several people, the air force said Thursday.

The plane's fuel pumps and hydraulic systems began to fail shortly after takeoff Wednesday from the Privolozhsky airfield in the Astrakhan region, said spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky.

The pilot turned the plane around and made an emergency landing, but the plane skidded about 200 yards off the end of the runway. Several people were injured, but none seriously, Drobyshevsky said.

ORT state television reported from Astrakhan that eight people were injured.

Friday June 23 10:05 AM ET
China Plane Crash Deaths Rise to 51

BEIJING (AP) - The death toll from the crash of a Chinese airliner rose to 51 Friday, with state media saying seven people on the ground were killed when the plane, which was carrying more people than previously thought, came down.

The seven brick-factory workers killed were installing generators on a boat that was struck by the plane when it went down Thursday, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.

A fisherman, Xu Mingtao, had been helping the workers, but escaped injury because he had left before the accident, Xinhua said. The other workers were missing when he returned, prompting him to telephone emergency services, it said.

Initially, state media said the Wuhan Airline flight was carrying 38 passengers and 4 crew when it crashed in a rural suburb of Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei province.

But state-run television said the aircraft was carrying two people who had not registered, raising the number of people who died aboard the plane to 44.

Xinhua said the domestically made YUN-7 was descending for landing when it was struck by lightning and exploded.

The accident was the first major airplane crash in China since a Korean Air cargo jet slammed into a Shanghai construction site 14 months ago, killing the three-member crew and six people on the ground.

Friday June 23 12:52 AM ET
Doomed Chinese Plane Tried Emergency Landing
By Andrew Browne

BEIJING (Reuters) - The pilot of an aging Chinese domestic airliner which crashed after being struck by lightning, killing all 42 people on board, apparently tried an emergency landing, local police said on Friday.

They said the Chinese-made Yun-7 aircraft circled for 30 minutes over Wuhan airport in central China on Thursday, waiting for a fierce thunderstorm and torrential rains to pass.

In the end, the propeller-driven aircraft operated by Wuhan Airlines was hit by a bolt of lightning.

``They tried to land on a grass strip,'' said a police officer in the rural Wuhan suburb where the plane came down.

The grass strip runs alongside a river, but instead of touching down the aircraft smashed into a water pumping station and broke into pieces.

State television showed the tail sticking out of the river and other wreckage, including one of two ``black box'' flight recorders, strewn along the banks.

There were conflicting reports about casualties on the ground.

On Thursday, the official Xinhua news agency said four people were missing, but a Shanghai newspaper, the Wenhui Daily, said on Friday eight workers were unaccounted for after being blown off a boat by a fiery explosion as the plane crashed.

No Foreign Casualties

State radio said there were no foreigners on board the plane.

Wuhan's weather bureau recorded 451 thunderclaps in a 10-minute period as the plane circled, the Shanghai Morning Post reported.

A total of 39 passengers bought tickets for the short domestic flight, but one did not board, the Post said. The plane was carrying a crew of four.

The China Daily quoted a Wuhan Airlines pilot as saying the company had grounded its remaining seven Yun-7's. Another newspaper said the airline had just 13 planes in its fleet.

It was the second reported mid-air explosion involving Yun series planes, once the mainstay of China's civil aviation fleet but now largely retired.

In 1997, a Yun-12 operated by Mongolian Airlines exploded as it was trying to land at an airport in Mongolia, killing seven of 12 people on board. The following year another Yun-12 crashed in Mongolia, killing 28 people.

The Yun-7 was the first Chinese-built passenger aircraft and was delivered into service in 1984. It is now used almost exclusively by small airlines on secondary routes.

China has improved its air safety record dramatically since a spate of deadly crashes in the early 1990s.

Fast-growing regional airlines have bought fleets of new Boeing and Airbus planes, retiring aging Chinese and Soviet-made aircraft. Airports have become safer, too, adding advanced radar equipment.

China's worst civil air disaster was in 1994 when a China Northwest Airlines plane exploded shortly after takeoff from the ancient city of Xi'an, killing 160 people.

Saturday June 24 11:32 AM ET
U.S., Canadian Planes Crash

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) - A U.S. Navy fighter and a Canadian navy helicopter went down in the Pacific in separate mishaps, but all seven crew members on the two aircraft were rescued safely.

The U.S. Navy plane, an F-14 Tomcat from the carrier USS John C. Stennis, went down in clear weather Friday 1,400 miles southwest of Hawaii, said Cmdr. Chuck McWhorter of the U.S. Third Fleet.

The pilot and flight officer ejected safely and were picked up by a helicopter about half an hour later, McWhorter said.

The names of the aviators weren't released and the cause of the crash was under investigation, he said. The Stennis was en route to Hawaii from the Persian Gulf.

Later Friday, a Canadian navy Sea King anti-submarine helicopter made a forced landing 150 miles southeast of Honolulu, McWhorter said. All five crew members were rescued by an Australian frigate.

The helicopter had taken off from the Canadian HMCS Protecteur on an anti-submarine warfare simulation as part of the Rim of the Pacific multinational exercises.

Friday June 23 10:34 PM ET
4 Die in Florida Aircraft Collision

By KARIN MEADOWS, Associated Press Writer

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) - A Lear jet and a small stunt plane collided and crashed into a golf course community, killing the three people aboard the jet and the pilot of the second craft.

No one on the ground was injured when the planes crashed in one heap and burned inside the gated Boca Grove Plantation community and on the adjoining golf course, said Paul Miller, spokesman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department.

The cockpit and an engine from the Lear jet landed within feet of a three-story condominium and the building was damaged by the ensuing fire. Residents, mostly elderly, were evacuated.

Smaller debris landed on roofs and in yards in an area authorities said spanned about one mile.

The Lear jet had just taken off from Boca Raton Airport when it apparently hit the second aircraft, an Extra 300 one-seater coming from Willis Flight Port in Boynton Beach, about 10 miles north.

The pilot of the stunt plane, a member of the U.S. Aerobatics team, apparently tried to jump from his aircraft after the collision, and his body was found wrapped in a parachute, Miller said. It is not clear whether his parachute had deployed. Pilots flying stunt planes are required to wear parachutes, Miller said.

The larger plane ``looked like it split in half, the front half of the plane buckling underneath it and the thing basically dropped out of the sky like a rock,'' said Dean Kallan, who works in an office complex across the street.

Jack Shoenfelt, the Boca Grove Golf Course's pro, said there were about 30 players on the course when a large section of the plane crashed near the 17th tee.

Golfer and subdivision resident Edward Brill said a man and woman were about to tee off when the planes fell.

``They said they didn't know which way to run,'' Brill said. ``It's unbelievable no one on the ground got hurt.''

The Lear 55, a twin-engine jet that can carry up to 13 people, is owned by Universal Jet Aviation Inc., a Boca Raton company, federal records show.

The jet carried three Universal Jet employees - pilot Richard Smith, co-pilot Kevin Reyer and passenger William Bradley Moncrief. It was headed to Fort Pierce, about 80 miles to the north, to be painted, Miller said.

The Extra 300 pilot was identified by friends and neighbors as John Lillberg, a member of the U.S. Aerobatics team since 1991 and a retired Pratt & Whitney engineer who had been flying since about 30 years.

``He performed for and held competitions here,'' said neighbor and fellow pilot John Lobb. ``He was responsible. It's really a shock to us.''

-- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tuesday June 27 3:29 AM ET
15 Dead in Laos Helicopter Crash
By MATTHEW PENNINGTON, Associated Press Writer

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - A passenger helicopter crashed into a remote mountain in Laos, killing at least 15 people, officials said Tuesday.

The crash Sunday was believed to have been caused by bad weather, said Somjit Chandrarangsi, manager of national carrier Lao Aviation.

The helicopter was traveling on a regular route between Xaysomboune and Xieng Khouang provinces with about 15 people aboard, none of them foreigners, he said. All were assumed to have died, but authorities had not yet reached the crash site because of the hazardous terrain and bad weather, he said.

The helicopter crashed in an area where anti-government ethnic Hmong insurgents are active.

Laotian authorities believe the crash site is at the side of a remote mountain north of Long Tieng about 94 miles north of the capital of Vientiane.

Foreign embassies and international organizations in Laos have issued warnings in recent years about Lao Aviation's safety standards and advise against travel on domestic flights.

A small Lao Aviation turbo-propeller plane crashed into a mountain en route to Xieng Khouang from Vientiane in 1993, killing all 17 people on board.

A Laotian military jet carrying a high-level Vietnamese military delegation crashed over Xieng Khouang province in May 1998, killing 26 people including the army chief of staff. The crash prompted speculation of an attack by Hmong rebels, but the communist regime did not blame them.

The secretive Laotian government has volunteered little information about its fight against Hmong guerrillas since taking power in 1975.

A recent spate of bombings in usually placid Vientiane has been blamed on the Hmong resistance, although some analysts have questioned whether Hmong would be able to penetrate so easily into the capital.


Wednesday June 28 8:27 AM ET

Japanese Military Plane Crashes

TOKYO (AP) - A Japanese military plane carrying five Air Self-Defense Force soldiers crashed into the sea Wednesday while on a test flight off Japan's western coast, officials said.

The agency and the Coast Guard sent eight planes and 11 patrol vessels to the crash site in the Sea of Japan, but none of the C-1 transport plane's crew members have been found.

The plane lost contact with air force officials Wednesday afternoon about 30 minutes after leaving the Miho Base 360 miles northwest of Tokyo, Defense Agency spokesman Susumu Umeda said. Hours later, rescuers recovered metal parts and life vests from the aircraft, said another agency official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The C-1 plane went missing in thick cloud cover about 60 miles northwest of the base. It was to perform a 90-minute test flight within the military's aviation training area after a regular inspection, officials said.

The cause of the crash was not yet known.


Wednesday June 28 10:39 AM EDT

Plane bound for Dallas makes emergency landing at LAX

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ An American Airlines plane headed to Dallas made an emergency landing early Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport after reporting engine trouble, officials said.

The plane, a three-engine DC-10 carrying 294 passengers and crew members, lost one of its engines and was diverted to Los Angeles, said Mark Kienzle, a spokesman with American Airlines. The aircraft, which departed from Honolulu, landed safely at 1:05 a.m., said an operations officer with the Federal Aviation Administration.

There were no injuries reported.

The passengers and crew switched planes in Los Angeles and arrived later Wednesday morning in Dallas, Kienzle said. Mechanics are examining the engine that failed, he said.

(Copyright 2000 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Sunday, July 16, 2000

Plane crashes in southern India, bodies reported pulled from wreckage

PATNA, India-- An Alliance Airways plane with a reported 52 passengers and six crew on board has crashed near Patna in eastern India.

CNN New Delhi Bureau Chief Satinder Bindra said the aircraft, which was on a flight from Calcutta to Patna, was on fire near the Patna airport.

Relatives and airport workers mobbed the plane, screaming and crying as they tried to find survivors and pull bodies from the burning wreckage on the tarmac at the airport in the capital of India's poorest state.

Bindra said 52 passengers were reported to be on the aircraft and that bodies were being pulled from the aircraft.

Rescue workers were at the scene. The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tuesday, 25 July, 2000

Concorde crashes near Paris

A Concorde jet bound for New York has crashed shortly after taking off from Paris, killing more than 100 people.

The Air France aircraft crashed in flames into a Relais Bleu hotel in the town of Gonesse north of the capital, two minutes after take-off from Charles de Gaulle airport.

After the crash, one eyewitness told reporters the annex of the hotel was "totally in flames".

The French Interior Ministry has confirmed that 100 passengers and nine crew were killed. At least four people on the ground have been killed.

Eyewitnesses said the aircraft was not able to gain sufficient altitude before it crashed.

"I saw the Concorde go by with its left side engine on fire and crash a bit further away, about two minutes after taking off," one witness told the French news agency AFP.

A spokesman for Air France said the flight had been specially chartered by the German tour operator Deilmann.

First crash

The crash is the first of the supersonic jet built by Britain and France.

It comes a day after British Airways confirmed hairline cracks had been discovered in the wings of all seven of its Concorde fleet.

The Concorde has been considered among the world's safest planes.

Its only major scare came in 1979, when a bad landing blew out a plane's tyres. The incident led to a design modification.

The first of the aircraft flew in 1969. Air France and British Airways operate 13 of the supersonic jets.

Air France officials have said in the past that their current fleet is fit to fly safely until 2007.

More details are still coming in.

Concorde underwent last-minute engine repair before catastrophic flight

PARIS-- Engineers repaired one of two left-side engines of the doomed Air France Concorde minutes before it took off and crashed, killing 113 people.

Air France said that the crew of the chartered Concorde jet had asked maintenance workers to look at the thrust reverser on the plane's No. 2 engine before the plane left.

Francois Brousse, an Air France vice president, told reporters at a news briefing, "There was work done on the plane just before the flight and there was a flight delay. It was work on an engine. At this moment we absolutely cannot know if it had to do with the accident."

Elisabeth Senot, prosecutor in the town of Pontoise, said the tower at Charles de Gaulle airport radioed the pilot that flames could be seen coming from one of the engines just seconds after the plane took off for New York.

She said the pilot or another member of the crew radioed back, "Failure of engine No. 2." The supersonic jet crashed moments later into a hotel.

Air France said the Concorde had returned to Paris from New York on Tuesday with the thrust reverser on its No. 2 engine not working. A thrust reverser is used to slow the plane during landing.

CNN Correspondent Jim Bitterman said that the pilot bringing the plane from New York to Paris on Monday reported that the thrust reverser was not working on No. 2, and that was why the pilot of doomed Flight AF4509 ordered a maintenance team to examine the engine before take-off. A thrust reverser is used to slow the plane during landing.

A spare part to fix the thrust reverser was not available, said an Air France statement, but the captain insisted it be repaired and a spare part was taken off another Concorde and installed on Flight 4590.

Technicians spent between 20 and 30 minutes working on the engine. Air France said the plane, which left 1 hour and 6 minutes after its scheduled 3:25 p.m. departure time, was also delayed because the baggage of the Germany tourists on board did not arrive on time.

Trail of flames

Witnesses described flames trailing from the rear of the plane as it took off. A picture taken by an amateur photographer clearly shows a 200-foot stream of fire coming from the plane's left side.

The pilot told the control tower: "I have a problem. My number three and four engines are down. I'm turning back."

But he was unable to get the plane back to Charles de Gaulle airport and it crashed at Gonesse, just north of Paris, killing all 100 passengers, nine crew and four people on the ground.

So far, 80 of the 113 bodies have been collected from the charred wreckage and taken away to be identified.

British Air resumes Concorde flights

Air France on Wednesday grounded all its remaining five Concordes, but British Airways resumed its normal supersonic service.

British Air suspended Concorde flights within hours of the crash, but said it now had "complete confidence" in its Concordes after receiving initial information about the crash, and conducting extensive overnight checks on its fleet.

One passenger on the first Concorde to take off since the crash said: "Lightning doesn't strike twice." That flight arrived in New York early Wednesday morning.

Mourning in Germany

In Hanover, Germany, prayers were said for the victims at a memorial service attended by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. He said: "Germany is shaken and stunned. What a farewell this is after the dreams that these people had."

Air France said that of the 100 passengers, 96 were German tourists on their way to New York for a sea cruise to Ecuador. Two other victims were Danish, another Austrian, and one a U.S. citizen.

Relatives of the victims have begun arriving in Paris but they are not yet being allowed to visit the crash site. Counselors and translators are on hand to give them comfort and support.

Crash investigators are attempting to decode the aircraft's two flight recorders, the flight data recorder and the cockpit flight recorder, which could provide key evidence.

Other teams from France, Britain and the United States are continuing the harrowing task of sifting through the charred wreckage.

French Transport Minister Jean-Claude Gaysott said that if the flight recorders did not explain satisfactorily why the plane crashed he would consider "asking for a new certification of the Concorde engine."

It was the first crash of a Concorde, which flies at twice the speed of sound and takes off at 250 mph, in its 31-year-old history.

CNN Correspondents Jim Bitterman and Christiane Amanpour, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.


From News Services
Thursday, July 27, 2000

PARIS -- Engine malfunction and a last-minute repair job emerged as prime clues Wednesday as crash investigators searched the wreckage of an Air France Concorde that went down in flames just after takeoff Tuesday, killing 113 people.

In its first reconstruction of events leading up to the tragedy, Air France said the plane had arrived in Paris on Monday with a faulty reverse thruster in its No. 2 engine -- the same engine that burst into flames Tuesday.

A spare part was unavailable in the airline's warehouse and the captain of Flight AF4590 to New York was told that the manufacturer's guidelines allowed for the plane to take off without the piece, which helps slow the aircraft on landing.

But Capt. Christian Marty insisted on the repair, and the flight was delayed for half an hour while a spare part was scavenged from another Concorde and installed.

The flight was further delayed by the late arrival of some passengers' luggage and was finally cleared for takeoff more than an hour late. Fifty-six seconds later, traffic controllers warned the pilot of fire at the rear of the plane, according to transcripts of the cockpit voice recorder.

Marty reported the failure of the just-repaired No. 2 engine and, seconds later, air traffic controllers said the fire was spreading. The pilot replied that he could no longer stop the aircraft, as the engines' thrust was too strong. He said he was heading southwest for nearby Le Bourget airport rather than return to attempt an emergency landing at Charles de Gaulle.

His efforts proved in vain. The beaked plane reared in the sky, spewing flames from its tail, rolled and stalled before plummeting, according to witnesses. It crashed at 4:44 p.m. in Gonesse, a few miles short of Le Bourget.

A nation's grief is kept private

Disaster town to stage silent march

Don't forget my staff who died, says hotel owner

Paris mourns the dead

The victims

Ex-Air France chief rules out engine repair as cause of fire

THE German victims of the Concorde disaster included three generations of one family, it emerged yesterday.

They were Andreas Schranner, 64, a property millionaire, his wife Maria, 62, their daughter Andrea, 38, and her two children. The children's stepfather, Christian Eich, 57, was also on the doomed flight. Mr Schranner was treating his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren to the flight from Paris to New York, then a cruise to Ecuador that was part of the holiday package.

The children, Maximilian Eich, 10, and his eight-year-old sister Katharina, were so excited about the holiday that they had been telling their classmates about it for weeks. They were particularly keen to be going on a cruise on the ship Deutschland, which is fitted out like a liner of 100 years ago and features in a popular German television show.

"They were really proud about going on the ship from the telly," one of their classmates in Munich told Bild newspaper. Mr Schranner and Mr Eich were classic car enthusiasts. Mr Schranner was a collector and his son-in-law ran the BMW museum in Munich.

Rudi Fassnach, a well-known football coach, was another victim of Tuesday's crash, which occurred just after an Air France Concorde took off from Charles de Gaulle airport. He was a former trainer with the Fortuna-Koeln club, of Cologne. His wife Sigrid was killed with him.

Burst tyres yesterday emerged as another possible cause of the disaster, a theory supported by new images of the stricken plane.

27 July 2000: Concorde: did engine repair lead to crash?

26 July 2000: 113 killed in Concorde crash

24 July 2000: Concorde grounded after cracks are found in wing

UPDATE 2-Two Concorde tires burst, fire outside engines-inquiry

Updated 11:11 AM ET July 28, 2000

By Crispian Balmer

PARIS (Reuters) - The huge fire that downed an Air France Concorde, killing 113 people, apparently started outside the plane's engines and as many as two of its tires may have burst before take-off, investigators said Friday.

The French Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA) announced its latest findings as attention focused on the possibility the sleek jet might have been brought down by a freak explosion with bits of ruptured landing gear tearing into its two port engines.

Meanwhile, Air France, expressing irritation with widespread speculation on the causes of Tuesday's harrowing crash, denied a newspaper report that its ground crews had replaced a fuel pump on the supersonic airliner hours before it crashed in flames.

Gonesse, the town outside Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport where the fiery crash killed four people on the ground, planned a silent march from the town center to the wreckage site to honor the dead -- mostly German tourists heading to New York.

At Air France headquarters, the third memorial service in as many days was scheduled for the victims. Relatives have been asked for dental records to help identify the charred bodies.

The BEA, leading the technical inquiry into the disaster, said investigators had noted that one, and possibly two, of the four tires on the left side of the plane had been destroyed.

"At the present time, no debris from inside the engine has been identified. The fire appears to have started outside the engines but this remains to be determined," a statement said.

The BEA said Thursday that one of the two engines under the left wing had failed and that the second lost power twice in the supersonic jet's brief flight to catastrophe. It also said the crew had been unable to retract the undercarriage.


Le Parisien newspaper reported that lengthy repair work was conducted Tuesday morning on the afterburner equipment of the two left engines, but the company denied this.

Huge flames trailed from the Concorde's left wing as it roared down the runway of the Paris airport. Seconds later, the pilot told air controllers he had lost power in one of the left engines while the second was also experiencing problems.

With the pilot unable to abort the take-off, the airliner plunged into a hotel close in Gonesse, killing all 109 people aboard and a further four people on the ground.

Air France confirmed that routine daily maintenance was carried out on the drop-nosed jet before Tuesday's flight, addressing issues raised by the crew which had last flown it. This ended with the four engines being tested.

Just before the plane was pushed onto the runway for a trip to New York, the pilot asked for last-minute repairs to a reverse thruster, but Air France mechanics say they do not believe this could have caused the subsequent cataclysmic fires.

Focus instead has switched to the possibility that the sleek jet suffered a freak explosion caused by bits of ruptured landing gear tearing into the two left-hand engines.

The BEA said Thursday that shreds of tire had been found on the runway after Tuesday's disaster.

"The tires are under such high pressure -- they are as big as truck tires but designed to travel at over 300 kph (180 mph) -- that anything thrown out by them bursting is as good as from a gun," said a retired aviation engineer who worked on British versions of the Anglo-French jet.

Gilles Belliard of the aviation mechanics trade union SNMSAC told Reuters that only one Air France Concorde had suffered a blow-out at take-off, flying out of Washington in 1984. That plane took off and was able to return safely to the airport.


Experts said debris might have been drawn into the pounding motors, smashing the turbos and igniting the fuel lines.

"It would be deeply unusual for the tire to get sucked into the engine, but accidents happen because the unusual happens," Paul Beaver, of the aeronautical bible Janes Information Services, told Reuters.

As the Concorde pulled clear of the ground, flames as long as the plane itself were seen trailing from the left wing.

"For those flames to be coming out of the wing, some metal must have gone into the tanks or fuel lines," said the British aviation engineer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Whether that came directly from the undercarriage, if that was what first went wrong, or from the engine being destroyed by ingesting parts of the wheel assembly is anyone's guess."

The BEA said it would not release its preliminary report on what caused the disaster until the end of August.

Forensic teams continued to scour the blackened crash site at Gonesse. All the bodies have been recovered from the carnage and taken to a morgue in Paris for identification.

Air France reiterated Friday that its fleet of five Concordes would remain grounded until further notice.

The Greens' Party, which is a member of France's ruling government coalition, called for the plane to be withdrawn definitively from service and placed "in a museum."

"Its technology dates from the 1960s, that's to say from another century, some sort of sacred Gallic monster," Greens' spokesman Noel Mamere told RTL radio station.


After I read the e-mail and recognized the coincidence to the music. I then thought to myself, "Hey! I wonder what I would find if I actually followed the instructions in the music... Right 3 degrees - then through the trees!"

So approximately 10:30 a.m. P.D.T. I went out the back door, angled approximately 3 degrees and started walking through the trees. (We live in an orchard).  I was carefully searching the ground to see if there was a gift out there somewhere, like a feather or something. I couldn't walk straight without walking into a tree, so I had to guess how many degrees from the beginning I was.  I found a paper bag obviously a year or more old, a crushed and broken plastic milk bottle, then an old hunk of rope hanging out of a tree which was partly buried in the ground on the other end, so it had been there a long time.

I took the rope with me, but that didn't feel connected, so I began walking along the fence and found nothing.  I had to skirt around a ditch through which water drains out of the orchard when it's flooded for irrigation. I then started to walk back through the trees on the other side of the road the tractor uses when they are working out there.  

If I had walked up the road before measuring the 3 degrees instead of measuring from my back door, that's about the angle I would have been. It was about 10 degrees from my back door I would estimate. However, it was 3 degrees from the fence coming back.

Again I was looking on the ground for feathers, because I collect them and there is a flock of pheasants that uses the orchard to run around in.  

I found a couple pieces of old white plastic containers rather small, then looked to my right and just about flipped out.  There was a sink hole, about 4 feet across.  It was not new that I could tell. It had a hunk of board laying across part of it and had two old tree branches in it. It was about a foot and a half deep and had regular soil in the bottom.  The sides looked like they had dropped straight down.  It was not dug with a shovel from the way it looked. The sides were straight down. The bottom was not even, like years of rain or irrigation water would normally do a hole.

I didn't try to go too close to it in case it had weak sides, but speak of shifting sands?  It fits the music's words that I had heard earlier.



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