Kenya Demands Probe As Plane Crash Kills 6 Over Somalia

 

Kenya’s foreign ministry Tuesday called for a swift investigation after a humanitarian plane helping the fight against coronavirus crashed in Somalia in “unclear” circumstances, killing all six people onboard.

The Kenyan private cargo plane was undertaking a humanitarian mission related to pandemic when it crashed Monday afternoon in Bardale district in southern Somalia, the ministry said.

Officials said at least six people were on board for the short flight from Baidoa to Bardale, some 300 kilometres (180 miles) northwest of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.

“The aircraft was about to land at the Bardale airstrip when it crashed and burst into flames. All six people on board died in the incident,” Abdulahi Isack, a local police official, told AFP by phone.

“We don’t know what exactly caused the aircraft carrying medical supplies to crash, but there is an investigation going on to establish the details.”

Kenya urged Somalia “to thoroughly and swiftly investigate the matter because it impacts humanitarian operations at a time of highest need”.

“The incident occurred under unclear circumstances,” the foreign ministry said in a statement, expressing its “deep shock and regret” and offering condolences to the families of the deceased.

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“Kenyan and other humanitarian aircraft operating in the region are also urged to enhance extra precaution in light of the unclear circumstances surrounding the incident,” the ministry said.

The Al-Shabaab militant group is active in southern Somalia, but the area where the crash occurred is under the control of government and Ethiopian troops.

Soldiers from Ethiopia and Kenya are among those deployed to Somalia as part of an African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission fighting the Islamist insurgents, who control swathes of countryside.

Major General Mohammed Tessema, spokesman for the Ethiopian National Defence Force, said he had no information about the crash and referred questions to “armed force commanders in Somalia”.

In a statement, Somalia’s transport and civil aviation ministry expressed its “deep regret” over the crash and said the government was conducting a “thorough investigation”.

It said the Embraer 120 twin-turboprop was operated by African Express, which is headquartered in Nairobi.

The crash comes amid strained ties between Kenya and Somalia.

Last month, Kenya accused Somali troops of an “unwarranted attack” over its border near Mandera, a northern outpost town, describing the incident as a provocation.

Somalia has meanwhile long accused its larger neighbour of meddling in its internal affairs, something Kenya has denied.

AFP

Four Children Among 18 Killed In Sudan Military Plane Crash

 

Four children were among 18 people killed Thursday when a Sudanese military transport plane crashed after takeoff from West Darfur state, an army spokesman said.

The plane crashed five minutes after takeoff from an airport in the state capital El Geneina, after delivering aid to the area, which had been hit by recent deadly tribal fighting.

“An Antonov 12 military plane crashed Thursday night after take off from El Geneina killing its seven-member crew, three judges and eight civilians, including four children, who were on board,” the spokesman Amer Mohammed Al-Hassan said.

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He said an investigation was underway to determine the cause of the crash.

Most of Sudan’s military and civilian fleet consists of old Soviet-made aircraft, and the country has suffered a series of crashes in recent years, with the military frequently blaming technical problems and bad weather.

Earlier a military source told AFP the plane had delivered aid to West Darfur which was rocked earlier this week by deadly tribal clashes.

At least 48 people have been killed and 241 wounded in that violence, according to Sudan’s Red Crescent.

It said the armed clashes broke out on Sunday night in El Geneina, and continued until Monday between Arab and African groups, with several houses torched.

AFP

Kazakhstan Observes Day Of Mourning After Fatal Plane Crash

This handout picture taken on December 27, 2019 and released by Kazakhstan's emergencies committee shows rescuers working at the site of a passenger plane crash outside Almaty. HO / Kazakhstan's emergencies committee / AFP
This handout picture taken on December 27, 2019 and released by Kazakhstan’s emergencies committee shows rescuers working at the site of a passenger plane crash outside Almaty. HO / Kazakhstan’s emergencies committee / AFP

 

Kazakhstan observed a national day of mourning on Saturday a day after 12 people died when an airliner crashed shortly after takeoff and slammed into a house.

The jet carrying nearly 100 passengers operated by budget carrier Bek Air was torn apart and its nose crushed on impact with a building in the country’s biggest city Almaty, but many onboard managed to walk away without serious injury.

In the capital Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan’s largest flag was at half-mast while officials made urgent appeals for blood donations to help injured survivors.

Neighbouring Russia and China were among the countries to join the Vatican and the European Union in expressing condolences to the former Soviet Central Asian republic.

Officials say the Fokker 100 plane’s tail hit the tarmac twice on Friday during take-off before it came down and crashed into the concrete building, splitting into two.

According to Kazakh emergency authorities, the 12 dead included the pilot. Another 47 passengers out of the 98 people onboard were still in hospital on Saturday. Nine of them were children, officials said.

An investigation has been opened into “violation of security regulations and air transport operating rules”. But the interior ministry is still examining possible causes for the accident.

According to the authorities, an inquiry should announce its first conclusions next month. But a dozen other Bek Air aircraft will be grounded in the meantime.

According to the industry ministry, the low-cost airline operates nine Fokker-100 type aircraft, a medium-haul model built by the Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker.

In March 2016, a Bek Air Fokker 100 with 116 passengers on board had to make an emergency landing at Nur-Sultan International Airport due to a landing gear problem, without causing injuries.

A Decade Of Plane Crashes In Residential Areas That Shook The World

A photo combination

 

A recap of the main plane crashes over the last decade in densely populated zones, after a small plane crashed into an area in the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, killing 23 people.

  • July 30, 2019: At least 18 people are killed when a small military plane crashes into a residential area in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad.
  • January 16, 2017: A Turkish cargo plane crashes into a village near Kyrgyzstan’s main airport, killing at least 38 people including 13 children and destroying houses after it had attempted landing in thick fog.

READ ALSO: Plane Crash Kills 23 At DR Congo City

  • June 30, 2015: An Indonesian military plane crashes shortly after takeoff and comes down in a residential area in Medan on the island of Sumatra, killing its 122 passengers and some 20 people on the ground. Several buildings are also torn apart.
  • November 30, 2012: A cargo plane crashes near the Republic of Congo’s Brazzaville’s airport, killing 32 people. All seven passengers are killed after the plane skidded off the runway when it landed in stormy weather, demolishing several homes before crashing into a ravine. The other victims were on the ground.
  • June 3, 2012: A devastating crash in Nigeria’s largest city Lagos kills 159 people including six people on the ground. The passenger jet came down in a neighbourhood in the north of the city after declaring a “mayday” and reporting both its engines having failed.
  • March 21, 2011: A cargo plane crashes down into a residential area of Pointe-Noire, the Republic of Congo’s economic capital, killing 23 people including 14 on the ground.

AFP

Five Killed In Ukraine Plane Crash

This handout photograph taken and released by The Ukrainian Emergency Ministry shows rescuers as they work at the plane crash site in a forest outside Lviv on October 4, 2019. At least five people have died when a transport plane crashed on October 4, 2019, while landing in western Ukraine, emergency services said. The Antonov-12 was transporting eight people on board and crash-landed 1.5 kilometres from the runway at Lviv airport. Handout / UKRANIAN EMERGENCY MINISTRY / AFP

 

Five people died when a transport plane crashed Friday while coming in to land in western Ukraine, emergency services said.

The Antonov-12 with eight people on board crash-landed 1.5 kilometres (just over a mile) from the runway at Lviv airport.

The surviving three passengers were hospitalised in a serious condition after being trapped in the wreckage, the emergency service said.

It added the aircraft was operated by Kiev-based company Ukraine Air Alliance and flying in from Vigo in Spain.

Deputy Infrastructure Minister Yuriy Lavrenyuk told Ukraine’s 112 TV channel that it was thought the plane had run out of fuel or a pilot had made a mistake.

The emergency services posted a picture of the plane with one wing ripped off.

 

AFP

18 Killed As Pakistan Army Plane Crashes Into Residential Area

Residents sit among the rubble of their destroyed house as soldiers cordon off the site where a Pakistani Army Aviation Corps aircraft crashed in Rawalpindi on July 30, 2019. Seventeen people were killed when a small military plane crashed into a residential area in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi early on July 30, officials told AFP, in the latest disaster to hit the country’s troubled aviation sector.
Aamir QURESHI / AFP

 

Eighteen people were killed when a small military plane crashed into a residential area in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi early Tuesday, officials told AFP.

The plane crashed into a poor village near an upscale neighbourhood in the garrison city that is home to the army’s headquarters, creating a fireball that lit up the night sky and terrified residents.

“We have taken 18 dead bodies to hospital… that included 13 civilians and five crew members,” said local rescue spokesman Farooq Butt, adding that a further 12 people had been injured in the accident near the capital Islamabad.

“All the bodies are badly burned, so DNA tests are required for identification,” he added.

One resident told AFP that the crash happened around 2 am.

“I woke to the sound of a huge explosion. I stepped out of my house and saw huge flames and we rushed to the site,” said Mohammad Sadiq.

“People were screaming. We tried to help them but the flames were too high and the fire too intense,” he said, adding he believed seven members of one family were among the dead.

Another resident Ghulam Khan said he heard the plane as it buzzed over his house, adding the aircraft appeared to be on fire before it crashed.

“The sound was so scary,” he added.

The military’s information wing said the plane was on a routine training mission when the accident occurred, adding that rescue officials had extinguished the fire caused by the crash and moved the injured to a local hospital.

An AFP reporter at the scene said smoke was still rising from the wreckage and destroyed homes, while pieces of the plane were visible on a nearby roof.

Hours after the crash rescue workers could be seen combing through the smouldering site, gathering debris and inspecting the scene while ambulances swarmed the area.

Military officials had also cordoned off the crash site while a crowd of residents stood nearby, some of them sobbing.

Prime Minister Imran Khan offered his condolences to the affected families and wished a “quick recovery for the injured”, according to a tweet by the Pakistani government.

Pakistan has a chequered aviation safety record, with frequent plane and helicopter crashes over the years.

In 2016, a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst into flames after one of its two turboprop engines failed while travelling from remote northern Pakistan to Islamabad, killing more than 40 people.

The deadliest air disaster on Pakistani soil was in 2010, when an Airbus 321 operated by private airline Airblue and flying from Karachi crashed into the hills outside Islamabad while coming in to land, killing all 152 on board.

Five Killed In Honduras Plane Crash

This handout picture shows Honduran firefighters at the site of an accident where a light plane crashed into the sea at the Isla Bonita Area, in Roatan, Honduras on May 18, 2019.  HO / Honduran Firefighters / AFP

 

Four Canadians and an American pilot died Saturday when their small plane plunged into the sea off the Honduran island of Roatan where they were vacationing, firefighters said.

The plane crashed near the town of Dixon Cove, a few minutes after taking off from the island’s airport, rescuers said.

The dead were identified as Bradley Post, Bailey Sony, Tomy Dubler, and pilot Patrick Forseth. The other Canadian pilot, Anthony Dubler, briefly survived the crash but died at the Roatan hospital of his injuries.

The causes of the crash and the registration information for the aircraft were not immediately available.

It occurred as the tourists were headed toward the city of Trujillo, about 77 kilometers (48 miles) from Roatan.

AFP

Two Killed In Dubai Plane Crash

 

The pilot and co-pilot of a small plane were killed in a crash Thursday, causing delays at Dubai airport, the emirate’s government media office said.

“An accident involving a small plane with four passengers occurred resulting in the death of the pilot and his assistant,” it said in a statement.

The small Diamond Aircraft, owned by US tech giant Honeywell, crashed due to a technical malfunction, it said.

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“All operations at the Dubai airport are running smoothly after a slight delay and diversion of some flights as a precautionary measure to ensure security,” it added.

Dubai’s international airport is one of the world’s busiest aviation hubs.

41 Believed Dead In Russian Plane Disaster

This handout picture taken and realeased on May 5, 2019, by the Investigative Committee of Russia shows a fire of a Russian-made Superjet-100 at Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow. The Interfax agency reported that the plane, a Russian-made Superjet-100, had just taken off from Sheremetyevo airport on a domestic route when the crew issued a distress signal. At least one person died according to Russian agencies.
HO / RUSSIAN INVESTIGATIVE COMMITTEE / AFP

 

Forty-one people are believed to have died after a Russian passenger plane made an emergency landing at Moscow’s busiest airport and caught fire, investigators said on Sunday.

“There were 78 people including crew members on board the plane,” the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

“According to the updated info which the investigation has as of now, 37 people survived.”

AFP

Embattled Boeing Unveils Fix To Flight System After Deadly Crashes

RENTON, WA – MARCH 27: A Boeing 737 MAX airplane is pictured on the company’s production line on March 27, 2019, in Renton, Washington. Stephen Brashear/Getty Images/AFP

 

Embattled aviation giant Boeing pledged on Wednesday to do all it can to prevent crashes like the two that killed nearly 350 people in recent months, as it unveiled a fix to the flight software of its grounded 737 MAX aircraft.

Boeing gathered hundreds of pilots and reporters to unveil the changes to the MCAS stall prevention system, which has been implicated in the tragedies in Ethiopia and Indonesia, as part of a charm offensive to restore the company’s reputation.

“We are going to do everything to make sure that accidents like this don’t happen again,” Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s vice president of product strategy, told reporters at a factory in Washington.

Meanwhile, the head of the US air safety agency faced harsh questions from senators over its relationship with and oversight of Boeing.

Dan Elwell, the acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration, defended his agency but acknowledged that as systems become more complex, the FAA’s “oversight approach needs to evolve.”

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and other top officials were also on the hot seat on Capitol Hill.

Boeing chief Dennis Muilenburg was not called to the Senate hearing, but is expected to testify at a later date.

Ahead of the tough questioning, the company launched a campaign to convince the flying public that it is addressing the issues with the 737 MAX, including a fix to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) implicated in the deadly crashes.

At the company’s massive factory in Renton, Washington, Boeing unveiled the software changes and offered reassurances.

Sinnett said it will take only about an hour to install the updates and they can begin as soon as regulators authorize the changes, which were developed “after months of testing and hundreds of hours.”

Authorization pending

The MCAS, which makes the aircraft dive in order to regain speed if it detects a stall or loss of airspeed, was developed specifically for the 737 MAX, which has a heavier engine than its predecessor, the 737 NG.

Among the changes, the MCAS will no longer repeatedly make corrections when the pilot tries to regain control, and will be automatically disconnected in the event of disagreements between the two “angle of attack” (AOA) sensors, the company said.

This is a major change because until the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy earlier this month, the MCAS was set to react to information from a single sensor and would repeatedly override pilot corrections.

The initial investigation into the Lion Air crash in Indonesia in October found that one of the AOA sensors failed but continued to transmit erroneous information to the MCAS.

Boeing also will install a warning feature — at no cost — called a “disagree light” to indicate to the pilot when the left and right AOA sensors are out of sync.

The company also is revising pilot training, including for those already certified on the 737, to provide “enhanced understanding of the 737 MAX” flight system and crew procedures.

US pilots complained after the Lion Air crash that they had not been fully briefed on the system.

‘Directly involved’

In Washington, US aviation regulators faced questions about how certification for the MAX was handled.

Lawmakers also want to know why officials did not immediately ground the aircraft after an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 crashed shortly after takeoff near Addis Ababa on March 10, killing all 157 people onboard.

The delay has given rise to suspicions of a too-cozy relationship between regulators and the American planemaker, especially since Chinese and European authorities moved quickly to ban the planes as soon as similarities with the Lion Air crash were raised.

The FAA — which delegates some certification procedures to Boeing, including for parts of the MAX — was “directly involved” in the safety review of the MCAS, Elwell said.

“The certification process was detailed and thorough,” but “time yields more data,” he added.

A Boeing official meanwhile said there was no need to revamp a regulatory process that has “continued to lead to safer and safer airplanes.”

At a separate hearing, Chao said she was “concerned about any allegations of coziness with any company,” but noted that allowing Boeing to handle some of its own safety certifications was necessary because the FAA “can’t do it on their own.”

She said she has ordered the Transportation Department’s inspector general, Calvin Scovel, to investigate the MAX certification, and Scovel, in turn, noted various concerns with FAA inspectors and procedures.

In his prepared testimony, he called on the agency to tighten oversight of companies that self-certify.

But a Boeing official countered that wholesale changes were not needed, saying: “In general, the process has worked and continues to work, and we see no reason to overhaul the process.”

AFP

French Investigators Receive Black Boxes From Crashed Boeing 737 MAX

A Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplane (file photo) Credit: AFPs

 

French investigators have received the black boxes from the Boeing 737 MAX that crashed east of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, killing all 157 people on board, France’s BEA airline safety agency said Thursday.

Ethiopian authorities had requested French help to analyse the content of the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder to discover what caused the Ethiopian Airlines flight to plunge to the ground just minutes after takeoff on Sunday.

AFP

Boeing 737 Crash: Airplanes ‘Too Complex To Fly’, Says Trump

US President Donald Trump/ AFP

 

As investigators probe the latest deadly crash of Boeing’s bestselling airliner, US President Donald Trump weighed in Tuesday with his own explanation: modern planes are too complicated for pilots.

“Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly,” he tweeted, adding that instead of pilots, the planes require “computer scientists from MIT.”

“I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Albert Einstein to be my pilot. I want great flying professionals that are allowed to easily and quickly take control of a plane!” Trump added in a second tweet.

READ ALSO: Boeing 737 MAX Planes Banned From British Airspace

“I see it all the time in many products,” the president continued. “Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better.”

Trump’s technical analysis came two days after a new Boeing 737 MAX 8 belonging to Ethiopian Airlines went down minutes into a flight to Nairobi, killing all 157 aboard.

In October, a Lion Air jet of the same model crashed in Indonesia, killing 189.

AFP