4-16-09 - DREAM - I was in an airport waiting room, waiting to go somewhere on a plane.  Across from me, sitting on the window sill were 6 or 7 pilots, all dressed in black leather, snoozing before their flight took off.  I assumed they were sleeping now so they would be awake when they were actually flying. 

Then a good looking man came along, and I was attracted to him, however, his wife came along soon after and took him away again.

Then a tall Chinese guy came by, and he looked really familiar.  I asked him if he was from Milwaukee, and he said, "No!"  But then, I asked, "Are you from Wisconsin?"  Again he said , "No!" 

Then his wife came and led him away too, but before he left, he pasted a sticker on the wall behind where he had been standing.  The sticker said, "You snooze - you lose!"

NOTE:  The following day, on the news were two plane crashes with several deaths.  I don't know how may others didn't make it into the national newspaper.


Scores killed in Iran plane crash

All 168 passengers and crew have died in a Caspian Airlines plane crash in northern Iran, officials say.

Wreckage was spread over a large area in a field in Jannatabad village, Qazvin province, about 75 miles (120km) north-west of Tehran, state TV said.

The Tupolev plane was flying from the Iranian capital to Yerevan in Armenia, with mostly Iranian passengers.

The cause of the crash, which happened soon after take-off, was unknown. One witness said it plummeted from the sky.



"The 7908 Caspian flight crashed 16 minutes after its take-off from the International Imam Khomeini Airport," Iranian Aviation Organisation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh said, reported Iran's Press TV.

He said no problems were reported before take-off and there would be a full investigation into the cause of the crash.

At Yerevan's airport, one woman wept as she said her sister and two nephews, aged six and 11, had been on the flight.

"What will I do without them?" said Tina Karapetian, 45, before collapsing.

It was earlier reported that most of the passengers were Armenian, but officials later said the majority on board were Iranian.

A Caspian Airlines spokesman told Reuters news agency up to 25 of the passengers were Armenians.

There were also two Georgians on the plane, which had 153 passengers and 15 crew.

'Big explosion'

One witness said the Tu-154 circled briefly looking for an emergency landing site, while another said the plane's tail was on fire.

A man who saw the crash said the aircraft exploded on impact.

Jon Leyne

Jon Leyne, BBC News

Iran has a notoriously bad air safety record. Because of sanctions imposed by the United States, Iran relies on an increasingly ageing fleet of airliners, and has trouble buying spares.
There are tales of aircrew buying spare parts on flights to Europe, then sneaking them back to Iran in the cockpit. While those sanctions don't apply to aircraft from Russia and Ukraine, many planes from those countries in the Iranian fleet also appear well past their best.

For some people, flying in Iran can be a nerve-wracking experience. Stepping on board, it often becomes quickly apparent you are in a plane that has done many years service.

There are also frequent delays because of the shortage of aircraft. Iranian engineers and aircrew do their best to keep their fleets in service.

"I saw the plane crashing nose-down. It hit the ground causing a big explosion. The impact shook the ground like an earthquake. Then, plane pieces were scattered all over the fields," 23-year-old Ali Akbar Hashemi told AP news agency.

Eight members of Iran's national junior judo team and two coaches were on the flight, heading for training with the Armenian team.

Mohammad Reza Montazer Khorasan, the head of the disaster management centre at Iran's health ministry, said: "All people aboard... the crashed plane are dead," according to AFP news agency.

Television footage showed a massive crater in a field, with smouldering debris over a wide area.

The Qazvin Fire Department Chief said: "The area of the disaster is very wide and wreckage of the crashed plane has been thrown around as far as 150 to 200m."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

Feb 2006: Tupolev crashes in Tehran, kills 29 people
Dec 2005: C-130 military transport plane crashes near Tehran, kills 110
Feb 2003: Iranian military transport plane crashes in south of country, kills all 276 on board
Dec 2002: Antonov 140 commuter plane crashes in central Iran, kills all 46 people on board
Feb 2002: Tupolev crashes in west Iran, kills all 199 on board


The plane was built in Russia in 1987.

It was the third deadly crash of a Tupolev Tu-154 in Iran since 2002.

The BBC's Jon Leyne says Iran's civil and military air fleets are made up of elderly aircraft, in poor condition due to their age and lack of maintenance.

Since the Islamic revolution of 1979, trade embargoes by Western nations have forced Iran to buy mainly Russian-built planes to supplement an existing fleet of Boeings and other American and European models.


Iran Plane Crash Kills All 168 Aboard

15 July 2009
Iranian workers search site where  Russian-made passenger plane crashed near Qazvin, about 75 miles west of Tehran, 15 Jul 2009
Iranian workers search site where Russian-made passenger plane crashed near Qazvin, about 75 miles west of Tehran, 15 Jul 2009
An Iranian passenger jet flying from Tehran to the Armenian capital Yerevan crashed in a field near the city of Qazvin, killing all 168 people on board. The plane was a Russian-made Tupolev model that is not allowed to fly over Western Europe.

The plane, which belonged to Iran's Caspian Airlines, was headed from Tehran to the Armenian capital Yerevan.

Iran's civil aviation authority spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh told English-language Press TV the plane crashed 16 minutes after takeoff from Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport.

The Iranian News Network indicated the plane was carrying Iran's national judo team, and a spokesman for the team said he feared that its athletes, who were due to compete in Armenia, were all lost.

The international spokesman for Iran's Red Crescent Society, Abdal Raouf Adeeb, told al-Alam TV rescue workers from his organization are sifting through the debris from the plane.

He said the weather at the time of the crash was bad and the plane crashed in a rural, farming area with few residents. he said the plane broke up into very small pieces, making identification difficult. He also noted the black box from the plane was found and it should eventually reveal the cause of the crash.

The plane, a Russian-built Tupolev 154M jet from the 1980s, is an aging aircraft that is no longer allowed to fly over most western European airspace because of noise regulations.  

Unconfirmed reports said the Russian pilot of the plane may have been attempting an emergency landing after facing engine problems, shortly after takeoff.  

Iranian TV showed a large crater and indicated the plane was probably traveling at high speed when it crashed.

Iran has suffered from a rash of plane crashes in recent years, due to an aging fleet of passenger jets, many of which are leased from Russia. Economic sanctions have also prevented Iran from purchasing spare parts for many of its older Boeing and Airbus jets. 



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Yemeni plane with 153 crashes off Comoros Islands

MORONI, Comoros – A Yemeni jetliner carrying 153 people crashed into the Indian Ocean as it came in for a landing during howling winds on the island nation of Comoros. There were conflicting reports about whether a child survived.

The crash came two years after aviation officials reported faults with the plane, an Airbus 310 flying the last leg of a journey from Paris and Marseille to Comoros, with a stop in Yemen to change planes. Most of the passengers were from Comoros, a former French colony. Sixty-six on board were French nationals.

Comoran and Yemeni officials said Tuesday that either a 14-year-old girl or a 5-year-old boy had survived. However, neither report could be immediately verified, nor could earlier reports that three bodies and some plane wreckage had been recovered.

Yemeni civil aviation deputy chief Mohammed Abdul Qader said theflight data recorder had not been found and it was too early to speculate on the cause of the crash. But, he said, the wind was 40 miles per hour (61 kph) as the plane was landing in the middle of the night.

"The weather was very bad," he said, adding the windy conditions were hampering rescue efforts.

The Yemenia plane was the second Airbus to crash into the sea this month. An Air France Airbus A330-200 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, killing all 228 people on board, as it flew from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

The Comoros is an archipelago of three main islands situated 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) south of Yemen, between Africa's southeastern coast and the island of Madagascar. It is a former French colony of 700,000 people.

In France, school vacations began this week and many on the plane were heading home to visit.

Gen. Bruno de Bourdoncle de Saint-Salvy, the senior commander for French forces in the southern Indian Ocean, said the Airbus 310 crashed in deep waters about 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) north of the Comoran coast and 21 miles (34 kilometers) from the Moroni airport.

French aviation inspectors found a "number of faults" during a 2007 inspection of the plane that went down, French Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau said on i-Tele television Tuesday.

In Brussels, EU Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani said the airline had previously met EU safety checks and was not on the bloc's blacklist. But he said a full investigation was now being started amid questions why passengers were put on another jet in the Yemeni capital of San'a.

An Airbus statement said the plane that crashed went into service 19 years ago, in 1990, and had accumulated 51,900 flight hours. It has been operated by Yemenia since 1999. Airbus said it was sending a team of specialists to the Comoros.

The A310-300 is a twin-engine widebody jet that can seat up to 220 passengers. There are 214 A310s in service worldwide with 41 operators.

A crisis center was set up at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Many passengers were from the French city of Marseille, home to around 80,000 immigrant Comorans, more even than Comoros' capital of Moroni.

Some French Comorans insisted that their earlier warnings about the airline's safety weren't heeded by authorities.

Stephane Salord, the Comoros' honorary consul in Marseille, called Yemenia's aircraft "flying cattle trucks."

"This A310 is a plane that has posed problems for a long time, it is absolutely inadmissible that this airline Yemenia played with the lives of its passengers this way," he said.

"Some people stand the whole way to Moroni," said Mohamed Ali, a Comoran who went to Yemenia's headquarters in Paris to try to get more information.

Thoue Djoumbe, a 28-year-old woman who lives in the French town of Fontainebleau, said she and others had complained about the airline for years.

"It's a lottery when you travel to Comoros," said Djoumbe. "We've organized boycotts, we've told the Comoran community not to fly on Yemenia airways because they make a lot of money off of us and meanwhile the conditions on the planes are disastrous."

Christophe Prazuck, French military spokesman, said a patrol boat and reconnaissance ship were being sent to the crash site as well a military transport plane. The French were sending divers as well as medical personnel, he said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy "expressed his deep emotion" about the crash and asked the French military to help in the rescue operation, particularly from the French islands of Mayotte and Reunion.

Yemenia airline officials say the 11-member crew was made up of six Yemenis, including the pilot, two Moroccans, one Indonesian, one Ethiopian and 1 Filipino. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.


Al-Haj contributed to this report from San'a, Yemen. Associated Press writers Deborah Seward, Angela Charlton and Greg Keller in Paris, Sarah El Deeb in Cairo and Yoann Guilloux in Saint-Denis de la Reunion, Reunion Island, contributed to this report.

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Three killed in Northern Ireland plane crash

At least three people have been killed in a plane crash in Northern Ireland, police have said.

The four seater light aircraft came down in a field near the Co Down harbour town of Kilkeel just after 9pm on Friday night.

Police said they had recovered three bodies from the wreckage, but gave no further details.

Officers and other emergency service crews are currently at the scene near the Belmont Road.

There were reports of misty conditions at the time of the crash.

Earlier this month two men escaped serious injury when a light aircraft crash landed in a field in Co Tyrone.

The pilot and passenger required hospital treatment when the plane came down close to Annaghquinn Road outside Pomeroy.

Despite the plane being badly damaged during the dramatic landing the two men were able to make their own way out of the wreckage.

In another incident an investigation has also been launched after a plane had to make an emergency landing at City of Derry airport in May.

At approximately 4.45pm a light aircraft landed at the airport having reported technical difficulties.

Emergency services were waiting on the ground for the arrival of the Robin DR300.

The pilot – who was alone in the plane – was uninjured and did not require hospital treatment.

Police and fire crews were searching the wreckage to see if anyone else was on board.

Investigation into AN-32 plane crash begins


Shillong (PTI) The Indian Air Force started investigations into the AN-32 transport aircraft crash in Arunachal Pradesh that killed 13 defence personnel onboard, including seven IAF and six army personnel.

Defence sources said a team of experts from IAF has reached Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh on the way to the crash site.

Depending on the weather, the team would visit the crash site, collect the wreckage and trace the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and Flight Data Recorder, a defence spokesman at the Eastern Air Command told PTI.

The team may put up at Mechuka or Along for a few days as it would not be easy for them to complete investigation early due to hilly terrain and bad weather.

The team would meet local villagers who had reported to the police that they saw a ball of fire in the air followed by defeaning sound on the day of the crash.

Officials at Eastern Air Command here have not ruled out the possibility of a technical fault or engine failure.



Arizona man dies in Neb. plane crash

ARTHUR, Neb. - An Arizona man has died in a small-plane crash in western Nebraska.

The Nebraska State Patrol says it learned of the crash Thursday afternoon. The crash in Arthur County, just east of the Nebraska Panhandle, killed the pilot and lone occupant, 51-year-old Allen Peterson of Tucson, Ariz.

The patrol says the crash was not reported until a man discovered the wreckage on his property about 17 miles northeast of Arthur on Thursday.

The patrol says Peterson was an Arizona Highway Patrol trooper and had been visiting family in Minnesota. The patrol say he was returning to Arizona when his plane crashed.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.


Two men killed in plane crash

June 03, 2009

Wrecker service crewman gather the remains of a single-engine airplane that crashed near the Copiah County Airport in Gallman Tuesday, killing both pilot and passenger. Wesson flight instructor Gerry Mosley and Brookhaven firefighter Stephen Davis were pronounced dead at the scene.

GALLMAN - A plane crash near the Copiah County Airport Tuesday afternoon claimed the lives of two men, both members of the local pilot community in Brookhaven.

Copiah County Chief Deputy Tony Hemphill confirmed that flight instructor Gerry Mosley, 54, of Wesson, and 34-year-old Stephen Davis, a city firefighter from Brookhaven, were killed shortly after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when the small, single-engine aircraft they were flying crashed and burned in an open field off Lilly Road. The crash happened approximately a half-mile from the airport.

Hemphill said both men were pronounced dead at the scene. He said witnesses from the airport rushed to the crash site and were able to pull Mosley from the wreckage, but were unable to extract Davis due to the intensity of the flames.

"Witnesses from the airport said the aircraft made a circle in the air (shortly after takeoff)," Hemphill said. "They heard the engine shut off, heard the impact, saw the smoke and rushed over."

Mosley - who officials said was piloting the plane - was a certified flight instructor at Copiah County Airport, and Davis was a member of the Brookhaven Fire Department and a reserve deputy with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department. Davis was also an aircraft technician and licensed pilot, Hemphill said.

Copiah County Coroner Ellis Stuart said Mosley and Davis were restoring the plane and had taken it up for a test flight.

The Federal Aviation Administration inspected the crash site and is conducting an investigation. Hemphill said the official cause of the crash would come from the FAA, and an autopsy has been scheduled for both victims.

Witnesses and fellow pilots pointed to a small, broken branch high above Lilly Road and said the plane struck the treetop with its left wing.

Paul Barnett, chairman of the Brookhaven Municipal Airport advisory committee, believes reports that the plane struck a tree while in a powerless glide. He alleged the plane, which he identified as a Zenair 801, struck two trees before flipping over onto its back and crashing into the field.

Barnett said the men were likely attempting to land the plane in the open field after losing engine power and determining they could not make it back to the Copiah County Airport.

"They were on the downwind leg, turning to the base... that's when the engine apparently lost power," he said. "With the wind coming out of the south, it was enough such that they were unable to glide to the runway, so therefore their intended point of landing was the open field."

Barnett said he retraced the flight in his own plane late Tuesday while moving one of Mosley's aircraft back to Brookhaven.

"I put myself in the same position as they were," he said. "They were definitely aiming for the field."

Barnett said he flew with Mosley Friday, calling him a close friend.

"We spoke every day," Barnett said of Mosley. "He was a friend to all. He was very giving, a very unselfish individual who would do anything for anyone. He was a competent pilot, competent mechanic and wonderful father."

Brookhaven Mayor-elect Les Bumgarner said the entire city is saddened by the loss of Davis.

"Steve was a brave and courageous firefighter - a real man's man, and one of our better firemen," he said. "This really puts all these election concerns in perspective."

©The Daily Leader 2009


June 03, 2009

Telford Man Dies In Plane Crash

Published: 6:38 AM, 06/03/2009
Source: The Greeneville Sun

A Telford man died Friday, May 29, when his single-engine airplane crashed in Dickenson County, Va., near the Kentucky border.

The Associated Press reported that Victor Owens, Jr., 57, of Conklin Road, Telford, left the Elizabethton Airport about 3 p.m. Friday aboard his 1963 Mooney M20D airplane on a flight to Ashland, Ky.

But air-traffic controllers lost contact with Owens later Friday over the Tivis Ridge area of Pine Mountain in Dickenson County, Va.

The wreckage of his aircraft was sighted by Virginia Civil Air Patrol searchers about 3 p.m. Sunday.

Ground searchers confirmed Owens' death about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the Virginia State Police.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is continuing to investigate the crash.


This plane crash may be look  upon at a very spiritual event because of the numbers involved.

The plane had 216 passengers and 12 crew. members.  That is important to note.

I looked up the number 447 (the flight number) on our website, and on one of our 11:11 pages, a woman wrote to us and said that her special number was 447 and she noted a particular crop circle from 1998, which I looked up and to her it reminded her of an angel, and Joe connected it to Ascension, which, if those people died in a crash (which is apparent at this moment) ascension is exactly what they would do.

Big synchronicity there.

Air France AF 447 plane crash worst aviation disaster since 2001

This Airbus plane came down four hours into the flight

  02 June 2009 @ 10:00 am IST

Paris - If no survivors are found from the Air France AF 447 plane, which was carrying 228 people on board went missing early on Monday morning, it will be the worst loss of life involving an Air France plane in the firm's 75-year history.

In this Sept. 17, 2003 file photo, an Air France Boeing 747 jet lands at Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, north of Paris. If no survivors are found from the Air France AF 447 plane, which was carrying 228 people on board went missing early on Monday morning, it it would be the deadliest disaster to strike in the history of commercial airline since November. 12, 2001, when an American Airlines jetliner crashed in the New York City borough of Q...

The plane was an Airbus 330-200 (EAD.PA) powered with General Electric (GE.N) engines. If the plane is confirmed to have crashed, it would be the first time an A330 has been lost during an operational airline flight.

Air France said the plane had clocked 18,870 flight hours and went into service in April 2005. It last underwent maintenance in a hangar in April this year.

Related Stories: Air France plane crash: What could have caused the crash aviation experts debate

Air France plane crash: Airbus, GE Aviation rule out body, engine faults

Chances of finding survivors in Air France plane crash remote

The last major incident involving an Air France plane was in July 2000 when one of its Concorde supersonic airliners crashed just after taking off from Paris, bound for New York.

All 109 people on board were killed along with at least four on the ground.

Moreover, if all 228 people are declared dead, it would be the deadliest disaster to strike in the history of commercial airline since November. 12, 2001, when an American Airlines jetliner crashed in the New York City borough of Queens during a flight to the Dominican Republic, killing 265 people. On February 19, 2003, 275 people were killed in the crash of an Iranian military plane carrying members of the Revolutionary Guards as it prepared to land at Kerman airport in Iran.

The worst single-plane disaster was in 1985 when a Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 crashed into a mountainside after losing part of its tail fin, killing 520 people.

This article is copyrighted by


June 10, 2009 posting ... 00:30 AM CDT ... NEW POSTING ... today the news agencies posted the following regarding at least a dozen other planes that traversed the exact same route as Air France Flight 447 with NO SIGN OF SEVERE WEATHER ... 

Airlines confirmed that at least a dozen aircraft departed roughly at the same time and traversed approximately the same route, but did not report problematic weather conditions. This has led some aviation experts to suggest that technical problems on the airplane might be the main cause of the crash, though they may have combined with weather conditions to create serious problems.  ... (quote from CNN ... Candy Nugget News) 

... holy smoooze nooooze batman and robin ?)!*)_(&*#*&^ *# ... how stupid do they think the public is ??? so .... "experts" implying someone that knows what they are doing ... but no names given ... just the broad term "experts" ... "suggest" ... hardly what you would call a definitive word when talking about a major airline disaster !!! "that technical problems" ... like a ultra modern aircraft coming apart in pieces in the air all by itself in a clear blue sky !?!?! "might" ... another maybe if gosh geee whiz possible word ... "though they may have combined with weather" ?!??! they just got done stating there was NO WEATHER AT ALL according to more than a dozen other planes !!! "to create serious problems" ?!?!?! ... WOW ... these clowns really gotta stretch this a mile ... so more than ever my analysis below becomes more relevant ... and i already called the NO WEATHER issue exactly correct ... THERE WAS NO WEATHER ISSUE THAT DAY !!!! SO GET OVER IT ALREADY !!! CLEARLY THERE IS A MAJOR COVER-UP UNDERWAY and usual the international news media is part and parcel to it ... make sure you read the postings below ... the purpose of this posting is not to suggest any cause of the air disaster ... but simply to point out that the news media and those responsible for reporting are clearly not involved in accurate reporting and are relying on skewed news and repeating stories that could not possibly be true ... this page is not where you should be reading this but in light of the fact the no one else is covering this issue i am covering it here ... jim mccanney

June 09, 2009 posting ... 09:30 AM CDT ... NEW POSTING ... regarding the large turn radius indicated below of Air France Flight 447 ... the implication is that the plane had lost control of either its tail section or one of the engines (it is a two engine aircraft) and thus the pilot was maneuvering with less than the normal control surfaces or less one engine (or both) but was able to fly the plane none the less making a large sweeping right turn as noted below ... under normal flight conditions the turn would not have take the 50 plus miles that is indicated by the path of the debris field ... the fact that a badly damaged wing section was found independent of the rest of the debris field and also the tail vertical stabilizer was found separately indicates the same scenario ... the pilot clearly was flying the plane during this maneuver and for some time after but unable to communicate to the outside world ... this also relates to the locating of time and place of the debris field finds and indicates further that there should be a single debris pattern west of where the plane was when the initial "event" occurred (to the west of the last known location of the plane when flying normally) and this appears to be the case from the debris locations (one debris pattern to the west of the original last known location) ... with the rest of the debris field to the south and east following a flight line south after a large radius turn to the east and then south back to brazil ... so the pattern that is implied by the debris field is a loss of control in either or both the rear stabilizer and an engine by severe trauma to the external air frame IN ADDITION TO the breach from the inside of the plane ... the finding of both a wing section and a tail section could imply the "both" scenario as well as an unknown cause of a breach opening up the plane fuselage to the external atmosphere ... but at any rate read the posting below for more details ... jim mccanney 

June 09, 2009 posting ... 1:30 AM CDT ... NEW POSTING ... AIR FRANCE FLIGHT 447 UPDATE ... i began my career of disaster analysis when i got a real education in around 1986 when i was a guest speaker at Los Alamos National Laboratories to talk about my electrical comet concepts and plasma physics to the high energy group in residence there ... the morning before my talk i spent with one of the groups that was doing high altitude atomic bomb death calculations ... since then i have posted and analyzed everything from hurricane death toll estimates to tsunami death toll estimates and in some cases analyzed the reasons for some of these being man made events ... there is a basic analysis that one must take in assimilating information and examining the results ... all too many times the standard news stories float a cover story that continues to be repeated and repeated until it becomes "the truth" ... when analysis tells otherwise ... the fate of Air France flight 447 is emerging to be one of these cases ... today i finally had enough data to make the following analysis ... you can also follow this and make your own decision based on factual information presented here ... and if you come to the same conclusions ... you will then ask yourself ... why is a story that cannot possibly be true be promoted in the international press ??? 

Analysis of Air France Flight 447 : the flight recorders and computers spent approximately four minutes sending alarm information before going silent ... the standard news media story states that the plane was lost in severe weather and due to misguidance from conflicting computer commands it stalled or went too fast and therefore fell from the sky into the ocean ... being ignored are the following reporting ... note that it is not the reports of the "flash" seen by two other pilots that is paramount here (although this may or may not be related to the Flight 447 air craft) ... but the fact that the other two pilots would even see a flash in a situation that the standard news media was reporting as the plane flying through severe storm systems and being hit by lightning ... clearly ... the visibility for the other two pilots to report seeing a flash indicate not only that there may have been a flash related to Flight 447 ... but more importantly ... there were no severe weather clouds anywhere near Flight 447 let alone clouds at the estimated 35,000 feet producing lightning ... planes get hit by lightning all the time and do not crash ... but in this case ... the plane as well as near by planes were in an area with estimated 10 mile visibility ... in other words ... NO SEVERE WEATHER ... so there goes myth #1 being perpetrated by the french and world media ... secondly ... the myth that the loss of speed or trouble with pitot tubes that measure wind speed causing a problem with flight speed is inconsistent with the loss of cabin pressure that was also concurrently reported by the computers sending out distress signals ... every system on the AirBus 330 was sending out distress signals ... also findings of passengers with oxygen masks in the area also indicate that there was a loss in cabin pressure in the event ... loss of speed or a speed adjustment problem would have no reason to cause cabin pressure loss ... clearly a lot more was going on here ... the crux of the matter comes many days after the tragedy when ships and search planes started to find the real remnants of the missing air craft ... and also potentially botching any chance of truly reconstructing the disaster ... but what i did today was to reconstruct the last flight time of Flight 447 ... what i found proves that #1 ... there is a cover up going on behind the scenes and #2 ... a possible effort in some fashion to make sure the true story is never told ... the map of the debris was finally released today giving times and dates of discovery ... what is clear is that Flight 447 did not fall from the sky and crash into the ocean in one piece ... the main question i started to ask myself is ... with the amount of information already gathered and with the bodies that have been found ... it should be imminently clear already to investigators whether the plane came apart in the air or hit the ocean in a single piece (the standard news story with air sensor failure as the cause) ... so i thought to myself ... why is this not being reported ??? the answer came as i started to analyze the data already released along with weather - wind speed and ocean current data available from the crash area ... i pulled the data and started looking at the published debris field and locations of finds as well as the dates of the finds ... the flight was over what is known as the "South Equatorial Current" (ocean surface current) which flows west in this area at a rate of about 60 centimeters per second ... about 1.5 miles per hour ... or about 30 miles per day ... more importantly the dispersion rate of this current is less than 1 mile per day given local wind conditions that were somewhat strong in the first few days after the crash but very calm ever since ... this means that a single piece air craft crashing in this area and coming apart upon impact in the ocean would have had ALL debris and remnants within a few mile radius AT MOST even after a few days of drifting in this ocean current ... i began to analyze the locations of debris found and the times they were found as reported by the french news agency ... given the flow rate of the Central Equatorial Current and the times of discovery the true story began to emerge ... here it is ... Air France Flight 447 was approximately 745 miles north-northeast of Netal Brazil en route to Paris France ... the last signal from the computers was approximately 11:14 PM local time ... from here on the story becomes hypothetical relative to what the pilot accomplished and what the airplane did on its own ... but the following flight scenario must be fairly accurate given the data available ... as the pilot read the signals of the instruments and knew there was a loss in cabin pressure along with electrical failure and system failures ... at this point the pilot made a right long banking turn that covered approximately 50 miles and directed the plane south south west directly to the island group of Isla de Fernando de Noronha approximately 220 miles off the northeastern extremity of Brazil ... the closest point of land ... during this time the debris was coming off the plane including the skin and parts of the plane as well as passengers and internal contents of the plane were coming out and falling into the ocean below ... the plane continued to fly for at least another 30 minutes and ... depending on air speed which may have been as low as 100 miles per hour ... could have been airborne for well over an hour ... as pieces of the aircraft and internal contents rained from the sky as it attempted to find its way southward ... whether the pilot was in control of the airbus 330 or for how long may some day be determined ... or whether the pilot managed to set the aircraft on autopilot is to be determined ... over ensuing days the debris field swept westerly in the local ocean current which is almost due west over the entire path ... so when debris was found wednesday to a south westerly direction from the finds of tuesday to the north and east ... this is indication that 1) the searching started at the last known location of the aircraft far to the north and 2) eventually continued to the south as more and more remnants were discovered ... covering a flight path of hundreds of miles ... so here we have Myth #3 reduced to myth being propagated in the press ... that ocean currents were the cause of the spreading of the debris field ... and therefore wide distribution ... the plane was flying in tact but losing skin and parts from the outside of the plane as well as contents from the inside of the plane over a path which stretched for at least 100 miles and more likely a few hundred miles as it attempted to fly southwards ... this would indicate that the main sections of the plane finally came down far to the south of where search parties are now looking for the black boxes ... and in a different area of the ocean floor ... this brings up another issue with the recovery of debris and passengers ... knowing who the passengers were and where they were seated on the plane and identifying where they were when recovered would be essential to knowing where there appears to have been a breach in the body of the plane occurred ... also knowing and recording where each air frame part was recovered is essential to understanding how the plane came apart piece by piece as it attempted to make its way over hundreds of miles of open ocean to the island archipelago off the coast of brazil ... if recovery efforts assume the standard story and are simply piling the debris into a big pile without recording the locations of recovery ... then critical data in the reconstruction of the events and history of Flight 447 will be lost forever ... and the true story clouded in bad analysis ... exact times and locations of finds will be critical in reconstructing the flight and events of this flight ... but one thing is clear ... the standard story being perpetrated in the news media cannot possibly be true ... the story that appears to be more plausible is one of a breach in the aircraft and its attempt to fly southward toward the nearest point of land as the plane and contents came apart over a few hundred miles before coming to rest in the ocean ... jim mccanney  


June 1, 2009 - 7:28 PM

Many feared dead in French plane crash

An Air France flight from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to Paris is presumed to have crashed into the Atlantic early on Monday, killing all 228 people on board.

Most of the 216 passengers were Brazilian or French. According to the French news agency, quoting a company spokesperson in Rio, one Swiss citizen was on the flight.

The Swiss foreign ministry said it was following the situation carefully.

The flight left Rio on Sunday evening local time, and was scheduled to arrive at 11.15am French time.

The final message from the plane, sent automatically, was received at 4.14am French time, and indicated an electrical fault.

French and Brazilian reconnaissance planes joined the search, and a French ship was diverted to help.

The head of communication at Air France said the plane, an Airbus A330, had probably been struck by lightning.

The plane had been in operation since 2005 and undergone a thorough service in April 2009. The crew was said to have been highly experienced.

If confirmed, the accident will have been the most costly in human life in the 75 years in which Air France has been in existence. with agencies


June 2, 2009

Brazilian team 'finds debris from Air France crash'

Search teams scouring the Atlantic Ocean for the Air France jet which came down in a storm yesterday have found debris from an aircraft.

The Brazilian air force said "small remains" were located 650km (400 miles) northeast of the Fernando do Noronha archipelago in the area where the jet is thought to have crashed.

It could not immediately be confirmed that the debris was from Air France flight AF 447 – which had 228 passengers and crew aboard but reports from Brazil suggested that the search teams had seen aircraft seats bobbing in the sea.

Brazil’s Globo TV quoted a ham radio operator who reported hearing air force radio traffic that debris possibly from the plane had been spotted. The Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported on its website that air force radar has detected signs of oil and metal in the same area.

If the debris is confirmed as that of the Air France Airbus A33-200, air crash investigators will be significantly more confident as to the prospects of recovering the plane's "black box" flight recorder, which will give clues as to what happened.

As search teams scoured a remote area between Brazil and the coast of Africa for traces of the plane, the French Government announced that the investigation would be led by Alain Bouillard, who led the inquiry into the fatal Concorde crash over Paris nine years ago which helped hasten the end of the supersonic airliner.

The flight disappeared early yesterday after flying into a storm, four hours into its scheduled 11-hour flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, the Air France chief executive, said that the last contact with the plane came in a flurry of about a dozen automatically-generated technical messages "indicating that several systems had broken down...a completely unheard-of situation".

“It is probable that it was shortly after these messages that the impact in the Atlantic came,” Mr Gourgeon told reporters at Charles de Gaulle airport, where the flight would have landed yesterday morning.

A daytime search by eight Brazilian air force aircraft doing visual sweeps did not turn up anything. The search continued overnight with a transport aircraft fitted with equipment to detect the plane’s emergency beacon and another with onboard radar and infrared gear that could detect bodies in the water.

“All possibilities must be examined. We cannot, by definition, exclude a terrorist attack, because terrorism is the main threat for all Western democracies,” Herve Morin, the French Defence Minister, said. “But today we have no evidence whatsoever of the cause of the accident."

President Sarkozy said yesterday that the chances of anyone surviving appeared "very slim" and Air France is coming to terms with the worst loss of life in its history and the worst civilian air accident anywhere since 2001.

A civilian Brazilian pilot flying for TAM airlines reported seeing orange glimmers on the surface of the ocean under Senegalese airspace, possibly indicating wreckage in the water, but there have been no further sightings.

“We received this information at around 4.30am (0230 GMT) from a Brazilian pilot who said he’d seen faint glows on the surface, in an area consistent with the A330’s last reported position,” said Captain Christophe Prazuck, a spokesman for the French military command.

An 11-year-old Bristol schoolboy was among the passengers aboard the jet, it emerged today.

Clifton College Preparatory School confirmed that one of its pupils, Alexander Bjoroy, who is British, was on the flight returning from a half-term break spent with his family, who are currently living in Brazil.

John Milne, the headmaster, said: "Alexander was a well liked and respected boarder who will be sorely missed by his fellow pupils and staff. Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with the family in Brazil at this time."

Air France say that there were five Britons among the 216 passengers aboard flight AF447. They are thought to have included Arthur Coakley, a 61-year-old businessman from Whitby, North Yorkshire.

Three Irish women, all in their mid 20s, were also on the Air France Airbus A330 flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. They were named locally as Aisling Butler, of Roscrea, Co Tipperary, Jane Deasy of Dublin and Eithne Walls, originally from Belfast.

The three best friends, who were forging promising careers as doctors, were returning home after a holiday in Brazil with other friends who graduated with them from Trinity College Dublin two years ago. A Welsh woman was also among the group of friends on the flight.

A total of 228 people were on board the Airbus A33-200, including 12 crew. The passenger list of 216 people included 61 French, 58 Brazilians and 26 Germans, among the 32 nationalities on board. The crew were all French.


Experts pick surprise storm as cause of Atlantic plane crash

John Lauerman

THE disappearance of an Air France Airbus over the Atlantic Ocean with 228 people on board may be linked to massive, unexpected air currents that have figured in crashes and near-crashes, aviation experts said.

While the cause of the accident isn't known, Flight 447 met tropical thunderstorms with 160 kmh updrafts and lightning that may have caused structural or electrical failure, reported, a commercial forecaster in Pennsylvania.

Aeroplanes are built to withstand roiling currents far stronger than maximum loads that arise in most storms, Hans Weber, the president of Tecop International, San Diego-based consulting firm, said yesterday. The Air France plane may have hit something far worse.

"These were young storms that were really developing as the plane flew into them," said Henry Margusity, a meteorologist for

"The updrafts were probably pretty tremendous and the plane probably got knocked around a lot. Whether it got hit by lightning remains to be seen."

The Airbus A330-200 lost contact with controllers as it flew to Paris from Rio de Janeiro. The plane reported an electrical breakdown, then sent 10 automated distress signals and vanished. Brazilian Air Force search planes yesterday found floating wreckage off Brazil's north-eastern coast.

Last year Qantas pilots temporarily lost control of an Airbus A330 travelling from Singapore to Perth and abruptly lost altitude. Australian air safety investigators said in a preliminary report that a malfunction in a flight computer caused the nosedive.

A similar malfunction, combined with severe turbulence, might have been sufficient to send the Air France flight out of control, Mr Weber said.

"Experience tells us in catastrophic accidents there tends to be more than one contributing factor.

"What if the computer acted up and the pilots, who would have been challenged to regain the aircraft in clear-weather conditions, had been unable to regain control under turbulent conditions?"

Meanwhile, Brazil announced three days of national mourning in memory of those who died in the accident.

And in Paris, Catholic and Muslim services will be held in memory of the passengers and crew, including one in Notre-Dame Cathedral that will be attended by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Bloomberg, Agence France-Presse

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald


First plane crash debris recovered

A helicopter has recovered the first wreckage from doomed Air France Flight 447, Brazil's air force has said.

A structural support piece of the jet, about 8ft long, was pulled from the Atlantic Ocean some 340 miles north-east of the Fernando de Noronha islands, off Brazil's northern coast.

Two buoys were also found but no bodies or human remains have been spotted.

The helicopter was working off one of the navy ships which arrived overnight at one of the crash debris fields.

The air force released the information in a statement on its website.

Meanwhile, the French agency investigating the crash said automatic messages received from the plane had failed to show exactly how fast the aircraft was flying.

The Accident Investigation Agency said only two findings have been established. One is that the series of automatic messages sent from Flight 447 were "incoherent" regarding the plane's speed. The other is that the plane's route on Sunday night was spotted with stormy, unstable weather.

The agency warned against any "hasty interpretation or speculation" about the crash.

The French newspaper Le Monde had reported, without naming sources, that the Air France plane was flying at the wrong speed.

Air France Flight 447 left Rio de Janeiro for Paris on Sunday night but disappeared over the Atlantic.

Copyright © 2009 The Press Association. All rights reserved.


Air France Flight 447: Other pilots saw 'intense flash' in sky
Did Air France Flight 447 give off a flash of light before crashing into the ocean?

Two pilots of an Air Comet flight from Lima to Lisbon saw a bright flash of light in the area where Flight 447 went down, the Madrid-based airline told CNN. The pilots have turned in their report to authorities.

"Suddenly, we saw in the distance a strong and intense flash of white light, which followed a descending and vertical trajectory and which broke up in six seconds," the captain wrote in the report.

The flash of light contributes to the theory that an explosion is what brought down Flight 447, which was carrying 228 people from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

Countering that theory is a Le Monde newspaper report that quotes an investigation official saying that the plane was flying too slow. Airbus is reportedly going to warn operators of A330 jets to speed up in storms.

Also countering the theory is Brazil's defense minister Nelson Jobim, who told reporters that the 12-mile oil slick left by the plane indicates that the plane did not break up until it hit the water.

So what about that flash of light that the pilots saw?

There are other explanations besides an explosion. With their 270-degree view of the world before them, air line pilots see a lot of strange things in the sky.

"There's plenty of things that you will see that you can't identify at first because you're so far away," said David Campbell, a Seattle-based air line pilot and spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association. "The sun interacts with the ocean in odd ways sometimes."

He gave an example from one of his flights into Cincinnati.

"There was this huge fireball just flying into the sky, and it looked like it flew right over the airport at our level and then it broke into pieces," he said. "Turns out it was satellite space junk re-entering the atmosphere."

Debris from space "will create an incredible amount of light ,and it's practically impossible, if you're just looking at it, to get a sense of how big it is, how far it is," Campbell said.

Technical details aside, heart-breaking human stories are emerging out of the crash.

The Independent shares this one, among others:

Among the three Swedish victims of the disaster were 34-year-old Christine Badre Schnabl and her 5e-year-old son, Philipe.

Mrs Schnabl had purposely travelled on a separate flight (from) her husband and their 3-year-old daughter, due to the couple's shared fear of air crashes.

Mr Schnabl and their daughter caught an earlier flight and landed safely in Paris, where they were informed that the second plane – which had taken off only a few hours later – was missing.

The family had been living in Rio de Janeiro for 10 years and was returning to Sweden for a holiday. Mrs Schnabl's mother, Annika Badre, said: "It's impossible to comprehend that they are gone. It's awful."

First-day coverage:

  • Airbus A330 disappears over Atlantic
  • Air France disappearance (video from AP)
  • Two Americans were on board Air France flight 447 (list of nationalities)
  • Air France flight 447: What role did lightning play?
  • Timeline of the disappearance of Air France flight 447
  • Hunch prompted Dutch man to cancel flight on Air France 447
  • Air France 447: Who was on board? Will the mystery be solved?
    Follow up coverage:
  • Air France 447: Searchers find life jacket, seat, some fuel
  •, pages reflect flight 447 crash
  • Airbus A380 route expansions dampened by A330 mystery crash
  • Wreckage in Atlantic is that of Air France flight 447
  • Air France received bomb threat days before 447 crash
  • Air France flight 447 broke apart 14 minutes after pilot signal
  • Air France Flight 447: Other pilots saw 'intense flash' in sky
  • Brazil military: Debris in ocean 'not' from Air France Flight 447
  • Posted by June 4, 2009 10:24 a.m.

    Air France received bomb threat days before 447 crash
    Air France received a bomb threat for a previous flight from South America to Paris just days before Air France flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.

    Air France flight 447 disappeared over the Atlantic on Monday en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. All 228 people on board are presumed to have been killed.

    This report comes from ABC News:

    Also today, ABC News has confirmed that Air France received a bomb threat over the phone concerning a flight from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Paris days before Air France flight 447 disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean Sunday night.

    Authorities at Buenos Aires' Ezeiza Airport delayed the May 27 flight before takeoff and conducted a 90-minute search of the threatened aircraft. Passengers were not evacuated during the search, which yielded no explosive material. After the inspection, authorities allowed the plane to take off for Paris.

    Four days later, flight 447 departed from Rio de Janeiro. There was no known threat against the missing flight.

    It's difficult to know how often airlines receive bomb threats, said Emily McGee, spokeswoman for the Flight Safety Foundation.

    "I think that they happen periodically," she said. "Here' were not putting a whole lot of stock in it (the bomb threat) in the discussions internally."

    As far as theories of what happened to flight 447, investigators had immediately dismissed terrorism on Monday but have since backtracked.

    "First thing Monday morning, they were saying it was definitely not terrorism," McGee said. "They seem to be pulling back from that. It would strike me that they are keeping all the options on the table."

    Also on the table: Blaming weather and blaming the computer.

    InformationWeek editor at large Paul McDougall explores computer failure: "In the the Air France disaster, there's a particularly urgent need for government authorities to eye the aircraft's on-board computer system as a possible culprit."

    He explains the purpose of the Air Data Inertial Reference Unit, or ADIRU, which sends data about the plane to the autopilot.

    "Never has 'garbage in-garbage out' carried such dire consequences," McDougall writes. "And the fact is, wonky ADIRUs have been identified as the culprits in several recent near-catastrophes. Last year, for instance, authorities blamed the ADIRU after a Qantas Airbus 330 started porpoising wildly while at cruising altitude. There were 51 passenger injuries, ranging from broken bones to spinal damage."

    Aviation Safety Network is compiling details about the crash, as it does for all plane accidents. This part is technical, but it explains the computer systems failures on board the aircraft:

    Over a time span of four minutes, starting at 02:10 UTC, a series of ACARS messages were sent -automatically- from the plane. The first message indicated the disconnection of the autopilot followed and the airplane went into 'alternate law' flight control mode. This happens when multiple failures of redundant systems occur.

    From 02:11 to 02:13, multiple faults regarding ADIRU (Air Data and Inertial Reference Unit) and ISIS (Integrated Standby Instruments System) were reported. Then on 02:13 the system reported failures of PRIM 1, the primary flight control computers that receive inputs from the ADIRU and SEC 1 (secondary flight control computers). The last message at 02:14 was a 'Cabin vertical speed' advisory.

    On the weather front, Bloomberg News is reporting that "updrafts and lightning" may have helped "knock the airliner from the sky."

    And finally, Miles O'Brien writes about the long, slow search to find the airplane's black box, and what researchers will do to find it.


    Flight 447 crash could join list of mysteries

    By Craig Johnson
    Special to CNN

    (CNN) -- As the possibility decreases that investigators will learn what happened to Air France Flight 447 on Monday over the Atlantic Ocean, the chances of it entering the folklore of mystery crashes grows.

    What happened to Amelia Earhart, whose plane vanished over the ocean in 1937, has been an enduring mystery.

    Brazilian air force officials still have not identified debris from the Airbus A330, and a former U.S. National Transportation Safety Board official said currents would be scattering any debris from the flight over an increasing area, reducing the probability of finding the jetliner's voice and flight data recorders.

    Experts said lack of answers about what happened to Flight 447 could give it a lasting place in the public consciousness, like TWA Flight 800.

    Flight 800, headed to Paris, France, from New York, crashed into the Atlantic off Long Island in 1996, killing all 230 people aboard. Initially speculating that the plane was the target of a terrorist attack, the NTSB in 2000 released a report citing a short circuit around the center wing fuel tank as the probable cause.

    The exact cause still has not been determined, and several other explanations have been offered over the years.

    Clint V. Oster Jr., a professor of public and environmental affairs at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, said that while the public may more readily process a single explanation, the reality is that many crashes are the result of compound difficulties.

    "Many crashes don't have a single cause, but rather are the result of a complex sequence of events involving multiple failures. Understanding how these multiple factors interacted to cause the crash can be difficult," said Oster, co-author of "Why Airplanes Crash: Aviation Safety in a Changing World."

    Pilot and author Phaedra Hise of Richmond, Virginia, said a love of mysteries multiplied by the fact that air travel still captivates the public keeps fascination high.

    "If [John F. Kennedy Jr.] had died in a car crash, there would not be the same level of fascination. Aviation for a lot of people is still pretty magical," said Hise, author of "Anatomy of a Plane Crash."

    "If you don't know how [a plane] works, it's pretty magical; this huge thing takes flight. It's just a big mystery. There's a lot of romance with that, a lot of drama," Hise said. "The people who fly them are considered brave and have a lot of heart. And people just don't understand, so many people just don't understand, how airplanes work."

    A number of unsolved plane crashes have remained in the public psyche for years:

    One of the most famous was that of aviator Amelia Earhart, whose twin-engine Lockheed Electra vanished over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 while on a round-the-world flight. Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were never heard from again.

    Because of the social intrigue, theories -- and conspiracies -- related to Earhart's disappearance have become legend.

    None of course ranks as high in mystery as the Bermuda Triangle, a cone-shaped vicinity extending northward from Puerto Rico to about halfway up the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. Its origins come from the loss of Flight 19, a team of five Navy bombers that vanished in 1945 after getting disoriented and confused about its coordinates.

    More recently, South African Airways Flight 295, a Boeing 747 en route to Johannesburg from Taiwan in 1987, crashed into the Indian Ocean shortly after the pilot reported smoke in the cabin. While debris that washed up on the shores of Madagascar was tested, the cause of the crash has never been positively established.

    In 1994, U.S. Air Flight 427 crashed in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, after taking off in Chicago, Illinois, en route to West Palm Beach, Florida. While federal officials identified a problem with the rudder but could not explain why the plane suddenly flipped and crashed, not a single clue has revealed why the mechanism failed. All 132 people aboard died.

    Golfer Payne Stewart's Learjet crashed in 1999. Although federal investigators revealed that the cabin air system lost pressure, it still has not been determined why. The pilots reportedly lost contact with air traffic controllers about 15 minutes into the flight. The investigation uncovered that the jet flew a straight course until it ran out of fuel and crashed in South Dakota.

    In January 2008, a British Airways Boeing 777 crashed short of the runway at Heathrow Airport in London, England. Nineteen of the 152 people aboard were injured. There still is no explanation for why the plane's engines lost power.

    "The one that fascinates me is Steve Fossett," said Hise."I have absolutely no idea what happened to that man."

    Fossett, an adventurer famous for being the first person to complete a solo balloon flight around the world, was reported missing over Nevada in September 2007. Months after investigators searched for his body, his widow, in February 2008, requested that he be declared legally dead. His bones, found more than a half-mile from where his plane wreckage was discovered, were positively identified later that year.

    "He was flying in clear skies, in an area he was familiar with. That's the one that kind of eats away at me," Hise said.

    With all the mystery, David M. Primo, associate professor of political science at the University of Rochester, said there's a broader effect when investigations fail to find clues about how an aircraft go down.

    "An unsolved crash has the effect of creating an erroneous perception that flying is unsafe, even though it is a remarkably safe form of travel," said Primo, co-author of "The Plane Truth: Airline Crashes, The Media and Transportation Policy."

    The odds of dying in a domestic plane crash are one in 70 million, according to MIT statistician Arnold Barnett, who has performed analyses for the Federal Aviation Administration.


    More Bodies Recovered Near Site of Plane Crash

    Published: June 7, 2009 SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Brazilian ships picked three more corpses from the water on Sunday, bringing to five the number of bodies recovered from the area where an Air France Airbus disappeared over the Atlantic a week ago.

    An unspecified number of other bodies have been spotted floating in the sea and “will be picked up in the coming hours,” the Brazilian Air Force said in a statement Sunday morning.

    The three bodies were picked up Sunday morning by the Brazilian navy ship Caboclo. Two others had been pulled from the sea on Saturday.

    All five corpses were transferred to another ship, the frigate Constituição, which is taking them to Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago roughly 45 miles away. The bodies will arrive there Monday before being transferred to Recife, the coastal city where the search and rescue operation is being run, the statement said.

    Five Brazilian ships and a French frigate are involved in the search operation, along with 12 Brazilian and two French planes.

    Although weather conditions were described as “unfavorable for air missions,” the search was continuing Sunday, the statement said.

    Most of the focus is on the area where the bodies were found but Brazilian air force R-99 reconnaissance planes are also flying over adjacent areas.


    Crews Find Key Part in Air France Crash

    US Team to Search for Plane's Black Boxes


    RECIFE, Brazil (June 9) - The recovery of Air France Flight 447's tail section could provide key clues as to why the airliner with 228 people on board went down in the Atlantic and where best to search for the black boxes, experts said.
    The tail section includes the vertical stabilizer — which keeps the plane's nose from swinging back and forth — and the rudder, which generates and controls the side-to-side motion of an aircraft.

    Brazilian sailors on Monday secure a large section of the tail from Air France Flight 447, which crashed into the Atantic Ocean far off the coast of Brazil after flying into a storm on May 31. Later in the day, crews also recovered the jet's vertical stabilizer -- a key item in finding the cause of the tragedy. All 228 people aboard died, and it's not clear yet why the plane went down.

    The data and voice recorders are located in the fuselage near the tail.
    In a video posted Monday on a Web site, Brazil's air force revealed that search crews had recovered the vertical stabilizer from the tail section of the plane. Brazilian military officials have refused to detail the large pieces of the plane they have found.

    Eight more bodies also were found, bringing the total recovered to 24, Air Force Col. Henry Munhoz said. The plane disappeared during a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on the night of May 31 with 228 people on board.

    The Air Force video, titled "Vertical Stabilizer Found," shows the piece being located and tethered to a ship. The part had Air France's blue-and-red stripes, was still its original triangular shape and was not visibly burned.
    William Waldock, who teaches air crash investigation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona, examined the photos and video of the stabilizer and rudder and said the damage he saw looks like a lateral fracture.

    Eithne Walls, a 28-year-old Irish doctor, joined the ophthalmic team at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin in January. Her family said she had dreamed of being an eye doctor since childhood. Before she began her medical studies, she was a performer with Riverdance, spending a year on Broadway.

    "That would reinforce the idea that the plane broke up in flight," he said. "If it hits intact, everything shatters in tiny pieces."

    That there were no signs of burn marks on the stabilizer is not necessarily significant, according to Waldock, who said that any explosion or fire in the fuselage would likely not make its way back to the tail section. Examining the fracture surfaces is important, since they will indicate from what direction the force came that snapped the piece, he said.

    Peter Goelz, a former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board, said recovered passenger bodies also will play a role. If investigators can determine the identity of a body and know where that person was sitting in the plane, the types of injuries sustained could offer clues into the crash, he said.

    The investigation into TWA Flight 800, which crashed off the coast of Long Island, New York, in 1996, found that victims sitting in front of row 30 sustained flash burns. Goelz said that helped investigators confirm that the nose broke off and fire blew back from the fuel tank onto those passengers.

    The discoveries of debris and the bodies also are helping searchers narrow their hunt for the cockpit voice and data recorders, commonly known as the "black boxes," perhaps investigators' best hope of learning what happened to the flight.

    Waldock said the black boxes won't necessarily be located near where the debris was recovered, "but finding the tail narrows down the area even further."

    The wreckage and the bodies were found roughly 400 miles (640 kilometers) northeast of the Fernando de Noronha islands off Brazil's northern coast, and about 45 miles (70 kilometers) from where the jet was last heard from on May 31.

    Searchers must move quickly to find the recorders because acoustic beacons, or "pingers" on the boxes begin to fade 30 days after crashes.

    Some high-tech help is on the way for investigators: two U.S. Navy devices capable of picking up the pingers to a depth of 20,000 feet (6,100 meters).

    The listening devices are 5 feet (1.5 meters) long and weigh 70 pounds (32 kilos). One will be towed by a Brazilian ship, the other by a French vessel, slowly trawling in a grid pattern across the search area. The devices will be dropped into the ocean near the debris field by Thursday, Berges said.

    An Indonesian air force plane carrying soldiers and their families crashed in a residential neighborhood in Magetan, Indonesia, May 20, killing at least 98 people. Witnesses described seeing the right wing of the C-130 Hercules plane snap off while it was in flight. "I heard at least two big explosions and saw flashes of fire inside the plane," one witness said.

    Cables attached to the devices lead to on-board computers, enabling a 10-person team that accompanies each device to listen for pings and to visually see them on a screen, like a radar spotting objects in the air.

    The French nuclear attack submarine Emeraude, arriving later this week, also will try to find the acoustic pings, military spokesman Christophe Prazuck said.

    If the pings are located, French deep-water unmanned subs aboard the oceanographic survey ship Pourquoi Pas will attempt to retrieve the boxes from the ocean floor.

    Crash theories being considered by investigators include the possibility that external speed monitors — called Pitot tubes — iced over and gave dangerously false readings to cockpit computers in a thunderstorm.
    Goelz said the faulty airspeed readings and the fact the vertical stabilizer was sheared from the jet could be related.

    The Airbus A330-200 has a "rudder limiter" which constricts how much the rudder — which is attached to the vertical stabilizer — can move at high speeds. If it were to move too far while traveling fast, it could shear off and take the vertical stabilizer with it.

    "If you had a wrong speed being fed to the computer by the Pitot tube, it might allow the rudder to over travel," Goelz said. "The limiter limits the travel of the rudder at high speeds and prevents it from being torn off."

    Asked if the rudder or stabilizer being sheared off could have brought the jet down, Goelz said: "Absolutely. You need a rudder. And you need the (rudder) limiter on there to make sure the rudder doesn't get torn off or cause havoc with the plane's aerodynamics."

    The L-shaped metal Pitot tubes jut from the wing or fuselage of a plane, and are heated to prevent icing. The pressure of air entering the tubes lets sensors measure the speed and angle of flight. An iced-over, blocked or malfunctioning Pitot tube could cause an airspeed sensor to fail, and lead the computer controlling the plane to accelerate or decelerate in a potentially dangerous fashion.

    A memo sent to Air France pilots by the Alter union Monday and obtained by The Associated Press urges them to refuse to fly unless at least two of the three Pitot sensors on each planes have been replaced.

    An official with the Alter union, speaking on condition of anonymity because the memo was not publicly released, said there is a "strong presumption" among its pilot members that a Pitot problem precipitated the crash. The memo says the airline should have grounded all A330 and A340 jets pending the replacement, and warns of a "real risk of loss of control" due to Pitot problems.

    Air France said it began replacing the Pitot tubes on the Airbus A330 model on April 27 after an improved version became available, and will finish the work in the "coming weeks." The monitors had not yet been replaced on the plane that crashed.

    The leader of another pilots' union, however, said Monday that Pitot troubles probably didn't cause the Flight 447 disaster.

    In addition to the vertical stabilizer and numerous bodies, searchers have spotted two airplane seats and debris with Air France's logo, and recovered dozens of structural components from the plane.

    Brazil says the search area lies southeast of the jet's last transmission — automatic messages signaling catastrophic electrical failure and loss of cabin pressure. The messages mean Flight 447 likely broke apart in turbulent weather. The location of the wreckage could mean the pilot was trying to turn around in mid-flight.
    France's defense minister and the Pentagon have said there were no signs that terrorism was involved in the crash.

    Marco Sibaja reported from Recife and Bradley Brooks from Rio de Janeiro. AP Writers Alan Clendenning and Stan Lehman in Sao Paulo; and Cecile Brisson, Angela Charlton, Emma Vandore and Greg Keller in Paris, contributed to this report.
    Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. 



    PARIS (June 5) -- A reservation mix-up, an overbooking and a Brazilian cabbie's passion for soccer are all that saved some would-be passengers on Air France flight 447 from the fate of 228 others who lost their lives in the mid-Atlantic.

    The survivors say their relief is overshadowed by the immense sense of loss they feel for those who didn't make it.

    "It feels miraculous and sad at the same time," said Amina Benouargha-Jaffiol, who tried to get on the flight Sunday night, even enlisting a diplomat friend to try to pressure Air France to let her and her husband on.

    A French couple, Claude Jaffiol and Amina Benouargha-Jaffiol, hold the tickets they tried to change so they could get on Air France Flight 447.

    "Of course, at some level we feel lucky, but we also feel an enormous sadness for all those who perished," she said.

    For some it was a simple matter of arriving at Rio's airport late; for Andrej Aplinc, it was because he got there early.

    The 39-year-old Slovenian sailor and father of two was spared because his cab driver was in a hurry to see a soccer match.

    With time to spare at the airport, Aplinc, who was supposed to take Flight 447, learned there was no seat on the plane with enough legroom for him to stretch out his bum knee. But since he'd arrived early, he was able to board an earlier 4 p.m. Air France flight, which did have a roomy seat.

    "It was such huge luck that I flew with that earlier plane," Aplinc said from his home in Radelj Ob Dravi in northeastern Slovenia.

    Brazilian sailors on Monday secured a large section of the tail from Air France Flight 447, which crashed into the Atantic Ocean far off the coast of Brazil after flying into a storm on May 31. Later in the day, crews also recovered the jet's vertical stabilizer -- a key item in finding the cause of the tragedy. All 228 people aboard died, and it's not clear yet why the plane went down.

    Gustavo Ciriaco was scheduled to be on that 4 p.m. flight. But he arrived late at the check-in and was told airline agents could not find his seat and the gate was about to close.

    The 39-year-old Brazilian choreographer and dancer was on his way to Europe for two weeks of rehearsals for his next ballet, and had a connecting flight to catch in Paris.

    Ciriaco pleaded to be let him on the plane, and finally the airline discovered the seating error and relented.

    If the reservation mix-up hadn't been resolved, "I would have tried to take the following flight because I would have arrived in Paris with enough time to catch my connection," Ciriaco said.

    The next flight? Air France 447.

    "Survivors" like these often need psychological counseling, said Guillaume Denoix de Saint-Marc, whose father was among the 170 people killed in 1989 when Libyan terrorists downed UTA Flight 772 with a suitcase bomb. He now heads an association that helps victims of airline disasters.

    "They can have big psychological problems. We meet a lot of people like that," said Denoix de Saint-Marc, who was asked by French authorities to counsel relatives of the victims of Flight 447 at a crisis center at Paris' airport.

    Eithne Walls, a 28-year-old Irish doctor, joined the ophthalmic team at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin in January. Her family said she had dreamed of being an eye doctor since childhood. Before she began her medical studies, she was a performer with Riverdance, spending a year on Broadway.

    In the case of UTA flight 772, some of the pilots and cabin crew who had flown the French DC-10 jetliner before handing it over to the doomed crew "couldn't resume their careers," Denoix de Saint-Marc said.
    "They lost their flying licenses because of big psychological problems or alcoholism," he said.

    Such traumas have a name: "Survivors' syndrome," seen often in combat and other crisis situations in which those who make it feel as though they fled, deserted their buddies or were cowardly, said psychiatrist Ronan Orio.
    But being saved by the ticket counter, traffic or other caprices of life should not be considered traumatic, said Orio, who has worked with victims of hostage situations, terror attacks and airline crashes.

    Instead, near-miss situations should be viewed in a positive light, he said.

    "People who take a plane and have a second chance win the lotto. They have the right to continue where the others died," he said.

    Benouargha-Jaffiol and her husband Claude Jaffiol got a second chance last Sunday.

    The couple, who live in Montpellier, France, had pulled strings to try to get on Flight 447, even drafting a family friend, a Dutch diplomat, to phone Air France and try to get them seats on the overcrowded plane.

    Engineer decodes Air France Flight 447 emergency messages

    I just finished listening to a podcast where an avionics engineer goes over the final messages sent by the Air France Flight 447 plane before it crashed.

    The error messages sent by the plane show that multiple computer failures happened simultaneously, starting at 02:10 GMT, when a series of 14 warnings and failures emerged at once.

    Addison Schonland, president of Innovation Analysis Group, and Michael Ciasullo, IAG's managing director of consulting services, led the podcast discussion. The engineer, who went only by Darryl, and his interviewers were careful not speculate.

    Darryl is introduced as an engineer familiar with the the Honeywell ACARS system. His full name is not given because of the sensitivity over the crash, Schonland said. He does not work for Air France or Airbus.

    He explains each ACARS message line by line. The ACARS is the aircraft's communications addressing and reporting system, which sends short pieces of data to other aircraft and satellites. When investigators talk of the "automatic messages" that give clues as to why the plane crashed, they are referring to the ACARS messages.

    (You can see the ACARS for Flight 447 here. PDF.)

    The cryptic lines contain chilling meaning.

    First, the auto pilot system disengaged. Then came a basic auto flight message warning. Next, something within the flight control computer failed. Then, warning flags appeared on the personal flight displays of the captain and co-pilot. Then the rudder exceeds the limits of normal flight. And on it goes.

    "With all of these failures, they don't have the information that they need to fly the aircraft in a safe environment," Darryl says. "If the pilot or first officer don't have any display functioning, then they're flying blind in the night. ... You're trying to fly the aircraft with no technology."

    The last message received is a cryptic "213100206ADVISORY" warning at 02:14 GMT. It indicates loss of cabin pressure.

    "There's so much going on, the pilots don't know what to do other than take a hold of the stick and fly the aircraft, because the airplane is not flying itself," Darryl said. "If this was happening in a clear day in the middle of the day, you'd still be in serious trouble, but at least you'd know if you were climbing or descending."

    Update: 11:10 p.m.: Schonland says he's making the podcast available for free as a public service


    Terror Names Linked To Doomed Flight AF 447

    Wednesday June 10, 2009

    Peter Allen, in Paris

    Two passengers with names linked to Islamic terrorism were on the Air France flight which crashed with the loss of 228 lives, it has emerged.

    Debris from Air France flight AF 447 has been recovered from the Atlantic

    French secret servicemen established the connection while working through the list of those who boarded the doomed Airbus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 31.

    Flight AF 447 crashed in the mid-Atlantic en route to Paris during a violent storm.

    While it is certain there were computer malfunctions, terrorism has not been ruled out.

    Soon after news of the fatal crash broke, agents working for the DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), the French equivalent of MI6, were dispatched to Brazil.

    It was there that they established that two names on the passenger list are also on highly-classified documents listing the names of radical Muslims considered a threat to the French Republic.

    A source working for the French security services told Paris weekly L'Express that the link was "highly significant".

    Agents are now trying to establish dates of birth for the two dead passengers, and family connections.

    There is a possibility the name similarities are simply a "macabre coincidence", the source added, but the revelation is still being "taken very seriously".

    France has received numerous threats from Islamic terrorist groups in recent months, especially since French troops were sent to fight in Afghanistan.

    Security chiefs have been particularly worried about airborne suicide attacks similar to the ones on the US on September 11, 2001.


    Bodies, debris provide vital clues about Flight 447 crash

    By Staff Reporter
    13 June 2009 @ 3:24 pm IST
    Paris - The French and Brazilian governments said, Friday, they are yet to determine what caused Air France Flight 447 to crash, en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1 with 228 people on board, but added that recovery of the bodies and debris from the ocean provide important clues that could help explain what happened during the final moments of the doomed flight.

    Oxygen masks from the missing Air France flight 447 are seen at the Air Force base in Recife June 12, 2009
    Oxygen masks from the missing Air France flight 447 are seen at the Air Force base in Recife June 12, 2009. The French and Brazilian governments said, Friday, they are yet to determine what caused Air France Flight 447 to crash, en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1 with 228 people on board, but added that recovery of the bodies and debris from the ocean provide important clues that could help explain what happened during the final mome...

    Though crash investigators suspect that malfunctioning air speed sensors or Pitot tubes could have transmitted unreliable speed data to the main computer system of the plane, causing it to fly at wrong speed - a potentially deadly mistake in severe turbulence, as flying too quickly can damage a plane's airframe, while traveling too slowly can result in loss of lift, produce a stall and loss of control yet they are not willing to make any public announcement on the cause of the crash till the voice and data recorders, which could be thousands of feet below the ocean surface, are recovered, as they could explain how the giant aircraft fell out of the sky from an altitude of about 35,000 feet without any distress calls from pilots.

    However, the investigators said the bodies, 50 found so far, and debris recovered from the ocean so far could provide important leads on the cause of the crash.

    Related Story: French ship finds six more bodies of Flight 447 crash victims, search may end soon

    For instance, they said the bodies recovered could provide important clues as to whether the plane broke up in mid-air or was intact when it crashed into the ocean.

    Initial examination of the bodies, the investigators said, appear to suggest that a massive depressurization could have ripped the plane apart in mid-air. "Most bodies were found naked or with minimal clothing, suggesting the wind may have removed the garments. Multiple fractures on almost all the bodies also suggest that the plane encountered a violent turbulence before it crashed," a senior Brazilian military official said, on condition of anonymity, as he is not supposed to speak on the matter.

    The huge distance over which the bodies were found also suggests that the plane broke up in mid-air," the official said.

    According to the official, victims' lungs did not contain water "which rules out death due to drowning."

    The official also said that absence of burn marks or bomb residues on the bodies also excludes the possibility of an explosion or fire in the aircraft.

    Crash investigators said the debris recovered from the site of the crash also reveals clues about the plane crash. Till date, over 150 items of debris, including part of an internal wall with two flight attendants' seats attached, oxygen masks, vertical stabilizer of the tail fin, part of a wing and some personal belongings of the passengers of Flight 447, have been recovered, but not enough to help the investigators reconstruct the aircraft which would enable them to pinpoint the cause of the crash.

    However, the most important piece recovered to date is the virtually intact vertical stabilizer, which could give the French Bureau of Accident Investigations (BEA), the French air safety investigation agency, which is leading the investigation, solid clues about what prompted the crash.

    A BEA official said the final automated message transmitted by Flight 447 was "cabin in vertical speed," which suggests a sudden loss of cabin pressure, either the cause or the consequence of the plane breaking up in mid-air. "The wide area over which the debris was found also suggests that the plane broke up in mid-air and not as it hit the ocean," the official said.

    Agrees William Waldock, who teaches air crash investigation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. According to Waldock, the lateral fracture on the vertical stabilizer of the tail fin of Flight 447 suggests that "the plane broke up in flight."

    "If it hits intact, everything shatters in tiny pieces," Waldock said.

    Examining the fracture surfaces will also be key, Waldock said, since it will indicate from what direction the force came that snapped the piece.

    Absence of visible burn marks on the vertical stabilizer also suggests that the plane probably did not erupt in flames as it went down, Waldock said. However, "any explosion or fire in the fuselage would likely not make its way back to the tail section," he added.

    Waldock also said the location where the vertical stabilizer was found could provide clues as to where the black boxes are.

    "The data and voice recorders are located in the fuselage near the tail section of the jet. Though they may not necessarily be located near where the debris was recovered, yet finding the tail narrows down the area even further," he said.

    This article is copyrighted by



    Two killed in crash of plane

    By Mark Havnes

    The Salt Lake Tribune
    Updated: 05/29/2009 10:23:45 PM MDT

    The Boulder community is mourning the loss of one of its prominent citizens in a plane crash Friday morning.

    John Austin, 64, was piloting the plane when it crashed into high-voltage power lines at 8:45 a.m. about three miles southwest of the Calf Creek Recreation Area along State Road 12, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Becki Bronson.

    The plane then skidded along the road until it hit Calf Creek Bridge, she said.

    Susan D. Jordan, a 67-year-old passenger in the plane, also died in the crash.

    Several residents who live near the crash site, between Boulder and Escalante, had called into the Sheriff's Office to report a low-flying aircraft moments before the plane crashed, Bronson said. She said the plane "may have purposely been flying too low before it crashed."

    Austin, a health care executive, also lived in Oakland, Calif., but had spent time in Boulder every year since he was 16, after his family bought a home in the town in the 1960s. He would ride, hunt, fish, hike and -- when he could -- work for local ranchers.

    In 2007, when Austin learned that a longtime ranch in Boulder was in danger of being subdivided, he bought the ranch and, working with the Nature Conservancy, put it under the protection of a conservation easement. The contract bars development and ensures the property will remain a working ranch.

    "The result is a permanent, protected ranch and a preservation of ranching in the valley," Austin

    Muse said Austin employed people to work at his ranch, where he raised a strain of Chilean horses and organic crops.

    He said Austin had been in town since Memorial Day weekend and last Saturday participated in a community cleanup.

    "He was really upbeat because he had just sold some horses," said Muse. "He was a personal friend and I'm really saddened."

    Boulder resident, Mark Austin, no relation, also said John Austin was well liked by everyone and will be missed.

    "Its beyond tragic and a great loss to the community," he said. "It's a sad situation. He did a lot for [Boulder]."

    Mark Austin said John Austin and wife, Jacqui Smalley, had just finished a house at their ranch where they planned to retire.

    He described John Austin as a superb pilot who liked to fly over the neighboring Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to sight-see.

    According to her Web site, Jordan was a defense attorney with offices in Ukiah, Calif. She was well-known for her work with defending women charged with violent crimes and is credited with the creation of the battered spouse defense.

    The plane, an SS-MK4 manufactured by Storch Aviation Australia, is a home-built fixed-wing single-engine aircraft built in 2000, said Mike Fergus, a spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration.

    It was recertified by the FAA in 2006, which usually indicates a title transfer, said Fergus.

    The crash will be investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.

    Salt Lake Tribune reporter Melinda Rogers contributed to this story.


    1 dead in Daytona Beach plane crash

    The Associated Press


    One man is dead and his son is critically injured after a small plane crashed in Daytona Beach.

    Volusia County officials say the twin-engine plane went down at Daytona Beach International Airport around 9 a.m. Monday., not long after taking off.

    Killed in the crash was the pilot, 80-year-old Douglas James Clark of Port Orange, who reported engine trouble before going down. His son, 45-year-old Douglas Andrew Clark of Daytona Beach, remains hospitalized.

    Officials say the Clarks are well-known at the Daytona Beach airport, where they run a business


    Pilot killed in light plane crash

    A man has died and a woman was seriously injured when a light aircraft crashed following a mayday call.

    Police received a mayday call at 3.30pm on Sunday from a light aircraft reporting difficulties while flying near to Stalbridge, Dorset.

    Shortly afterwards, the aircraft was seen by an off-duty police officer to crash near to Stourton Caundle, north Dorset.

    Paramedics were called to the scene and found that the pilot of the plane, a man in his 60s from Hindon, Wiltshire, had died.

    A 25-year-old woman who was the only passenger in the plane was taken by the Dorset police helicopter to the Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester suffering non-life threatening injuries.

    A Dorset police spokesman said: "The government's Air Accidents Investigation Branch have been called to investigate what caused the crash, with the support and assistance of Dorset police."

    NAS Fallon XO and 3 daughters die in plane crash
    Naval Air Station Fallon Executive Officer Luther Hook, 44, and three of his daughters are the confirmed victims of a plane crash that took place Friday evening near the Fallon Municipal Airport.

    Hook perished in the twin-engine Cessna crash along with daughters Kaitlyn, 15, Rachel, 12, and Mackenzie, 9. The identification came through preliminary information provided by family, friends and airport representatives.

    The four were in route to Fallon from Fresno, Calif.

    The Churchill County Sheriff’s Office received a report of the small plane crash at 7:36 p.m. The plane went down approximately three-quarters of a mile to one mile east of the airport’s runway. The municipal airport is located on the north side of Rattlesnake Hill.

    Witnesses on the ground said the plane appeared to be in distress and maneuvering erratically. Shortly afterward the plane impacted the ground and smoke and flames were seen at the site of the crash.

    Plane crash near Plainwell, 2 people dead

    Area pilots killed in crash were members of Mishawaka Pilots Club

    ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Two people are confirmed dead in Allegan County after a plane went down in a field near the Plainwell Municipal Airport, leaving both the pilot and passenger killed.

    Crews remain on the scene Thursday night, trying to piece together just how the crash happened. The plane went down around 1:00 Thursday afternoon, crashing in a field in the 800 block of 106th Avenue, not far from the Plainwell Municipal Airport on 10th Street.

    Investigators have identified the passenger of the plane as a 68-year-old man from Indiana, but they are still working to identify the pilot and determine how he took off from Plainwell's airport and crashed into the field. The plane was a R.V.6.A experimental plane.

    Dan Royston witnessed the crash.

    "Heard a plane, heard a loud bang," said Royston, "walked out back, just watched it totally blew up."

    The Allegan County Sheriff's Department says the crash and explosion killed the pilot and passenger inside the experimental aircraft.

    Paul Brindley, a maintenance engineer at Plainwell Airport, saw the plane earlier in the day.

    "It was sitting on the ramp, the people were in for lunch," said Brindley.

    Detectives believe the two men in the plane stopped at the 747 for lunch before taking off again.

    "His description was that it began to lose altitude rapidly," said Lt. Mike Larsen of the Allegan Co. Sheriff's Department.

    The Sheriff's Department says the plane aborted its first attempt to land and was circling around for a second attempt.

    "He thought that potentially the second attempt was going to be the field and not the runway because of the drastic and quick loss of altitude," said Lt. Larsen.

    "At first I thought it was farm equipment," said Royston.

    Then, Royston says he heard a bang in the field behind his home on 106th Avenue.

    "And then I realized it was a plane, soon as I realized that, it just blew up, nothing but fire and smoke, it was really bad," said Royston.

    Investigators say the passenger was the only one carrying ID with him on Thursday. They do not yet know where the plane was going and have no record of any radio communication or distress call before it crashed.

    An FAA official was at the scene of the crash, investigating the cause

    Newschannel 3 has learned the identity of one of the men killed in the crash. 77-year-old Jerry D. Thorton. Thorton had been in the air force when he was in his 20's. The plane that crashed Thursday was the only plane Thorton had ever owned.

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009
    Military Plane Crash Kills More Than 60

    An Indonesian military plane carrying more than 100 people crashed into several houses and burst into flames Wednesday, killing at least 69 people, officials said.

    Air force spokesman Bambang Sulistyo said the C-130 Hercules was on a routine training mission when it crashed near the base in East Java province.

    Witnesses said that the plane split apart in the air after a loud explosion and that many of the victims were badly burned.

    -- Associated Press


    5-20-09 "Three Separate Crashes Over Southern California Air Space" Three Separate Crashes Over Southern California Air Space

    Coast Guard HelicopterThree people were killed and two are still missing after a U.S. Navy helicopter crashed Tuesday night in the water off the San Diego coast.

    Rescue crews from the Coast Guard and other agencies have recovered the bodies of three of the five people on board, and are continuing to search for the other two.

    The cause of the helicopter crash is not yet known, nor are the names of the people on board.

    The night before, a pilot reported seeing two small planes crash mid-air off the coast of Southern California. The Coast Guard announced today that it has suspended its search for survivors.

    Rescue efforts had been focused around a 160-square-mile area off Long Beach Harbor, where the planes were spotted after taking off from Long Beach Airport.

    One plane has been identified as a single-engine Cessna 172, flown by a student pilot and a flight instructor. Some debris from the wreck has been recovered and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department will continue to search for more wreckage.

    Meanwhile, investigators are trying to determine the cause of a home-built plane crash in San Diego County on Saturday, which killed the two people on board.

    According to Ian Gregor of the FAA, the experimental plane’s wing fell came off around 2:35 p.m. after the pilot was performing stunts mid-air.

    The plane was a Bakeng Deuce, an open-cockpit, single-wing plane that can be assembled from a kit.

    The pilot and passenger killed were local residents and had taken off from the nearby Ramona Airport.

    By Sarika Chawla for


    5-15-09 Two dead, others injured Lee Co. plane crash
    Posted: May 15, 2009 11:47 AM PST

    Posted by: Matt Stanley - bio | email
    Posted by: John Shryock -

    OPELIKA, AL (WSFA) - Two people are dead and several others are injured after a small plane crashed in Lee County Friday. The craft, identified as a single engine Beechcraft Bonanza, crashed around 11:30am in a field off Lee Road 112 in Beauregard.

    Victims killed in the crash include Sanford Jones, 56, of Fairburn, Georgia and Sasha Medina, 19, of Newnan, Georgia. Jones is the Chief Judge for the Fulton Co., Ga. Juvenile Court.

    Injured victims were identified as Sarah Conklin, 19 and Joshua Rumohr, 18 both of Newnan, Georgia. Each was transported to East Alabama Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities say the survivors called 911 and directed rescue personnel to the crash location. First responders were on the scene within 16 minutes.

    The victims knew each other from a church group. The teens had apparently traveled by car to Destin, Florida and the judge was flying them back to Georgia when the accident occurred.

    Investigators say the plane experienced engine trouble and the pilot radioed the Opelika-Auburn Airport for help. When the plane's engine quit two miles out from the airport the pilot started looking for a field to land in.

    The emergency landing was unsuccessful, however, as the plane clipped a patch of trees and nose dived into the ground. Lee County Coroner Bill Harris pronounced Jones and Medina dead at the scene. They suffered severe head trauma and multiple blunt force injuries.

    The FAA and NTSB were on the scene investigating the crash.

    WSFA 12 News will have more information as it becomes available.



    Fulton Judge, Teen Die In Plane Crash

    Fulton County Judge Sanford Jones Was Crash Victim

    POSTED: 3:37 pm EDT May 15, 2009

    A single engine plane with four people on board crashed three miles short of the Auburn, Ala. airport, killing a Fulton Co. judge.

    The pilot, Fulton County Judge Sanford Jones, and front seat passenger, 19-year-old Sasha Medina died in the crash in Beauregard, Ala.

    Two passengers, 19-year-old Sarah Conklin and 18-year-old Joshua Rumohr, survived the crash and were taken to an area hospital.

    One of the passengers called 911.

    According to WTVM in Columbus, all of the occupants of the plane knew each other from a church group.

    The three teens drove to Destin, FL and the judge was flying them back to Newnan, GA when they experienced engine trouble near Auburn.

    Jones attempted an emergency landing in the field.

    Jones was appointed to the Juvenile Court of Fulton County in January 1992 and now serves as the Chief Presiding Judge of one of the largest juvenile courts in the southeast.

    "He was the kind of person where when he came into a room, he wasn't the person to dominate but he had a presence that everyone respected. He'd done so many things for Fulton County juvenile court over the years that he had the respect, admiration and friendship of everyone in the court community," said court spokesman Don Plummer.

    The plane was a Beechcraft Bonanza Single engine six-seater plane with the registration number N-191MK.

    The plane was registered to Attorney Louis Levenson of Atlanta.



    RENO, Nev. (AP) Five people are dead after a small plane crashed this afternoon in a pasture in northern Nevada. The sheriff of Douglas County says the twin-engine Beechcraft BE95 went down near the town of Gardnerville, about 10 minutes after taking off from Minden Tahoe Airport.


    Two People Dead In Lantana Plane Crash

    Deceased:  (names withheld by editor of this page)
    Ted Scouten
    LANTANA (CBS4) ―

    Two people were killed after a single engine plane crashed into an unoccupied plane at Palm Beach County Airport in Lantana Wednesday morning.

    "I saw him come over the top of this hangar here, probably 50 feet off the ground banking really hard," said chopper pilot Brad Coulson. "He banked it a little harder and then just dropped out of the sky."

    People on the ground say they heard the engine sputter and then quit just moments after the plane lifted off. Coulson says it looks like it only gained 70 feet before the pilot tried to make a u-turn. That's when it plowed into that other plane, ripping a wing off. That sent the V 35 Bonanza spinning out of control, wedging itself under a tractor-trailer, tearing the whole thing apart.

    According to officials, 68-year-old Jack Howard Henderson and 78-year-old James Donald Breazeal worked for months on the 1959 Beechcraft before taking it out on its test run Thursday. Both died in the accident.

    Chopper mechanic John Evans ran to help seconds after it crashed. "I went right over and I stood right over the two guys like this trying to pull one out," said Evans. "They were already dead, I just stepped back and started crying man."

    Experienced pilots say if the pilot tried turning around, that could have been the fatal mistake. If a plane is low, a sharp bank can cause it to go into a stall. "Most people would have gone straight and found another place to land where it's safe," said pilot Carl Holme. "Most likely if he would have taken off straight and landed in Lake Osburne, he would have walked away and been fine. "

    No one on the ground was injured. The National Transportation Safety Board has investigators on the scene as well as the FAA. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

    CBS4.COM's John MacLauchlan contributed to this report.

    (© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)



    CHINO--Pilot error and fog combined to cause a twin-engine plane to crash near the Chino Airport killing the two men aboard.

    That’s the cause of the November, 2007 accident issued Wednesday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

    Pilot Robert Lewis of Chino was using instruments to guide the plane’s take-off, but failed to maintain a positive climb rate. It made a slight turn before hitting some 25-foot-high trees. A wingtip struck the ground causing the plane to cartwheel and burst into flames.

    Lewis and his passenger, Roland Barthelemy, 76, of Orange, perished

    Divers recover second body from Yamaska crash 


    Plane Crash Destroys Home

    (866) 735-1102 Ext 312
    May 02, 2009 1:46 PM

    A small plane crashed into a house shortly after taking off from Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport, Friday morning, April 17, 2009. The crash virtually sliced a vacant home down the middle into two charred pieces. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the plane, believed to be a twin engine Cessna 421, crashed around 11:20 a.m. and the house immediately burst into flames. The crash occurred about 2 miles from the airport, an FAA spokesman said. The plane was occupied only by the pilot, but it wasn’t immediately known if he or she survived this airplane crash.

    According to witnesses, the plane was headed to Fernandina Beach, where airport officials expected it to land around 1:00 p.m. Shortly after takeoff, something went wrong with the plane’s engines and it reported trouble to the Air Traffic Controller (ATC). The ATC cleared the plane to turn around and land but the plane crashed before it could reach the airport.

    This aviation/airplane crash was at least the fifth involving this airport in Florida, which caters to small planes and jets, in the last 12 years.

    In 2007, a twin engine Beechcraft was able to reach about 150 feet after takeoff but suffered engine failure and the aircraft pilot crashed with the airplane.

    In 2005, a DC3 cargo plane crashed shortly after takeoff. The plane crashed into a residential street near the airport and because of the pilot’s quick thinking, injuries were avoided.

    In 2004, a Piper Cherokee crashed into the roof of an auto body shop shortly after takeoff, killing two people who were on the airplane and injuring a third. Likewise, in 1997, a new pilot died when he crashed his Beechcraft Skipper 77 into a tree near the airport in Florida just after takeoff.

    National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) records show that Cessna 421s have been involved in 12 fatal accidents since 2004.

    Jim Lewis, a pilot/lawyer in our office, has handled numerous aviation/airplane crashes and regularly evaluates the causes of these types of accidents in the hopes of helping victims of serious injuries (or wrongful deaths) obtain appropriate compensation. The unique combination that Jim brings to the table as a pilot and a trial attorney makes him particularly effective in handling these types of injury or death cases. For an article about airplane crashes written by Jim Lewis, please click here.

    Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the Northeast North Carolina (NC) border, practicing primarily in the southeastern U.S. and handles only injury law, including car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. The firm's website is:, the firm edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, as well as the Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard and also hosts a video library covering many FAQ’s on personal injury subjects. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY


    The Moscow Times
    MDM Banker Killed in Tver Plane Crash
    The Moscow Times - Russia
    28 April 2009Combined ReportsAn MDM-Bank vice president was killed when a light sports plane he was piloting crash-landed in the Tver region. ...
    See all stories on this topic
    The Missoulian
    3 killed in Utah plane crash
    The Missoulian - Missoula,MT,USA
    In Utah on Saturday, the Deseret News in Salt Lake City reported witnesses heard what sounded like a low-flying plane and then a crash. ...
    See all stories on this topic


    Lafourche pilot dies in plane crash

    Published: Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 11:00 a.m.
    THIBODAUX — A Lafourche Parish pilot was killed Wednesday after his single-engine plane crashed into a cow pasture in Des Allemands.
    Ronnie Paul Tregre, 64, who lived on the Lafourche side of Des Allemands, was killed on impact, said Capt. Patrick Yoes, a spokesman for the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

    Tregre was alone in the plane when it crashed just before 4 p.m. Wednesday, and no one else was injured. The plane crashed into an empty pasture just off Down the Bayou Road.

    Federal Aviation Administration investigators were in St. Charles Parish this morning investigating the cause, Yoes said.

    The investigation will take several weeks, as officials may have to send the plane’s engine off to the manufacturer for examination, said Roland Herwig, a spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration.

    “It appears the plane banked to the west, struck some trees and crashed into an open field,” Yoes said.

    The plane was reduced to “a pile of mangled mess,” Yoes said.

    Tregre was flying a two seat Aventura II, a seaplane that is categorized by the FAA as an experimental aircraft. He was the registered owner of the plane.

    Experimental aircraft like the Aventura II are constructed from build-it-yourself kits you can order off the Internet, but both the plane and the person who builds it must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, Herwig said.

    All rights reserved.


    Don’t be alarmed: Mock plane crash in town Saturday

    Training exercise scheduled at Hook Field; public can watch the spectacle

    By Meagan Engle
    Staff Writer
    1:42 AM Friday, April 17, 2009

    MIDDLETOWN — A plane will go down at Hook Field this weekend with injured survivors that need medical transport.

    But don’t be alarmed by the wreckage, it’s all part of a training exercise.

    The mock disaster will take place from about 
9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 18, at the Middletown Regional Airport.

    The airport will be closed from 9 to 11 a.m., according to Middletown police.

    The exercise will simulate an aircraft collision that caused several casualties.

    The Federal Aviation Administration, Middletown police and firefighters, Care Flight medical helicopter, Duke Energy, Middletown police clergy, fire departments from Madison Twp., Monroe and Trenton and the Civil Air Patrol — a citizen auxiliary of the Air Force — will team up on the training, which is done on this scale once a year in different areas, said Civil Air Patrol Lt. Scott Zimpfer.

    Anyone wishing to watch the training must be at the observation area prior to 9 a.m. After that time, the area will be closed for safety reasons, according to Middletown police.

    More than 14 pieces of equipment will be used in the exercise. A Mass Casualty Unit and Mass Decontamination Unit will be on display during the event.

    Anyone planning to attend should contact Jack Wolf at (513) 594-5715.

    Contact this reporter at (513) 705-2551 or


    Pilot dies after plane crashes into Oakland Park home

    Federal aviation authorities are investigating the cause of a fatal plane crash that sliced through an Oakland Park home minutes after the homeowner's nephew left for work Friday morning.

    The small twin-engine Cessna 421 struck the single-story home like a torpedo, shredding everything in its path, rupturing its roof, walls and windows. Rattled witnesses ran for cover, kids were rushed off playing fields and a few daring neighbors armed themselves with garden hoses.

    The pilot, identified by neighbors as Cecil Murray, was killed in the accident, which happened about 11:15 a.m., just after take-off from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. Witnesses reported seeing flames from the plane's engine before it went down in the 5200 block of Northwest First Avenue, near Commercial Boulevard and Andrews Avenue.

    The owner of the house, Oscar Nolasco, left for work about 5:30 a.m., but his 17-year-old nephew missed the crash by minutes. Alex Martines had just left for his job at Nicks in Oakland Park right before the plane went down.

    ''He's so lucky he left 10 minutes before it all happened.'' said his aunt, RuthQuiroga.

    Several witnesses saw the plane go down.

    ''I saw flames and I heard an explosion and a big fireball coming across the street,'' neighbor Laurie Hewett said.

    Patrick Faustin, 22, who lives about two blocks from the crash site, was driving west on Commercial Boulevard when he saw ``a plane coming east with the wing on fire.''

    He continued driving west and followed it, guessing it was a 10-seat aircraft. He called police from his car and ''told them a plane is on fire in the air and it's going to crash'' and then ''BOOM,'' he said, describing what he heard.

    Faustin grabbed a hose from a house across the street from the crash and tried to extinguish the fire.

    ''Everything was on fire. I was just panicking. I was scared, nervous,'' Faustin said.

    Miami Herald news partner WFOR-CBS 4 reported that a woman called the television station to say her husband piloted the airplane and was alone. The woman, who was not identified, said her husband was headed to the Jacksonville area to sell the plane. She also said her husband has relatives in Costa Rica.

    The popular plane, first introduced in 1968, can carry up to eight passengers. There is one for sale now on ebay for $199,000.

    The plane, owned by Sebring Air Charter, Inc. in Tamarac, went down only about two miles after taking off from the airport.

    According to, a private website that tracks FAA radar position and flight information messages, the plane was headed to Fernandina Beach. It arrived in Ft. Lauderdale Wednesday from Cozumel, Mexico.

    At Murray's Tamarac home Friday afternoon, news crews and police cruisers massed on the street outside The Mainlands, a 55-and-over community. Neighbors described Murray has a seasoned pilot who spent part of his time in Costa Rica.

    'When you hear it's your neighbor, it's like `oh my God!' It's absolutely awlful,'' said neighbor Carol Frotin.

    Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the flight plan only listed one person on the plan -- though there may have been others.

    ''This just shows one, it doesn't mean there can't be more,'' she said.

    Rescue crews were on the scene dousing flames from the aircraft. FPL cut electricity to hundreds of nearby homes as a precaution.

    Inside the house, charred debris and pieces of the plane were scattered. Authorities said Nolasco, the homeowner, had lived in the neighborhood for 20 years.

    Ashley Salazar and Tracy Baughn were leaving a house in the neighborhood to head to North Andrews Gardens Elementary, where they are members of the PTA, when they heard the explosion. They hopped in their car and called the school principal en route. The principal told Salazar that the coach cleared students off the field when he saw a plane on fire.

    Meanwhile, Chris Tom, 45, was cooking rice and chicken in his kitchen when he heard a massive boom and immediately felt heat coming from the house that abuts his backyard.

    ''I heard a big explosion and then, just fire,'' he said.

    He ran outside and turned on his garden hose, trying to do whatever he could to douse his neighbor's home, which was engulfed in flames. A friend with Tom said he saw the plane falling from the sky with smoke coming from one side.

    Another witness, Tony Mejia, said he was driving when he saw the plane about 500 feet above him. The pilot, he said, appeared to be trying to return to the airport.

    ''The plane was not climbing. The fire was on the back of the engine to the right side,'' he said.

    In 2007, The Miami Herald reported that Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport holds one of the nation's most troubling safety records.

    In a 40-month period examined by the newspaper, eight people died in crashes shortly after takeoff from the city-run airport, and several close calls barely averted catastrophe on the ground. Planes from the airport have previously hit homes, a Fort Lauderdale auto body shop, and the swale on I-95.

    Miami Herald staff Writers David Smiley, Jennifer Lebovich, Michael R. Vasquez, Susannah Nesmith and Chuck Rabin contributed to this report.


    11 feared dead in Indonesia plane crash

    MIMIKA, Indonesia, April 17 (UPI) -- A reported 11 people were feared dead in the crash of a small chartered plane Friday in remote eastern Indonesia, police said.

    Rescue teams said they would be unable to search for the wreckage until Saturday because of bad weather in the isolated Mount Gergaji area near Mimika in the Papua province.

    Officials told CNN they still were getting a signal from the plane, which was reported chartered by the local government.

    Carrying three election officials with documents from the April 9 legislative polls, the plane took off from Ilaga for the remote highlands on what was expected to be a half-hour flight. But, officials said air traffic control lost contact and later confirmed there had been a crash.

    The Jakarta Post said those aboard included nine passengers, including two children, plus the pilot and co-pilot.


    © 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


    One Dead in El Dorado Hills Plane Crash

    Posted By: Jason Kobely

    EL DORADO HILLS, CA - Authorities confirmed one person died after a small plane crashed between two homes in an El Dorado Hills neighborhood Friday afternoon.

    The small two-seater Sportsman aircraft went down at 5:11 p.m. Friday near Queen Anne Court and Crown Drive.

    El Dorado County sheriff's Sgt. Phil Chovanec said the plane went down between two houses late Friday afternoon.

    HOME VIDEO: See the crash's fiery wreckage; 4/17/09, 5:15 p.m.

    Cal Fire confirmed one person died in the crash, although it was not immediately clear if the person who died was the pilot.

    Chovanec said the plane caught fire, but there was no damage to either house and no injuries on the ground.

    Home video taken by nearby resident Dirk Comstock-Ervin showed the plane's wreckage fully engulfed in flames as the first fire crews arrived on scene.

    The National Transportation Safety Board was contacted and would conduct an investigation to try to determine the cause of the crash.

    Copyright 2009 / All Rights Reserved


    Pilot Walks Away From Plane Crash Unharmed


    Emergency responders surround a plane after it crashed to the ground. The pilot Kurt Becker walked away unharmed. Becker says he took off from Sunrise Sky Park in Melba and that he was testing the new plane for the owners when he decided he wanted to grab lunch in Caldwell.

    "As I was coming over here the vibrations started getting worse and I could tell it was on the right side of the plane but I couldn't see what it was.", says Becker.

    Becker said he felt vibrations several times before hitting the ground but didn't think anything was wrong so he didn't call for help. However, he says as the flight went on the vibrations started to get worse.

    "I tightened my seatbelt and snuggled real hard downwind just because I thought it might not be pretty", Becker said.

    Airport officials closed down the runway for about 4 hours until the plane Becker was in could be removed. Right now investigators are still looking into what caused the plane to go down.


    Crash at Caldwell, Idaho Airport


    A plane crash today at the Caldwell airport. It happened just after 1pm when the  small plane was attempting to land. Police say the pilot was the only person on board.  He was taken to the hospital, and was treated and released. The airport runway was shut down for a while, but has since re-opened.

    Authorities say two men were lucky to escape serious injury when their light plane ditched into the ocean on south-east Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

    The plane crashed into the water just off Shelley Beach at Caloundra late this morning.

    Ross Ginns from the Fire and Rescue Service says the pilot and passenger were helped from the wreckage by people on the beach.

    "I would say the pilot and the other passenger were very lucky that they survived this incident," he said.

    "Given the condition of the wreckage they should go and buy themselves a lotto ticket.

    "Also the people who were also on the beach at the time, they were very lucky that they weren't hit as well."

    Engine failure will be examined as a possible cause of the crash.

    Mr Ginns says neither man was badly hurt.

    "The aircraft was overturned in the water and was being washed in and out with the wave action," he said.

    "The aircraft on arrival was totally destroyed, the wings had been torn off it and were only hanging by the stays attached to the aircraft itself."

    Tags: disasters-and-accidents, accidents, air-and-space-accidents, qld, caloundra-4551


    Marine Air Station Miramar plane crash victim identified
    2009-04-11 02:46:55 (GMT) ( - Aviation Airline Accident, Justice News Flash)

    Wiki Image:San Diego County plane crash leaves pilot and passenger dead

    California plane crash victim identified by Medical Examiner’s Office.

    San Diego, CA(–The second body recovered from a single-engine Piper Comanche plane crash near Marine Air Station Miramar, California was identified today by the Medical Examiner’s Office. The fatal two person aviation accident which occurred Saturday morning remains under investigation by aviation accident authorities as reported by San Diego News10.

    Mary Weber, 58, of Burbank died of severe traumatic injuries in the plane crash along with her husband, 51 year-old Friedrich Leo Weber, who owned the airplane. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators have not determined who was piloting the plane when it went down. The single-engine airplane took off from Whiteman Airpark in San Fernando Valley and was en route to Brown Field when it crashed at about 11 a.m. Saturday. The cause of the fatal aviation accident is unknown at this time. news for California aviation accident claims.


    Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 1:42pm MST  

    Flight school plane crash lands at west Phoenix school field

    Phoenix Business Journal - by Mike Sunnucks

    A single-engine Cessna flown by a flight instructor and student crash landed in a school field near Glendale Municipal Airport Wednesday morning.

    There were no injuries and no damage at Villa de Paz Elementary School, located near Camelback Road and Loop 101. The school is about 1 mile southeast of the Glendale airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. It’s also just south of the University of Phoenix Stadium and near the new spring training homes of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox.

    The FAA said the instructor reported engine trouble and was trying to return to the Glendale air field at about 9:30 a.m., but opted to land in the school’s field. A school official said the plane was damaged but the school was not impacted and remains open.

    The plane is used by the Air Safety Flight Academy, a flight school based out of the Glendale airport. The company confirmed there were no injuries and that the Cessna 152 was one of its instruction plan

    Father and Daughter Heading to Idaho Falls Survive Plane Crash

    Posted: April 14, 2009 09:15 AM PST

    Teton County Sheriff's Office report that a father and daughter survived a plane crash when flying from Wyoming to Idaho Falls. 

    Monday afternoon, Donald Ballard and his teenaged daughter were flying over the Togwotee Pass area when the plane was hit by a downdraft. The draft forced the plane into a ravine where Ballard did not have enough power to climb out.  As the plane went down, the left wing was ripped off as it clipped a tree, resulting in a nose-dive into the side of the ravine. The plane came to rest with its nose down and its tail up in the air approximately 10-15 feet. The passenger area of the plane was partially buried in the snow.

    Ballard was able to contact emergency services using his cell phone. Teton County Sheriff's Office dispatchers were able to trace Ballard's location from the GPS on his cell phone. Search and rescue personnel from both Fremont County and Teton County launched a response. Rescuers maintained cell phone contact with Ballard and once close to where they believed him to be, sounded their siren. Ballard heard the siren and was able to direct rescuers to his location. Using snowmobiles, rescuers were able to reach Ballard and his daughter.

    Ballard was uninjured and declined treatment. His daughter complained of neck and shoulder pain. She was placed on a backboard and transported to St. John's Hospital in Jackson, Wyoming.


    Plane crash: 2 died when Chicago-area plane crashes

    Pilot had taken up 2 friends and crashed with a 3rd friend

    By Steve Schmadeke

    Tribune reporter April 12, 2009

    Randy Hougham ate breakfast, got a haircut and, seeing it was a beautiful Saturday morning, decided to take friends up in his restored vintage plane in DeKalb County, family said.

    Meeting him at Sandwich Airport were several members of the Hamilton family, including Lauren Hamilton, 22, a recent Bradley University graduate home for Easter.

    Her father and grandfather went up and landed safely.

    But something went wrong on Lauren's flight, and she and Hougham were killed when the single-engine 1946 Ercoupe 415-C crashed and burned about 1:50 p.m., authorities said. The two died at the scene, a cornfield along Illinois Highway 34 and near Edgebrook Drive, just north of the private airstrip.

    The plane had belonged to Hougham's grandfather. Hougham tracked it down after finding an old picture his mother had taken of it in 1948, according to a post he left on an aviation message board. The plane took more than a year to restore, and he started flying it in 2006, according to those posts.

    "He was a great guy, a good family man, a good dad," said Hougham's brother-in-law, Bruce Burlingame of Glen Ellyn. "He was just a normal guy who did construction work and had a plane."

    Hougham, 53, of Sandwich had two adult sons, Burlingame said.

    Hamilton, a "happy, smiley, bubbly" woman, was living in Peoria, said Sheila Kotecki, whose daughter was good friends with her. The 2005 Sandwich Community High School graduate loved theater and being with friends, Kotecki said.

    Bill Coons of Lombard, a retired FAA aviation counselor and longtime Ercoupe owner, supplied Hougham with information for restoring the plane. He also gave Hougham his first ride in an Ercoupe, he said. Hougham kept the plane meticulously maintained, Coons said. "Randy was a very capable guy. He was flying all the time," Coons said. "Something mechanically must've gone wrong."

    Tribune reporter Dan P. Blake contributed to this report.


    Plane crash dead named in England


    Close, Stevenage and Carol Ann Potter (49) of Peterborough Road, Farcet, Peterborough were killed when their private Piper fixed wing single engine aircraft crashed into woodland at Wheatham Hill, near Stoner Hill and the Hangers Way footpath..

    Mr Boon and Mrs Potter were travelling in a private aircraft flying from Hertfordshire to Jersey at the time
    The investigation into the crash is being conducted by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

    Cagayan cops set out to retrieve Chemtrad plane crash victims MANILA, Philippines - After locating the wreckage of the plane, police are now focusing their efforts on retrieving the remains of victims in the crash of a chartered plane in Cagayan last April 2.

    Radio dzXL reported Wednesday that Cagayan Valley regional police director Chief Superintendent Roberto Damian said he has virtually ruled out the possibility of survivors.

    Damian said they located Tuesday the wreckage of the private plane at Sitio Bayang in San Miguel village in Baggao town in Cagayan province.

    The plane, chartered by Chemtrad, had as pilot Capt. Tomas Yaòez and co-pilot Capt. Reiner Ruiz.

    Its passengers were listed as SPO2 Rolly Castaòs, Celestino Salacup, Abelardo Baggay, Joel Basilio and James Bakilan. - GMANews.TV

    Plane in deadly Montana crash was crowded

    Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:59pm EDT

    By Emilie Ritter

    BUTTE, Montana (Reuters) - The plane that crashed in Montana and killed all seven children and seven adults aboard had more passengers than seats, a federal official said on Monday.

    National Transportation Safety Board Acting Chairman Mark Rosenker said his team is investigating whether the 10-seat plane was carrying too much weight and why it nose-dived short of the runway in mountainous Butte, Montana. The single-engine plane had no "black box" flight data recorder and the investigation could take months.

    All the children were under age 10. Only one, a 1-year-old, by regulation could have been seated on an adult's lap for the flight. That left 13 people and 10 seats.

    "We are going to have to try and understand how, and why, there were three additional people on board the aircraft." Rosenker told reporters.

    He stopped short of saying the plane was overcrowded. Officials changed the number of passengers and seats aboard the plane as the investigation progressed.

    Rosenker said three families were in the Pilatus PC-12 turboprop plane heading from California to a ski vacation near Bozeman, Montana. Bozeman and Butte are towns of about 30,000 each in the mountainous western part of the state.

    The pilot, a 65-year-old man with years of flying experience, requested twice to divert to Butte from Bozeman, without giving a reason, and both times the Salt Lake City flight controller approved the change, Rosenker said.

    Rosenker said the plane appeared to have enough fuel. Witnesses, including Harley Howard, described the plane flying low and suddenly diving.

    "All of a sudden, the airplane tail lifted up and as it lifted, it spun around and was at a 90 degree angle to the ground, and the top of the airplane was facing us and just looked like someone took a hold of the plane and it just drove into the ground," he said. "There was a ball of fire when it crashed."

    (Reporting by Emilie Ritter, writing by Peter Henderson, editing by Bill Trott)


    14 People killed in plane crash
    The plane was only designed for 11 people.
    May 22, 2009

    Was Ice a Factor in Montana Plane Crash?

    Former NTSB Official Says Ice Could be a Factor in Crash That Left 14 Dead

    Flight safety experts say icing could emerge as a contributing factor to the plane crash in Montana that left 14 people dead.

    Investigators say Montana-bound plane may have been bogged down with passengers.

    Conditions at the time were ideal for ice, meteorologists say, just like last month's crash of a Continental Airlines commuter plane near Buffalo, that killed 50.

    The cause of Sunday's crash in Montana is still under investigation, but ice may certainly been a factor investigators have said.

    "It's Buffalo all over again, or it could be," former National Transportation Safety Board official John Goglia told The Associated Press.

    Unlike the Buffalo crash, there were no flight data or voice recorders on board the Pilatus PC-12, a high-end, single-engine turbo prop, that could help pinpoint a cause.

    The Pilatus Sunday was overloaded officials confirmed Monday. It was carrying three more passengers than it is supposed to when it crashed.

    However seven of the 14 passengers were children varying in age from 1 to 9, so weight may not have been a factor. Mark Rosenker, acting chairman of the NTSB, said Monday they will be calculating the weights of the luggage, fuel and passengers.

    ABC News' aviation consultant John Nance said the Pilatus PC-12 is a good, resilient aircraft but that extra people on this type of a plane creates not only a possible weight problem but a balance problem as well.

    fatal crash.

    The plane, was flying from Oroville, Calif., Sunday morning on a 2½-hour flight to Bozeman, Mont. But instead of reaching its final destination, the plane diverted to Butte -- about 85 miles northwest of Bozeman -- where it slammed into a cemetery 500 feet short of the runway at the Bert Mooney Airport, killing all 14 people on board.

    There was no emergency radio call made by the pilot, identified as Buddy Summerfield, 65, of Redlands, Calif. Summerfield was a former military flyer who had logged 2,000 hours flying the Pilatus PC-12, according to federal officials.

    And it remains unclear whether an emergency situation, or just a last minute change of plans, prompted the pilot to divert to Butte.

    Nance said the decision to head to Butte could very well have been made to refuel or to give passengers a bathroom break.

    Witnesses who saw the plane overhead immediately knew something was terribly wrong.

    "I heard the engine, and I look up to see it spinning and going into a nose dive," Kenny Gulick, who witnessed the crash, told "Good Morning America." "It was spinning. Normally, it would be at 90 degrees. It was at 180 degrees. ... The pitch of the nose tried to move up slowly, but it was too close to the ground."


    125 Survive Amsterdam Plane Crash

    Emergency personnel work at the scene of Wednesday's plane crash near Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. The Turkish Airlines plane crashed into a field while trying to land, and it broke into three pieces. Nine people are confirmed dead in the crash.


    AMSTERDAM (Feb. 25, 2009) - A Turkish Airlines jetliner plummeted out of cloudy skies and plowed into a muddy field on approach to Amsterdam on Wednesday, but remarkably some 125 people — the vast majority of those aboard — survived. The nine dead included both pilots.

    Low death toll in Turkish plane crash a 'miracle': minister

    Martine Pauwels | February 26, 2009 - 12:32PM
    Turkish Airways jet crashed into a muddy field as it came into land at Amsterdam airport on Wednesday killing at least nine people but officials said it was a ''miracle'' there were not more victims.

    Witnesses described seeing the tail of the Boeing 737-800 hit the edge of a busy road in light fog and drag along the ground before the twin-engine airliner broke into three just short of the Schipol airport runway.

    VIDEO: Plane crash kills nine
    PHOTOS: Horror crash in Amsterdam

    Six people were said to be in critical condition in hospital and another 25 were ''seriously'' wounded, Dutch authorities said.

    While many among the 127 passengers and seven crew on the flight from Istanbul fought their way out of the mess of tangled wreckage, local residents and car drivers rushed to the scene.

    About 40 passengers quickly escaped through a hole in the cabin caused by a wing that was ripped off, one witness told Dutch television channel NOS.

    ''The chance of survival in plane accidents is close to zero. And this is a miracle,'' Turkey's Transport Minister Binali Yildirim said of the death toll, Anatolia news agency reported.

    Tuncer Mutluhan, a representative for a Turkish bank in the Netherlands, said everything happened in a flash as the jet approached Schipol on Wednesday morning after a three-hour flight.

    ''While we were making a normal landing, it felt like we fell into a void, the plane lost control, suddenly plunged and crashed,'' he told Turkish television channel NTV.

    ''It all happened in three or five seconds.... There was panic after that.''
    About 750 ambulance and fire crew took part in the rescue operation that was quickly set underway. The injured were taken to about 11 different hospitals in the region.

    Bodies were at first laid out under white sheets next to the wreckage.
    Authorities were identifying the dead late Wednesday, but officials confirmed that three of those killed were crew in the cockpit of flight TK 1951 at the time of the crash.

    According to rescue officials, six of the injured were in critical condition.
    The Turkish transport ministry said the flight carried 78 Turkish nationals and 56 people of other nationalities.

    Passenger Kerem Uzel said the airplane's tail hit the edge of the highway near the airport.

    ''We were at an altitude of 600 metres when we heard the announcement that we were landing,'' Kerem Uzel told NTV.

    ''We suddenly descended a great distance as if the plane fell into turbulence. The plane's tail hit the ground.... It slid from the side of the motorway into the field.''

    The Turkish transport minister said the fact that the jet hit soft ground and there was no fire had ''decreased the death toll''.

    Amsterdam-Schipol police chief Robert Veltman also said the number of victims was cut back because the aircraft did not catch fire and had been flying at low altitude when it came down.

    Survivors told of the panic on board with passengers stuck between seats screaming for help.

    The engines were found some 100 metres from the rest of the wreckage.
    A Turkish Airlines plane carrying 67 relatives of those on the plane arrived on a special flight late Wednesday. Psychologists were waiting to help them.

    Investigators said they had found the plane's black box but would not comment on the possible causes of the crash.

    ''We have just started our investigation, it will take some months at least before we have information about that,'' Fred Sanders, a spokesman for the Dutch Safety Board told AFP.




    Five killed in Iranian plane crash

    Article from: Agence France-Presse

    From correspondents in Tehran

    February 16, 2009 04:55am

    A TRAINING plane crashed in central Iran overnight killing five people on board.

    The crash happened when the plane was approaching an airport near the city of Isfahan during training overnight, the state news agency IRNA reported.

    Its crew of a pilot and four co-pilots were all killed, the report said, without specifying whether the aircraft was military or civilian.

    It said the cause of the accident was under investigation.

    Most of the Iranian military's aircraft were supplied by the United States in the days of the US-backed shah and the regime has struggled to maintain them in the face of US sanctions adopted since the 1979 Islamic revolution.


    Horror end to dad's 'surprise'
    15/02/2009 22:59  - (SA)  

    Ingrid Oellermann

    Pietermaritzburg - Eighty-four-year-old Harold Braatvedt who piloted dive bombers during World War II was killed at the weekend doing what he loved most - flying.

    Braatvedt was the only fatality on board a Cessna 182 light aircraft which crashed in the rural Qwaximba area not far from Cato Ridge Airfield.

    The plane was reportedly taking up a group of skydivers in "perfect" flying weather. It was speculated that engine failure caused the crash which is currently still under investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority.

    Unbeknown to his family, Braatvedt - who had always "lived life to the fullest" and "adored" flying - had arranged to undertake a tandem parachute jump for the first time. "I think he wanted to surprise us after he had already done it. It was typical of him," his son, Gray Braatvedt of Durban said on Sunday.

    Two professional skydivers - Michael Nyman and Andrew MacMillan, jumped out of the plane apparently in a bid to lighten its load - and managed to parachute to safety moments before the crash.

    Nyman declined to be interviewed after the accident. He said the skydiving fraternity would issue a written statement but by late Sunday it had not been received.

    A shock

    A stepfather - whose nine-year-old stepson was on board - refused to leave the boy behind even though he was equipped with a parachute. "He stayed with our son and held him while the plane went down," the boy's mother told The Witness.

    She requested the newspaper not to publish the names of her son or husband before the boy's biological father had been told about the accident. He was travelling and could not be reached at the weekend.

    The pilot, Ernest Hulley, 33, was among the survivors in hospital along with Scott MacMillan, 25.

    The injured - who all sustained serious or critical injuries -were all reportedly in a stable condition on Sunday, SAPS spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram confirmed.

    Braatvedtís son, Gray, told The Witness that when he visited the crash site and viewed the wreckage of the aircraft he was "amazed" that anyone had survived. Though deeply saddened by the death of his father he said it was a comfort to the family that he had died doing what he loved.

    Braatvedt said his father had never before spoken about doing a parachute jump and it came as a shock to him when police notified him of his father's death.

    'I really want to just see him open his eyes'

    "He'd just arranged to do it all on his own and none of us knew," he said.

    The mother of the nine-year-old boy injured in the crash told The Witness on Sunday she has nothing but praise for the care shown by paramedics and members of the SA Police Services.

    She said she was constantly at the side of her son and husband, who were recovering alongside each other in the Intensive Care Unit at Medi-Clinic hospital. Both were said to be out of danger.

    The mother said her son had not yet regained consciousness, but had been taken off a ventilator. Apart from having suffered bleeding on the brain he had also broken his leg.

    "They say he will be okay but I really want to just see him open his eyes," she said.

    She said her husband is in deep pain from injuries including a punctured lung and rib fractures. "I am just glad they are both alive," she said.

    Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson, Phindiwe Gwebu said the CAA investigation team had collected all the data they required from the crash site. The investigation into the cause of the accident is likely to take up to three months to conclude, she said.

    - The Witness


    Report issued on SC crash that killed NC pilot

    A preliminary report says there was no indication of a mechanical problem before a small plane crashed in South Carolina's Lowcountry last month, killing the North Carolina pilot.

    The Post and Courier of Charleston reported Friday that the National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report in the Jan. 29 crash at the Berkeley County Airport.

    Forty-eight-old Manfred Stolle of Cornelius, N.C., was the only person on the plane when it came down short of the runway.

    The report says witnesses said the plane's initial approach appeared normal and there was no sign of flames or smoke coming from the plane. Witnesses said the plane suddenly pitched down at a 45 degree angle and hit the ground.

    It usually takes about a year for the final report to determine the cause of a crash.

    ---Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


    Two Killed in Southeast Texas Plane Crash

    Bryan Rupp

    Story Created: Feb 13, 2009 at 11:28 AM CST
    Two Texans are dead after a small twin-engine plane crashed into a neighborhood in southeast Montgomery County.

    The Department of Public Safety says no one on the ground was hurt in the crash that happened around 5:30p.m. Thursday, February 12, 2009 in New Caney, about 30 miles northeast of Houston -- even though a mother and her son were just a few yards away inside their home.

    The two victims are 59-year-old pilot Daniel Boyd Williams, and his 58-year-old wife, Rheta Lynn Williams, both from Spicewood, which is located about 22 miles northwest of Austin.

    Witnesses say as the pilot appeared to be landing, the aircraft picked back up again.

    The plane reportedly clipped some pine trees and crashed into a backyard fence


    49 Die in Plane Crash Near Buffalo

    New York state police say a 50-seat commuter plane has crashed into a home in suburban Buffalo. Fire officials say there were no survivors.

    CLARENCE, N.Y. (AP) - A commuter plane crashed into a suburban Buffalo home and erupted in flames late Thursday, killing all 48 people aboard and one person on the ground, authorities said. Witnesses heard the twin turboprop aircraft sputtering before it went down in light snow and fog. Flames silhouetted the shattered home after Continental Connection Flight 3407 plummeted into it around 10:20 p.m. The 74-seat Q400 Bombardier aircraft, operated by Colgan Air, was flying from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey to Buffalo Niagara International Airport in light snow, fog and 17 mph winds.

    It was the first fatal crash of a commercial airliner in the United States since Aug. 27, 2006, when 49 people were killed after a Comair jetliner took off from a Lexington, Ky., runway that was too short.

    "The whole sky was lit up orange," Bob Dworak, who lives less than a mile from the crash site, told The Associated Press. He said that residents of the neighborhood, about 10 miles from the Buffalo airport, were used to planes rumbling overhead, but he took note Thursday night when one sounded louder than usual and made some odd noises. "We were thinking it was just another plane," he said. "It kind of made some sputtering noises but they lower the landing gear over our house a lot so the noise from the planes a lot of time will change kind of drastically as they go over." "All the sudden, there was a big bang, and the house shook," he said. He drove over to take a look, and "all we were seeing was 50-to-100-foot flames and a pile of rubble on the ground. It looked like the house just got destroyed the instant it got hit," he said.

    Doug Hartmayer, a spokesman for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority that operates the airport, said it was unknown if the airport reported any trouble. "There is an extensive investigation as we speak," Hartmayer said. "There was very little or any communication before the crash." "The plane simply dropped off the radar screen," he said.

    Amy Kudwa, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security in Washington said there was no indication terrorism was involved. "All indications are that this was an air-safety event," she said. Kudwa referred all other questions to the FAA.

    The National Transportation Safety Board planned a 4 a.m. news conference in Clarence; Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown said the agency would join a team investigating the scene at sunrise.

     Witness Tony Tatro said he saw the plane flying low and knew it was in trouble. "It was not spiraling at all. The left wing was a little low," he told WGRZ-TV.

    Before the crash, the voice of a female pilot on Flight 3407 can be heard communicating with air traffic controllers, according to a recording of the Buffalo air traffic control's radio messages shortly before the crash captured by the Web site

    Neither the controller nor the pilot exchanges any concerns that anything is out of the ordinary as the airplane is asked to fly at 2,300 feet. A minute later, the controller tries to contact the plane but hears no response. After a pause, he tries to contact the plane again. Then the controller asks the pilot of a nearby Delta Air Lines plane to see whether he can see the Continental flight. The Delta pilot says no.

    About three to four minutes after that, he tells an unidentified listener to contact authorities on the ground in the Clarence area. "You need to find if anything is on the ground," the controller says. "All I can tell you is the aircraft is over the marker (landing beacon), and we're not talking to them now." Later, he tells all aircraft monitoring the same frequency: "We did have a Dash 8 over the marker that didn't make the airport. He appears to be about five miles away from the airport."

    The newest member of Bombardier's Dash-8 class aircraft, the Q400 had its first flight in 1998 and entered commercial service in February 2000. Houston-based Continental Airlines issued a statement saying that preliminary information showed the plane carried 44 passengers and a crew of four.

    "At this time, the full resources of Colgan Air's accident response team are being mobilized and will be devoted to cooperating with all authorities responding to the accident and to contacting family members and providing assistance to them," the statement said. Chris Kausner of Clarence, believing his sister was on the plane, rushed to a hastily established command center after calling his vacationing mother in Florida to break the news. "To tell you the truth, I heard my mother make a noise on the phone that I've never heard before. So not good, not good," he told reporters. He told The Buffalo News his sister, Ellyce, was a law student at Florida Coastal University in Jacksonville and on her way home for a visit.

    Sue Bourque told the newspaper her sister, Beverly Eckert, was aboard the plane. Eckert is the widow of Sean Rooney, who was killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Bourque said that while the family had not yet received official confirmation of her sister's fate, the reality was settling in. "We know she was on that plane," she told the newspaper, "and now she's with him."

    Clarence emergency control director Dave Bissonette says the crash also killed one person on the ground. Clarence is a growing eastern suburb of Buffalo, largely residential but with rural stretches.

    The crash site is a street of older, single-family homes which apparently back up to wooded area. Manassas, Va.-based Colgan Air said in a statement that airline personnel and local authorities were working to confirm the number of people on board and their identities.

    Twelve homes were evacuated near the crash site, about 10 miles from the airport. The tail or part of a wing was visible through flames and thick smoke that engulfed the scene. While the fire was contained, smoke still billowed over the scene about four hours later. Houses in the neighborhood are only about 20-25 feet apart. The house that was demolished was a two-story, wood-frame house that backed up to a large open field.

    "The fact that the damage is limited to the one residence is really amazing," said state police spokeswoman Rebecca Gibbons. As family members of the victims trickled in to the airport in the overnight hours, they were escorted by airport personnel to a private area. Erie County Executive Chris Collins described the crash site as "surreal," with the tail of the plane sticking out of the ground.

    The aircraft, carrying 5,000 pounds of fuel, apparently exploded on impact, he said. He said it hit only one home that happened to be next to a firehouse, allowing rescuers to arrive in seconds. "The firefighters were on that scene immediately, attempting to rescue anyone who could have been rescued," Collins said. "What I've been told is that they got as close to the plane as they could. They were shouting out to see if there were any survivors on the plane. Truly a very heroic effort, but there were no survivors."

    Two women believed to be residents of the neighborhood were being treated at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital for what were described as non-life-threatening injuries, hospital spokesman Michael Hughes said. They were transported by ambulance at approximately 11:35 p.m.

    The crash came less than a month after a US Airways pilot guided his crippled plane to a landing in the Hudson River off Manhattan, saving the lives of all 155 people aboard. Birds had apparently disabled both its engines.

    On Dec. 20, a Continental Airlines plane veered off a runway and slid into a snowy field at the Denver airport, injuring 38 people. Continental's release said relatives and friends of those on Flight 3407 who wanted to give or receive information about those on board could telephone a special family assistance number, 1-800-621-3263.


    NTSB: Plane didn't dive, but landed flat on house

    A look at some of those killed in NY plane crash

    Alison Des Forges

    Des Forges, of Buffalo, was senior adviser for Human Rights Watch's Africa division. Considered one of the world's leading experts on the genocide in Rwanda, Des Forges testified at 11 trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda as an expert witness. She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1999.

    Des Forges was returning home to Buffalo after a trip to Europe, where she briefed diplomats on the situation in Rwanda and Africa's Great Lakes region, said Emma Daly, spokeswoman for Human Rights Watch. She sent an e-mail to colleagues from the airport before boarding the plane.

    "She was working till the end," Daly said.

    Des Forges had a "tremendous commitment to human rights and her tremendous principles," Daly said.

    "She made herself very unpopular with the Rwandan government by insisting that they be held responsible for the crimes they committed before the genocide," Daly said.

    Daly called Des Forges "a thorn in everyone's side, which is a testament to her integrity."

    Des Forges was born in Schenectady, N.Y., in 1942. In 1964, she married Roger Des Forges, a University of Buffalo historian specializing in China. She is survived by a daughter, a son, and three grandchildren.


    Beverly Eckert

    Eckert, of Stamford, Conn., was a Sept. 11 widow who became one of the most visible, tearful faces in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

    Her husband, Sean Rooney, was on the phone in the World Trade Center telling her he loved her when suddenly there was a loud explosion and nothing more.

    Eckert was heading to Buffalo, her hometown, for a celebration of what would have been her husband's 58th birthday, said Mary Fetchet, a 9/11 family activist.

    Last week, she was at the White House with President Barack Obama as part of a meeting with relatives of those killed in the 2001 attacks and the bombing of the USS Cole to discuss how the new administration would handle terrorism suspects.

    She was part of a small group of Sept. 11 widows, mothers and children who became amateur lobbyists, ultimately forcing lawmakers in 2004 to pass sweeping reforms of the U.S. intelligence apparatus.

    When her work was done, she turned her energies to Habitat for Humanity, helping build homes for low-income families.


    Ellyce Kausner

    Kausner was a second-year law student at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville. Her sister, Laura Kausner, said Ellyce was flying home to be her nephew's date at a kindergarten Valentine's Day party on Friday.

    Kausner was part of a group of about a half-dozen young women who had remained close friends since middle school, said one of the group, Candice Ciesla.

    "Ellie was a crazy, out-there kind of girl, totally full of life," said Candice Ciesla. "This is a huge nightmare, the most surreal thing I've experienced."

    Ciesla, who now lives in California, learned of Kausner's death when she got a call from a high school friend.

    "I was in the grocery store when he called and I almost fainted right there," Ciesla said.


    Madeline Loftus

    Maddy Loftus, 24, of Parsippany, N.J., was headed to Buffalo for a reunion of the Buffalo State women's ice hockey team she played for in 2002 and 2003, said Jeff Ventura, the school's sports information director.

    Loftus' 22-year-old brother, Frankie Loftus, said his sister never worried about flying because their father was a pilot for Continental. He said he dropped her off at the airport Thursday.

    "She was an amazing person. She loved to make everyone happy," he said. "Everyone who met her loved her instantly."

    Loftus transferred to St. Mary's University in Minnesota after her sophomore year, Ventura said.

    Loftus "was one the greatest people who ever came out of Buffalo State hockey," said her former teammate, Carolyn Totaro. "She worked really, really hard to be where she was. Hockey was her passion, especially when it came down to competition. She was so driven to play hockey."

    Loftus played for Buffalo State from 2002-04, finishing with 10 goals and three assists over 47 games. In two seasons at St. Mary's, the 5-foot-5 forward had 11 goals and 10 assists in 52 games.


    Lorin Maurer

    Maurer, 30, had worked raising money at Princeton University for its athletics department.

    "We are heartbroken that someone so young and full of life could be taken from us so suddenly," Brian McDonald, the vice president of development at Princeton, said in a statement released by the university.

    Maurer was traveling to New York to meet the family of her boyfriend, Kevin Kuwick, an assistant basketball coach at Butler University, The Buffalo News reported.

    Maurer, who grew up in Sinking Spring, Pa., was a champion swimmer at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., where she graduated in 2001. She received a master's degree from the University of Florida.

    She had worked at Princeton since 2005.


    Coleman Mellett

    An accomplished jazz guitarist, Mellett was a touring member of trumpeter Chuck Mangione's band for the last several years. The group was scheduled to perform Friday night at the Kleinhans Music Hall with the Buffalo Philharmonic.

    Mellett grew up near Washington, D.C., and moved to New Jersey to study at William Paterson University, according to his MySpace profile. After graduating he moved to New York and earned a master's degree at the Manhattan School of Music in 1998.

    Mellett, 33, lived in East Brunswick, N.J., with his wife, singer Jeanie Bryson, according to the Star-Ledger of Newark.


    Gerry Niewood

    Gerry Niewood was a childhood friend of trumpeter Chuck Mangione and had been making music with him since the two were children. He lived in Glen Ridge, N.J., and played saxophone, clarinet and flute for some of the biggest names in pop music, according to his MySpace profile.

    He was flying to Buffalo for a performance with Mangione's band.

    Niewood once said he learned jazz improvisation on his own.

    "I listened to jazz records and mentally transcribed them. Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Stitt, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane," he told City Newspaper, a Rochester, N.Y., weekly in 2006.

    In addition to Mangione, Niewood backed artists as diverse as Peggy Lee, Simon and Garfunkel, Judy Collins, Frank Sinatra and Sinead O'Connor, among others. He also played on the soundtracks of movies including "A Bronx Tale," "When Harry Met Sally" and "King of Comedy."


    Mary Pettys

    Pettys, 50, of West Seneca, N.Y, was traveling home after a business trip for her job as a software director for an insurance firm.

    Her fiance, William Adamski, said she last called around 6 p.m. Thursday to ask about the weather in the Buffalo area. He said that he tried to reach her cell phone several times, but it always went to voice mail. He heard from her company around 3:30 a.m. that her plane had crashed.

    Adamski said his fiance loved to hike and play slot machines. "She was a woman of chance," he said.

    The couple were engaged in December and had been planning a spring wedding.

    A Canisius College graduate, Pettys had nine siblings.


    Marvin Renslow

    Renslow, the plane's pilot, lived in the Tampa suburb of Lutz, Fla., and grew up in southwestern Iowa.

    Renslow, 47, joined Colgan Air, the company operating the flight, in September 2005 and had flown 3,379 hours with the airline.

    Jeff Hiser, who went to school with Renslow in Shenandoah, Iowa, and is now the activities director at Shenandoah High School, said Renslow graduated from high school in 1979 and left Iowa to pursue his goal of becoming a pilot. He remembered Renslow as outgoing, involved in the fine arts and an excellent drummer.

    Renslow's family is "very proud of Marvin's accomplishments as a pilot," said Alan Burner, associate pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lutz. "They know that he did everything that he could to save as many lives as he could, even in the accident. Marvin loved to fly. He was doing what he loved to do. He was living his dream."

    Friends said Renslow had a wife and two young children.


    Jean Srnecz

    Srnecz, 59, was a senior vice president of merchandising for Charlotte, N.C.-based Baker & Taylor, a wholesale distributor of books and entertainment products.

    She joined the company in 1975 and served on the boards of the Book Industry Study Group and Educational Paperback Association.

    Srnecz, who lived in Clinton, N.J., and worked in Bridgewater, N.J., was headed to the Buffalo area for a visit with family members.

    "I worked alongside Jean for 30 years and there was no one more knowledgeable or respected, as a professional and a person," Baker and Taylor President Arnie Wight said in a statement. "Jean truly loved this business and was loved by many it. She will be sorely missed."

    Srnecz graduated from D'Youville College in Buffalo and received a master's degree in political science from SUNY-Buffalo. She also earned a master's of business administration in finance from New York University.


    Rebecca Shaw

    Shaw, the flight's first officer, had a passion for aviation and decided in her senior year in high school that she wanted to fly. Shaw, 24, of Maple Valley, Wash., in the Seattle suburbs, joined the commuter airline in January 2008 and had flown 2,244 hours with the carrier.

    "She absolutely loved to fly," said her mother, Lyn Morris.

    Shaw graduated in 2002 from Tahoma High School, where she was active in volleyball, softball and student leadership, district spokesman Kevin Patterson said. She attended Big Bend Community College before transferring to Central Washington University in Ellensburg. She graduated in 2007 with a degree in flight technology, university spokeswoman Teri Olin said.

    "As a woman in aviation, you have to be really sure of what you're doing and to be out there giving it everything — and Becca certainly did that," said Amy Hoover, chair of Central Washington's aviation department.

    Shaw leaves behind a husband, Troy.


    Susan Wehle

    Wehle, 55, had been cantor at Temple Beth Am in Williamsville, N.Y., since November of 2002 and went well beyond her duties of singing religious songs there, said David Berghash, the temple's president.

    She also paid sick visits to hospital patients and worked to get other faiths involved in the region's religious community, he said.

    Berghash said she was "loved by every congregant here and she will be sorely missed."

    Before Temple Beth Am, Wehle was the cantorial soloist at Temple Sinai in nearby Amherst for 9 1/2 years. She taught musical and spiritual workshops, conducted youth and adult choirs and performed in concerts in the United States, Canada and Israel.

    Wehle lived in Amherst. She is survived by her two sons, Jacob and Jonah Mink. Jacob is currently in Vermont and Jonah is in Israel, Berghash said.


    Clay Yarber

    Yarber served in Vietnam, but never liked flying, said his ex-wife Shari Ingram, of Largo, Fla.

    "He didn't even like being on helicopters when he was in the Marine Corps," Ingram said.

    Yarber, 62, was originally from Dayton, Ohio, and became a musician after the war, Ingram said. He played the guitar and sang and had several bands. His favorite type of music was rhythm and blues.

    He lived in the Tampa Bay area for several decades, but recently moved to Riverside, Calif., to help his son pursue a music career.

    Yarber, who had been married six times, was going to spend Valentine's Day with his girlfriend in New York before moving there in March, said his son, Chris Yarber, 22.

    "He would bend over backward for anyone," said Chris Yarber, who described his father as a 6-foot-4 muscular man who would stop and help a stranger on the street if he or she dropped a bag or would break up a fight if he saw someone getting bullied. "He was just like John Wayne."

    He said his father received two Purple Hearts.

    Chris Yarber said his father hadn't touched a guitar in several months after he lost a finger in an accident.

    Clay Yarber had four biological children, three daughters and a son, as well as an adopted daughter.


    Joseph Zuffoletto

    Zuffoletto, a Colgan Air pilot who had apartments in Newark and Jamestown, N.Y., was an off-duty crew member aboard the plane.

    He loved flying from an early age and earned his private pilot's license at 17. He also spent spare time at the Chautaqua County-Jamestown Airport, even when he wasn't flying.

    "We had a small restaurant here at the airport that was understaffed," Dave Sanctuary, the airport manager, told the Post-Journal of Jamestown, N.Y. "He would come in many times when he was not on duty flying and would volunteer cooking at the restaurant. He was very kind, very professional, very likable."

    One reason he always returned to Jamestown was that his grandmother lives in nearby Buffalo.

    He graduated from University of San Diego High School in California in 1999 and earned an aviation degree at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

    Buffalo Plane Crash: Two Jazz Musicians On Board
    MSNBC - Feb 13, 2009
    Two members of Chuck Mangione's band were en route to play a gig with Mangione in Buffalo when they perished in last night's crash of Continental Flight ...

    2 Israelis killed in plane crash

    Man from Tiberias, Israeli woman who resides in US listed as passengers on flight that crashed in New York

    Ahiya Raved

    Published:  Israel News

    The names of two Israelis appeared on the passenger list of a Continental Airlines flight that crashed Friday in Buffalo, New York.

    Ruth Harel-Katz, 52, a resident of the United States, and 27-year old George Abu-Karem from Tiberias, were both killed in the crash.

    Abu-Karem's family said representatives from the Foreign Ministry and the airline had been updating them on the efforts to identify the body of their loved one among those of dozens of other casualties. None of the passengers on the flight had survived the crash. 

    Fire caused by crash (Photo: AP)

    The family of Harel-Katz, who resides in the US, received word of the disaster just a few hours after it had occurred.

    Abu Karem, a former member of the South Lebanon Army, left behind a mother and three sisters. He had worked as a security guard at a bar near the Sea of Galilee.

    One of his friends told Ynet he had arrived from Lebanon ten years ago with his family. "He's a great guy who always helps everyone," he said.

    The Foreign Ministry told Ynet that a representative from the Israeli Consulate in New York was on his way to the crash site in order to validate the information.

    Continental Connection Flight 3407 flying from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey headed for Buffalo Niagara International Airport crashed into a house while coming in to land Thursday night.

    One Chinese national among NY plane crash victims

    Updated: 2009-02-14 00:10

    NEW YORK -- One Chinese national was among the 50 people that perished Thursday night when a Continental flight crashed into a single-home house in Clarence Center near Buffalo in northern New York state, a diplomat at the Chinese Consulate General in New York said Friday.

    Yao Shibin, born in 1971, was an employee of PricewaterhouseCoopers, said Luo Gang, a consul at the Consulate General.

    Yao's husband, Pan Xiaojun, will be flying to Buffalo shortly.


    NJ book publishing executive dies in Continental plane crash near ...
    Hunterdon County Democrat, NJ - Feb 13, 2009
    by The Star-Ledger Continuous News Desk The victims in the fiery crash of Continental Connection flight 3407 included Jean Srnecz, of Hunterdon County, ...

    Fri, February 13, 2009
    Canadian among plane crash victims


    FORT ERIE, Ont. — The Canadian who was among 50 victims of the plane crash near Buffalo, N.Y., was flying home from a business trip to be with his wife and young daughter when the plane went down.

    A spokesman for the Canadian firm Pharmetics Inc., where Don McDonald worked for 26 years, says the Fort Erie, Ont., man was a project manager and loved by all his employees.

    Peter Lucyshyn says McDonald’s co-workers are shocked and are being offered grief counselling to help them deal with the tragedy.

    The Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 aircraft carrying McDonald and 48 others plunged into a residential area Thursday night, striking a house.

    Everyone onboard the plane died, as did one person in the home.

    Continental Plane Pilots Stall-Protection Engaged, NTSB Says

    Feb. 15, 2009  (Bloomberg) -- The Continental Connection plane that crashed three days ago had its stall-protection measures engaged as it approached Buffalo’s Niagara International Airport, an investigator said.

    The Bombardier Inc. Dash 8 Q400, operated under contract by Pinnacle Airlines Corp.’s Colgan Air unit for Continental Airlines Inc., was equipped with “sophisticated anti-stall equipment,” according to Steve Chealander, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board.

    The plane crashed around 6 miles (9.7 kilometers) northeast of the airport at about 10 p.m. local time on Feb. 12. The flight originated in Newark, New Jersey.

    Last Updated: February 15, 2009 17:48 EST


    Passengers tell of ordeal as airline crash-landed at London airport

    Passengers have described the panic on board a British Airways jet when it crash landed at London City airport.

    Investigators probe two landing accidents at London City Airport within days
    The second incident at the airport in under a week: British Airways flight from Amsterdam Photo: JEFF MOORE

    Smoke filled the cabin when BA flight 8456 lost its front wheels as it landed after a flight from Amsterdam with 71 people on board.

    Ray Hamblin, who was travelling to the United States via London, said: "The front wheel collapsed, the cabin filled with smoke and everyone had to vacate from the rear of the plane.

    "It seemed like a late landing as though the plane had passed the point where it should have landed. There was a lot of noise.

    Mr Hamblin, who was sitting in seat 3D towards the front of the aircraft, added: "People were pretty calm at first but when the plane started to fill up with smoke, people were not moving fast enough and they got pretty fractious.

    "As I came off the emergency slide I hit my wrist on the runway. I think there are a couple of people with cuts and scrapes."

    Another passenger, Justin Fletcher, described a "loud bang" as the plane landed, adding that "the stewards and stewardesses were quick to evacuate everyone off". A few people suffered "scrapes and cuts" as the plane hit the runway, he said.

    Six ambulance crews and medical staff in cars were sent to the scene after the London Ambulance Service was alerted to the incident shortly before 7.45pm on Friday.

    By the time they arrived, the passengers and five crew members on board the plane had been evacuated using the aircraft's inflatable slides, but four people were taken to hospital with minor injuries and one was kept in overnight.

    The Avro RJ100 was the second airliner to be damaged on landing at the airport in the last 10 days. A similar plane crash landed on February 5 because of a bent nose wheel.

    An Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) spokesman said that an inquiry had already started to find out the cause of the latest crash landing.

    A British Airways spokesman said: "The nose wheel of a British Airways aircraft suffered a failure on landing at London City Airport.

    "The BA 8456 from Amsterdam had 67 passengers and four crew on board. As a precaution the emergency slides were deployed and the passengers were evacuated down the slides onto the runway."

    The airport was closed and 11 flights diverted to nearby airports while the situation was brought under control. Fire crews and air accident investigators were called to the scene.

    A spokeswoman for the airport said it had reopened as normal on Saturday morning and that the stricken aircraft would remain in a secure area on the site until it could be repaired or removed.

    The Avro RJ-100 is a medium-sized commercial aircraft with room for four crew, including two flight attendants, and between 85 and 100 passengers.

    It has been manufactured by BAE Systems since 1992 and around 152 are in service around the world.

    British Airways has 10, although the current CityFlyer fleet is being replaced with a mix of Embraer +170 and 190 aircraft, produced in Brazil.


    February 14, 2009

    Miracle of the Hudson Plane Crash

    Miracle of the Hudson Plane Crash

    Miracle of the Hudson Plane Crash

    This extraordinary escape captured the imaginations of people around the world. Two minutes after US Airways flight 1549 took off from LaGuardia Airport, it was hit by a flock of birds. The left engine just blew,” said one passenger. “Fire, flames were coming out of it. Everyone started to say prayers.” With both engines out of commission and no power, Captain Chesley Sullenberger landed the plane in the Hudson River and all 155 people on board, including a baby, were rescued.

    This film gives a minute-by-minute account of what happened, with first-hand testimonies from passengers, eyewitnesses and rescuers. It also uses a flight simulator and computer graphics to recreate the flight and show how Sullenberger executed a textbook emergency landing. According to an eyewitness on the ground: “It could not have been more controlled or smooth.”

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    Hudson River Hero Pilot Offers First TV Story of Plane Crash
    EfluxMedia News, New York - Feb 9, 2009
    However, on CBS’ "60 Minutes" he told Katie Couric all there was to know about the Hudson River plane crash. The talk show was broadcasted Sunday and also ...
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    US Airways passengers get $5000 each; is it enough?
    USA Today - Jan 26, 2009
    By Eric Thayer, Reuters By Gary Stoller, USA TODAY Many US Airways (LCC) passengers who endured a crash landing in the Hudson River 12 days ago say they ...
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    One dead in KZN plane crash
    14/02/2009 11:57  - (SA)  

    Durban - One person died and two others were critically injured on Saturday when a plane crashed onto a slope at the Cato Ridge airfield in KwaZulu-Natal, paramedics said.

    ER24 spokesperson Derrick Banks said five people, including a nine-year-old boy, had been on the plane at the time.

    "One adult was declared dead at the scene. The boy and another adult were airlifted by a Netcare helicopter to St Annes hospital in a critical condition," he said.

    Two others, who were initially thought to have parachuted to safety, were in fact still in the plane when it crashed.

    They were taken to the Pietermaritzburg Medi Clinic with minor injuries.

    Police at the scene said they suspected the cause may have been a mechanical failure but it has not been confirmed.

    - SAPA


    W.Va. plane crash preliminary report released

    6 killed

    February 13, 2009 @ 09:33 AM

    HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A preliminary report on a plane crash in West Virginia that killed six people says the pilot was largely unresponsive to controllers’ requests and instructions before the accident.

    The National Transportation Safety Board’s report also says the pilot originally told controllers he was capable of flying using the plane’s instruments, but later admitted he wasn’t.

    The pilot and five passengers were trying to land at Tri-State Airport near Huntington after signaling the twin-engine plane was low on fuel. The plane crashed about 2 miles from the airport after hitting power lines.

    At the time of the crash, visibility was limited because of heavy snow.

    The victims were members of an American Polish Aero-Club in Chicago. The six were flying from Illinois to Florida.

    Propeller Found Weeks After Plane Crash

    Posted: 4:03 PM Feb 14, 2009

    Last Updated: 4:03 PM Feb 14, 2009

    Jeremy Edwards

    Propeller Found Weeks After Plane Crash">

    WAYNE, W.Va., (WSAZ) -- The search for an important missing piece of that plane that crashedin Wayne County has been located.

    Officials at TriState Airport tell us the propeller of the plane was found in a pile of yard waste Saturday morning by a homeowner near the crash site.

    The propeller has been turned over to the airport.

    Investigators are still looking for the maintenance log, but they no longer believe it was even on the plane.

    Six people died when the plane crashed on January 30th.

    The National Transportation Safety Board says the pilot was largely unresponsive to airport controllers.

    The pilot was attempting an emergency landing at TriState after radioing the tower that he was critically low on fuel

    Air Force: B-52 crash caused by equipment position

    HONOLULU (AP) — A deadly B-52 bomber crash off Guam last year was caused by part of the plane's tail assembly being set in the wrong position, a U.S. Air Force investigation report released Friday said.

    The plane's stabilizer trim was improperly set between 4.5 and 5.0 degrees nose-down at impact, indicating the aircraft had been in a nose-down descent at low altitude, according to a report by the Air Combat Command in Langley, Va. The stabilizer trim is used in conjunction with the aircraft's elevator to control the pitch of the aircraft.

    The unarmed bomber was on a training mission that included a flyby in support of the Guam Liberation Day celebration when it crashed in July off Guam, a U.S. territory located 3,700 miles southwest of Hawaii. All six crew members on board were killed.

    The report said the reason why the stabilizer trim was improperly set could not be determined because there were no survivors or emergency radio calls from the plane. Only a minimal amount of aircraft control systems or instruments were recovered.

    The investigation also determined that the combination of a low altitude and a descending left turn, and the crew recognizing too late the severity of the situation, contributed to the crash.

    But the board said any experienced crew could have found it difficult to recognize, assess and recover from the rapidly developing situation involving the stabilizer trim setting.

    The B-52 was assigned to the 20th Bomb Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.


    Plane crash victim was mum's third child to die

    THE mother of one of the schoolgirls killed in the South Wales double plane crash had already lost two children in tragic circumstances.

    Katie-Jo Davies, 13, was killed when the RAF Grob Tutor aircraft in which she was a passenger was in a mid-air collision with another plane from RAF St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan.

    Katie-Jo and her cousin Nikkita Marie Walters, 14, both from Evanstown, Gilfach Goch, died with their instructors, Flying Officer Andrew Marsh, 24, from Penarth, and Flying Officer Hylton Price, 63, from Bridgend.

    It emerged last night that two of Katie-Jo’s mum Ridgena Mills’ other children died from cot death and leukaemia.

    Gilfach Goch councillor Aurfron Roberts said: “It is the third child her mother has lost.

    “It has devastated the village that somebody could suffer so much. The village can’t seem to grasp the ‘why?’ of it all.

    “Why her and why so much tragedy, because they are such a lovely family? My heart goes out to them because the tragedy this family has suffered is beyond belief,” she said.

    “Every child is precious and it is just terrible. The village is really feeling for her.”

    She added: “I’m sure the whole community will rally around and give her all the support they can.”

    A three-pronged investigation by South Wales Police, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch and Ministry of Defence was underway yesterday as devastated classmates laid flowers at Tonyrefail Comprehensive School.

    Katie-Jo and Nikkita’s families said: “Words cannot describe how devastated we are by the loss of our two girls.

    “Nikkita and Katie-Jo were both much loved and will be sorely missed. We are all grieving.”


    Lack of fuel 'caused plane crash'

    The overturned aircraft. Photo: Peter Cade
    Two farmers helped in the rescue by lifting the plane to free the pilot

    An aerobatic plane crashed into a field on a training flight because of a lack of fuel, an investigation has found.

    The pilot, John Paulson, 56, had to be helped from the wreckage by a farmer, but suffered only minor injuries in the crash landing at Llay, near Wrexham.

    Mr Paulson told the Air Accident Investigations Branch (AAIB) he had misjudged how much fuel the plane had.

    The AAIB report said the situation could have been "considerably more serious."

    Mr Paulson had taken the plane out on 2 September 2008 to train for an aerobatic flight.

    He told the AAIB that he had thought he had a full tank but after performing a number of stunts he realised it was almost empty.

    After crash landing in the field, the plane flipped over on its back, trapping Mr Paulson.

    He escaped from the wreckage after a farmer lifted a wing of the plane using a plough attachment on his tractor.

    The AIIB reported concluded he could have suffered much worse injuries "had it not been for the soft earth and the timely intervention of the tractor driver".


    Light plane crash kills two

    Two people were killed when their light aircraft attempted to land at Samedan airport in southeastern Switzerland on Thursday, local police announced.

    A third person was seriously injured as the plane hit a snow bank and broke up. The aircraft had appeared to go into a spin as it came down.

    It had left Vienna just after three o'clock, and the accident occurred about seventy-five minutes later.

    Air safety experts have gone to the scene to investigate the causes of the crash.

    Last Friday a plane overshot the runway at the same airport, but there were no casualties.

    At 1,707 metres above sea level, Samedan, near the resort of St Moritz, is the highest in Europe. Deep snow has made current conditions there difficult.


    24 bodies recovered from Brazil plane crash

    SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian authorities say they have recovered the bodies of 24 people who were aboard a small plane that crashed in the Amazon jungle after an apparent engine malfunction.

    Firefighter Maj. Jair Ruas Braga says the bodies were found inside the twin turboprop plane which crashed in a river about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the jungle town of Manaus.

    Braga says seven children were among the dead, which also included nine women and eight men. A 9-year-old child was among four people who survived the Saturday afternoon crash.

    Relatives of the survivors say an engine apparently malfunctioned just before the plane went down.

    Braga said Sunday the cause of the accident was under investigation

    Overcrowding eyed in Brazilian plane crash
    2009-02-12 16:49:47

    RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The owner of a plane that crashed last Saturday in an Amazon jungle river, killing 24 people, had previously been accused of overloading his aircraft, the local daily O Globo reported Wednesday.

        The airline company, Manaus Aerotaxi, also had been accused of performing poor maintenance on its aircraft, the newspaper reported.

        One of the company's planes crashed in an Amazon river Saturday, killing 24 people among its 26 passengers and two pilots. The plane's listed capacity was only 19 passengers plus the pilots.

        According to survivors, there were seven children who were traveling on their parents' laps though Brazilian aviation rules require children over 2 years old to have their own seats.

        Jorge Negreiros, who heads the local Air Service Workers Union Trade, said the pilot of the crashed plane was one of the pilots who last year had accused Manaus Aerotaxi of overcrowding its aircraft.

        Negreiros said his organization has received about 300 accusations of irregularities against the air-taxi companies that operate in the Amazon Rainforest.

        The organization saw pilots as being responsible for the number of passengers aboard a plane but Negreiros said it is the owners who determine that number and there is no supervision to assure the rules are obeyed.

        The Brazilian Air Force's Center for the Investigation and Prevention of Aeronautical Accidents (Cenipa) is investigating the circumstances of the accident

        Police find survivors of Brazil plane crash 2009-02-11 08:55:18

     RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The three occupants of a twin-engine plane that crashed in Para de Minas, Minas Gerais state, late Monday have been found alive, Brazilian authorities said Tuesday.

        Police said the three, who were not immediately identified, suffered only minor injuries. They left the site after the crash.

        The pilot told police that one of the engines that activates the plane's landing gear failed. The plane lost power and was destroyed when it crashed in a pasture, police said.

        "It could have been a much worse tragedy," said officer Ricardo Carvalho.

        On Saturday, a twin-turboprop plane crashed into in an Amazon jungle river, killing at least 24 people.


    Catalina plane crash victims identified
    12:29 PM, February 9, 2009

    Authorities have identified two of the three people killed in a plane crash Thursday on Catalina Island.

    Marshall D. Goldberg, 39, of Florida and Amy Marie Judd, 25, of Idaho, are believed to be the two passengers who died in the plane crash on a remote hilltop area on the western side of the island, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said today.

    A search-and-rescue team found three burned bodies in a downed plane near Mt. Orizaba on Friday, a day after the aircraft took off in the rain from the island's Airport in the Sky bound for John Wayne Airport.

    Goldberg and Judd were tourists who had been traveling together and were staying at the Ritz-Carlton resort in Dana Point, said Orange County Sheriff's Department Spokesman Jim Amormino.

    The third victim, a male, has not officially been identified, but is believed to be the pilot of the small charter plane, Mark Hogland, 48, president of the Dana Point charter flight company SkyBlue USA.

    Goldberg and Judd were identified by their driver's licenses. Their bodies have not yet been examined.

    Hogland had a private pilot's license and an instrument rating that qualified him to fly during bad weather, Federal Aviation Administration records show, but he was not licensed to conduct charter flights.

    Twenty people have died in eight plane crashes coming in or out of Airport in the Sky in the last decade, including the three killed Thursday. Before that wreck, the most recent crash happened a little more than three months ago, when three people were killed in a crash off the end of the runway.

    -- Tony Barboza  

    Pilot killed in crash survived crash two years ago

    Friday, February 13, 2009

    KVUE News
    February 13th, 2009

    KVUE's Clara Tuma reports

    Austin pilot killed Thursday night in a plane crash near Houston escaped death in a similar crash in Georgetown two years ago, KVUE News has learned.

    This time Dan Williams and his wife Rheta did not make it, and investigators still don't know why. The couple leaves behind five children and dozens of friends mourning their loss.

    The plane left Austin Bergstrom International Airport at 4:44 p.m. Thursday. It crashed 40 minutes later in Montgomery County.

    Even after seeing the wreckage of the Williams' plane, it's still hard for friends to believe the couple is gone. Friend Chuck Reger says the business community in Austin is stunned by the deaths.

    "I've been in kind of denial all morning and didn't think it could be true," Reger said. "I'm still having trouble processing it. It's difficult to get my arms around."

    Dan Williams was an experienced pilot and Lt. Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol. He owns Austin H20 Plus, which provides services to owners of parking lots. Rheta Williams was a vice president at Schlosser Development and was active in commercial real estate.

    "She's a fixture at every function. I just expect to see her and it will be a big loss not to have her there. She's been a personal mentor to me, very supportive in my career," Reger said.

    Dozens of tributes are already posted at the Institute for Real Estate Management's website.

    The couple's twin-engine Beechcraft Baron plane crashed in a yard in Montgomery County Thursday afternoon. The cause is still unknown.

    This was the second crash in which Dan Williams was involved. Two years ago, he walked away from a crash near the Georgetown Municipal Airport.

    Reger says the couple was family-oriented and friendly to everyone and will be deeply missed.

    "It's been tough. It's been tough on everybody," he said.

    The Civil Air Patrol reports Dan Williams was an excellent pilot who even trained others to fly in difficult conditions. No one on the ground was injured in Thursday's crash.


    Police find remains near Puerto Rico plane crash
    The Associated Press

    Published: February 15, 2009

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico police say they found the mutilated remains of a woman floating in a seaside cave near the site of a small plane crash.

    Police spokeswoman Yaira Rivera says investigators believe the woman found Sunday in a cave under a cliff near the northwestern town of Camuy was one of the plane's passengers.

    The Cessna 206 plunged into the Atlantic about a half-mile (kilometer) off shore on Feb. 8 with six people aboard.

    Witnesses said they'd heard an engine struggling and saw an explosion.

    Authorities recovered the remains of one man last week amid heavy rain and high seas, but could not immediately identify him because he had been mutilated by sharks.

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    Making sense of plane crash that killed 6 from Chicago area

    American Polish Aero Club of Chicago mourns the loss of 4 members, 2 passengers

    Local Pilot Paulo Emanuele Killed in SM Plane Crash

    February 05, 2009

    Sue Pascoe , Staff Writer

    Paulo Emanuele, general manager of, died in a plane crash on Wednesday, January 28 at 5 p.m. as he attempted a takeoff from the Santa Monica Airport.

    The Pacific Palisades resident and father of a teenage daughter was piloting a red, two-seat Marchetti F260 when he lost power and then attempted to return to the airport. According to media reports, the plane went down at the west end of the runway and burst into flames, killing Emanuele, 46, and his passenger Martin Schaedel, 23, a Swedish business development consultant for the Web company

    No one on the ground was hurt. Eyewitness reports say that the plane may have encountered engine failure before crashing nose first into the runway. Following the crash, the airport was closed for takeoffs and landings. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.

    A spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was registered to Malibu-based Wingspan. The Web site that Emanuele managed,, has more than a million photographs of every type of airplane, including pictures of airplanes used by airlines that are no longer in business.

    There's a dedication page on that site, with the following tribute to Emanuele: 'He will be remembered for his passion, his kindness, and his love for life. Paulo was an amazing pilot, an amazing photographer, an amazing friend, and an amazing father.'

    A memorial for Emanuele was held at Corpus Christi Church on Tuesday this week.


    Wis. plane crash victim had adventurous streak

    Brett Weller took up snowboarding at age 40, rode in hot-air balloons and always was game for an adventure.

    Last update: February 2, 2009 - 5:53 AM

    Brett Weller and Laurence (Larry) Berg were good friends for years, but it wasn't until Friday that Weller finally had a chance to fly with Berg.

    The timing had never been right until that day, when Berg was to pilot a Cirrus SR20 to Sheboygan, Wis., to pick up his wife, Vicki, from her job as a traveling anesthetist.

    Weller "was excited to have an opportunity to fly with Larry," according to Weller's father, Bob, of Wausau, Wis. "They [the Bergs] were great people to be around."

    The three friends were flying back to New Richmond, Wis., when the plane crashed about 9:45 p.m. near Hwy. 25 and 770th Avenue, north of Menomonie.

    Weller, of Hudson, Wis., and Larry Berg, 51, and Vicki Berg, 53, both of Houlton, Wis., died at the scene. The plane wreckage was strewn across a field and wooded area.

    It's unclear what caused the crash. National Transportation Safety Board officials, who were on the scene over the weekend, said a preliminary report is expected within a week. Officials did not return calls Sunday seeking comment.

    Relatives reached at the Bergs' home declined to comment for this report.

    "We just don't know a heck of a lot," Bob Weller said of why the plane crashed.

    Brett Weller was so close to the Bergs that he had proposed to his wife at their cabin in Canada, his father said. The couple married in October, just months after Brett started a new job as an account manager at Kinziegreen Marketing Group of Wausau.

    "He was full of life," his father said. "A new job. A new wife. A new family. He was absolutely exuberant with what was going on."

    Weller turned 44 late last month, and never let age hold him down, said his mother, Mary. He took up snowboarding after he turned 40. He rode in hot-air balloons, owned a motorcycle and was always game for adventures, his parents said.

    "He just lit up a room," his mother said.

    Brett Weller grew up in the Wausau area, and loved living in Hudson, his parents said.

    His boss, Kirk Howard, said Weller's deep business ties in Hudson helped him accomplish a lot in his brief time with Kinziegreen. "He's just a likable guy," Howard said.

    Weller is survived by two brothers and a sister, his parents, his wife and his stepdaughter. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the O'Connell Funeral Home in Hudson, and funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Hudson.

    Chao Xiong • 612-673-4391

    Man Behind Aviation Web Site Dies In Plane Crash

    Paulo Emanuele Of Airliners.Net Killed In Calif.

    POSTED: 8:55 am MST January 29, 2009

    The general manager of one of the most popular aviation sites on the Web has died in a California plane crash.

    Paulo Emanuele, the new owner of, and another person died when his Marchetti F260 acrobatic plane lost power and crashed while attempting to return to the Santa Monica airport at about 5 p.m.

    The plane burned on impact, airport officials said The second person in the plane has not been identified.
    2 Flagstaff men killed in small-plane crash Drew Engelbart - Jan. 24, 2009 12:00 AM
    The Arizona Republic

    A small plane crashed near Flagstaff on Friday morning, leaving two people dead.

    The victims were identified as Frank Protiva, 47, and Thomas Moody, 58, both of Flagstaff, according to the Coconino County Sheriff's Department. The plane was owned and operated by Protiva.

    The crash occurred about a half-mile west of Interstate 17 and 11 miles south of Flagstaff, in the Willard Springs area, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    The single-engine Cessna 205 departed from the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport at 6:55 a.m., before the control tower opened. The plane's destination city was Yuma.

    A Department of Public Safety commander observed the plane going down around 7 a.m. The commander heard the plane sputtering, saw it strike a tree a short time later and then heard a loud crash, according to Coconino County Sheriff's Department spokesman Gerry Blair.

    A DPS helicopter flew over the area to try to locate the crash, but heavy fog obscured the crew's vision.

    Nearly 2 feet to 3 feet of snow also made it harder to find the aircraft's location.

    The reason for the crash was unknown.

    The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

    Russian plane crash investigation blames pilot
    Radio Netherlands, Netherlands - Feb 10, 2009
    Last September's plane crash in Russia in which 88 people died was mostly due to the pilot's poor training. The disaster investigation has also revealed ...
    Russia: Pilot Faulted in Crash That Killed 88 New York Times
    Pilot error blamed for fatal Russian air crash The Associated Press
    Alcohol, pilot confusion blamed for Russian crash that killed 88
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    FedEx plane crash
    Chicago Tribune, United States - Jan 27, 2009
    Although the FedEx plane caught on fire, the plane's two crew members walked away after the crash. James Loomis, the Lubbock Preston Smith International ...
    Details sketchy on cause of FedEx plane crash in Lubbock
    Two Pilots Walk Away From Plane Crash at LPSIA Tuesday KCBD-TV
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    Monday, January 26, 2009

    Victims of plane crash identified


    SEBRING -- The Highlands County Sheriff Office responded to a fatal plane crash early Sunday morning at the Sebring Regional Airport.

    According to Lt. Tim Lethbridge, officers were dispatched at 7:45 a.m. to investigate the crash of a single engine Remos Light Sport plane which came down during takeoff.

    Witnesses reported that the plane, flown by Mike Kostelac of Virginia, left the ground, immediately turned up on its side, and hit the tarmac area at the south end of the airfield.

    Kostelac was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition, and the passenger Steven Fletcher, a citizen of the United Kingdom according to Lt. Lethbridge, was killed in the crash.

    The cause of the crash is not known, and is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration, which was on the scene Sunday.

    Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board will also be looking into the cause of the crash, Lethbridge said.

    The Remos plane was part of the fifth annual U.S. Sport Aviation Expo at the airport, which hosted over 175 spaces were rented to vendors who were to open at 9 a.m., just minutes after the crash happened.

    Remos' main office is located just outside of Berlin in Germany, but lists a couple of dealers from the Sarasota and Tallahassee areas.

    Exhibits highlight aircraft operating under the Light Sports Aircraft rule and include fixed-wing, trikes, powered parachutes, motor-gliders and gyroplanes in addition to electronics and related products.


    Authorities: 3 dead in Wray plane crash, not 2


    Associated Press

    Investigators say they found a third body in the wreckage of a plane that crashed and burned while approaching the Wray airport.

    The National Transportation Safety Board said two people were listed on the flight plan. Investigators found the third body Saturday, two days after the crash, after inquiries from the victim's family.

    Yuma County officials on Tuesday identified the dead as 53-year-old David Carey, of Wray; 33-year-old Daniel Rojas, of Parker, and 32-year-old Zachary Hergott, of Denver. Hergott's body was discovered Saturday.

    The Gulfstream AC-90 was operated by J.W. Operating Co. of Addison, Texas.

    Controllers had cleared the plane for an instrument landing because of limited visibility in Wray, about 140 miles east of Denver.