March 4, 2021

UPDATED: 3rd Airline crash in 1 week:

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_76524231_765242303rd Airline crash in 1 week: Algeria airliner feared crashed on flight from Burkina Faso/ Taiwan plane crash toll reaches 48

UPDATE:  AH5017: ‘No survivors’ from crash in

From BBC

There are no survivors from the Air Algerie AH5017 passenger jet that crashed in Mali, says the French President, Francois Hollande.

Mr Hollande said one flight data recorder had been recovered, after French troops reached the crash site near Mali’s border with Burkina Faso.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane early on Thursday after pilots reported severe storms.

Almost half of the 116 people on board were French, including a family of 10.

The McDonnell Douglas MD-83 had been chartered from Spanish airline, Swiftair. It was flying from Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, to Algiers.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told French radio network RTL that “the aircraft was destroyed at the moment it crashed”.

“We think the aircraft crashed for reasons linked to the weather conditions, although no theory can be excluded at this point,” he said.

A team of 100 French soldiers, with 30 vehicles, had travelled to the crash site on Friday, a French defence ministry official said.

For more:

Algeria airliner feared crashed on flight from Burkina Faso

From BBC

The BBC’s Alex Duval-Smith in Mali says there was “very bad weather” in the area, as well as “armed groups”

A passenger plane carrying 116 people is feared to have crashed on a flight from Burkina Faso to the Algerian capital Algiers.

Contact with the Air Algerie flight was lost over the Sahara as it crossed Mali in bad weather, officials said.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the plane, which has 50 French citizens aboard, “probably crashed”.

French media reported that soldiers had found wreckage in Tilemsi, central Mali, but this was not confirmed.

Contact with Flight AH 5017, chartered from Spanish airline Swiftair, was lost about 50 minutes after take-off from Ouagadougou, Air Algerie said.

The pilot had contacted Niger’s control tower in Niamey to change course because of a sandstorm, officials say.

BBC West Africa correspondent Thomas Fessy says the route is well used by French travellers.

Air Algerie spokesperson Houari Zuhair confirms “contact was lost”

Speaking in , Mr Fabius said: “Despite intensive search efforts no trace of the aircraft has yet been found. The plane probably crashed.”

He said two French Mirage fighter planes were scouring the area.

Earlier, an Algerian official told Reuters that the plane had crashed, but gave no further details.

France’s civil aviation body said crisis centres had been set up at airports in Paris and Marseilles

An Air Algerie spokesman quoted by Reuters said the provisional passenger list included 50 French citizens, 24 people from Burkina Faso, eight Lebanese, four Algerians, two from Luxembourg, one Belgian, one Swiss, one Nigerian, one Cameroonian, one Ukrainian and one Romanian.

Crisis centre set up in Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris. 24 July 2014 A crisis centre has been set up in Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris

Ouagadougou airport in Burkina Faso. 24 July 2014 The passenger plane had taken off from Ouagadougou airport in Burkina Faso

Officials in Lebanon, however, said there were at least 10 Lebanese citizens on the flight.

The six crew members are Spanish, according to the Spanish pilots’ union.

UN troops in Mali say they understand the plane came down between Gao and Tessalit, the BBC’s Alex Duval Smith in the Malian capital Bamako reports.

She says the search area is vast, with few roads, and there is rebel activity. Added to that, sandstorms make visibility in the Sahara poor for at least a day, she adds.

“In keeping with procedures, Air Algerie has launched its emergency plan,” Air Algerie officials, quoted by APS news agency (in French), said.

The BBC’s Alex Duval Smith reports on the sandstorms which have been affecting the area where the plane disappeared

Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal reportedly told Algerian radio: “The plane disappeared at Gao (in Mali), 500km (300 miles) from the Algerian border.”

Burkina Faso Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedraogo said the plane sent its last message at around 01:30 GMT, asking air traffic controllers in Niger to change its route because of bad weather.

In a statement (in Spanish), Swiftair said that the aircraft was a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 and that they were unable to establish contact with it.

An Algerian official had previously told Reuters that the plane was an Airbus A320.

An unnamed Air Algerie company source, speaking to AFP news agency, said: “The plane was not far from the Algerian frontier when the crew was asked to make a detour because of poor visibility and to prevent the risk of collision with another aircraft on the Algiers-Bamako route.”

“Contact was lost after the change of course.”

Flight AH 5017 flies the Ouagadougou-Algiers route four times a week, AFP reported.

Chris Yates, aviation analyst, said the aircraft was “relatively elderly”

Twin rear-engine, short-medium range airliner

More powerful version of the MD-80 type, based on earlier DC-9

Range: 4,637km (2,881 miles)

Capacity: 172 passengers

First flew: 1984

For more on this story and to see video go to:

_76472227_taiwan_plane_crash_624mapTaiwan plane crash: Toll hits 48 as families visit scene

From BBC

Forty-eight people are now known to have died after a passenger plane crashed in Taiwan’s Penghu archipelago, amid stormy weather in the area.

The plane, carrying 58 people, crashed into buildings after a failed attempt to land at Magong airport.

The other 10 people on board were hurt. Two French nationals were among the dead, officials said. No crew members are thought to have survived.

Family members were flying to Penghu on Thursday, Taiwan media said.

Minister of Transportation Yeh Kuang-shih and aviation officials also flew to the island to start an investigation into the disaster, Taiwan’s CNA news agency said.

The ATR-72 TransAsia Airways plane crashed as it flew from Taiwan’s southern city of Kaohsiung to Penghu, a popular tourist destination in the Taiwan Strait.

_76472494_76472493Magong is the main city in Penghu, which consists of a main island and several smaller islands off the west coast of Taiwan.

It was Taiwan’s first fatal air crash in more than a decade and came after Typhoon Matmo struck, bringing torrential rain and high wind.

The plane crashed on its second attempt to land at the airport. It lost contact with controllers after telling them it was going around again. The aircraft then came down in Xixi village outside the airport.

“I heard a loud bang,” TV station TBS quoted a local resident as saying. “I thought it was thunder, and then I heard another

bang and I saw a fireball not far away from my house.”

Images late on Wednesday night showed firefighters dousing flames at the scene and and using torches to rescue injured passengers.

Five Penghu residents were injured on the ground but by Thursday morning all had been discharged from hospital, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said.

Official said visibility at the time of the crash was 1,600m (one mile) and within acceptable standards for landing, despite the storm.

Airline representative Phoebe Lu told the Associated Press news agency that TransAsia suspected that typhoon weather had caused the crash but was awaiting the results of the investigation.

But Jean Shen, director of the CAA, said nine flights travelled that route between 14:00 and 19:00 on Wednesday.

“The weather reports showed it was totally OK for landing. We can not say for sure what went wrong at this point,” Reuters news agency quoted her as saying.

The transport minister, meanwhile, addressed questions over why the flight was allowed to go ahead.

“Many people were questioning why the plane took off in typhoon weather… according to my understanding the meteorology data showed that it met the aviation safety requirements,” Mr Yeh said.

‘Very sad day’

TransAsia, a private airline, flies domestic routes in Taiwan and international routes in North and South-East Asia. It has apologised and says it will compensate relatives of those on board.

TransAsia said the pilot had 22 years of experience and the co-pilot had two and a half years. But it says it will have to wait for analysis of flight data from the black box to determine who was flying the plane.

In a statement, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou called it a “very sad day in the history of Taiwan aviation”.

This is Taiwan’s worst aviation disaster since May 2002, when a China Airlines flight from Taipei to Hong Kong crashed near Penghu, killing all 225 on board.

By Cindy Sui, BBC News, Taiwan

The crash is the worst disaster TransAsia has experienced since the company was founded in 1951 as Taiwan’s first private civil airline. But the air carrier had suffered at least one other accident in the same area a few years ago.

That accident happened on 21 December 2002 when a cargo flight travelling from Taipei to Macau crashed into the sea off Magong city. The two crew members were killed. The Aviation Safety Council of Taiwan found that the crash was caused by ice accumulation on the plane and the flight crew not being sufficiently alert to the problem.

Besides domestic routes, TransAsia has been expanding into short-haul international flights including to mid-tier cities in mainland China and also South East Asia. Earlier this year, it announced the creation of a sister airline, Taiwan’s first budget carrier.

Its fleet consists of more than 20 airplanes, with an average fleet age of 10 years, which is considered normal for Taiwan. The fleet includes six ATR 72-500, one of which was involved in the crash. That plane was 13 years old. The airline said the latest crash was weather-related but did not elaborate.


Rescue workers survey the wreckage of TransAsia Airways Flight GE222 on the Taiwanese island of Penghu on 24 July 2014 The plane came down in buildings in a village near Magong airport in Penghu

This vehicle – photographed in torrential rain – was covered in rubble caused by the crash on Penghu


A vehicle is covered in rubble from the wreckage from a Taiwan domestic airline that crashed while attempting to land in typhoon weather on the island of Penghu

For more on this story and to see video go to:





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