13 Feared Dead As Private Jet Crashes In Mexico

View of a Bombardier Challenger 605 aircraft to be auctioned by Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during the Aerospace Fair 2019 at the Santa Lucia military airbase in Zumpango, Mexico state, Mexico on April 26, 2019.
Pedro PARDO / AFP

 

The wreckage of a private jet that disappeared while flying from Las Vegas to Monterrey, in northern Mexico, was found Monday, with no sign that any of the 13 people on board survived, officials said.

Air-traffic controllers said they lost contact with the Bombardier Challenger 601 jet Sunday evening, after it abruptly lost altitude over the state of Coahuila, in northern Mexico.

“On an overflight of the area, (officials) sighted the remains of the aircraft in a mountainous, difficult-to-access area in the municipality of Ocampo, Coahuila,” the state public security ministry said in a statement.

“No survivors were observed.”

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Images of the wreckage on Mexican TV showed the badly charred and shattered remains of the fuselage, with only the wings and tail left intact.

A state aviation official had initially said there were 11 passengers on board the plane, but the ministry corrected the figure to 10, plus three crew: the pilot, the copilot and a flight attendant.

According to Mexican media reports, authorities believe the charter jet was flying a group of passengers back from Saturday night’s middleweight title fight in Las Vegas, in which Mexican boxer Saul “Canelo” Alvarez defeated Daniel Jacobs of the United States.

Its destination was the wealthy industrial city of Monterrey, in Nuevo Leon state, which borders Coahuila.

It is a three-hour flight from Las Vegas, in the US state of Nevada, to Monterrey.

Authorities said bad weather could have played a part in the crash.

“There has been a lot of atmospheric activity and instability recently. Over the past four days, we’ve had rainstorms, hail and winds with gusts of more than 60 kilometres (37 miles) per hour,” Francisco Martinez, Coahuila’s deputy public safety minister, told TV network Milenio.

AFP

U.S. Pastor Appeals For Donations To Acquire $54m Private Jet

United States Pastor, Jesse Duplantis

 

An American televangelist is appealing for donations to fund the purchase of a $54 million business jet, saying that if Jesus was still preaching he “wouldn’t be riding a donkey.”

Jesse Duplantis, 68, whose Christian ministry is based in Louisiana, made the appeal for a Dassault Falcon 7X jet in a video for his followers.

Jesse Duplantis Ministries has already gone through three private planes, “burning them up for the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said.

“Now some people believe that preachers shouldn’t have jets,” he said in the video. “I really believe that preachers oughta have and go on every available voice, every available outlet to get this gospel preached to the world.”

Duplantis said he needs the jet “so we can go anywhere in the world one stop” and he recounted a conversation he said he had with God about needing the plane.

“He said, ‘Jesse, you wanna come up where I’m at?'” Duplantis said. “And I said, ‘What do you mean?’

“He said, ‘I want you to believe in me for a Falcon 7X,'” Duplantis said.

“I can’t live long enough to travel by car, or by ship, or by train, but I can do it by an airplane,” he said.

“I really believe that if Jesus was physically on the Earth today he wouldn’t be riding a donkey,” he said. “He’d be in an airplane preaching the gospel all over the world.”

The eight-passenger Falcon 7X can fly from Paris to Tokyo or Shanghai to Seattle on a single tank of fuel.

AFP

Lebanon Charges Saudi Prince With Drug Smuggling

lebanon-A Saudi Prince and nine other people have been charged with drug smuggling in Lebanon.

They were arrested after two tones of Captagon pills were found in cases being loaded on a private jet.

The pills, which typically contain amphetamine and caffeine, are consumed widely in the Middle East.

The drug was first produced in the 1960s, to treat hyperactivity, narcolepsy and depression. But it was banned in most countries by the 1980s, because it was too addictive.

Reps Order Aviation Authority To Submit List Of All Private Jets In Nigeria

The House of Representatives on Tuesday ordered federal aviation authorities to immediately submit a comprehensive list of all private jets in Nigeria, at a hearing on the controversial grounding of a Rivers State-owned aircraft.

A House Joint Committee on Justice and Aviation agreed that the list, which must contain identification of all private jets in the country, names of owners, agents, expiration dates of clearances and licences and other vital data, be made available in two days.

“Let us have a register of titles of all registered private aircraft in Nigeria including those on ad-hoc basis. If anyone is confidential, indicate so,” the Chairman of the House Committee on Justice, Ali Ahmad, said.

The order came after the lawmakers listened to conflicting testimonies from federal government officials, including the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, and Rivers State officials, led by the Secretary to the State Government, George Feyii.

The federal government stuck to its position that the Rivers State government had not established its ownership of the aircraft, since the plane was registered in the name of a U.S. bank.

Again, Rivers State’s claim that Caverton Helicopters was in charge of its interest in the aircraft, requesting and securing necessary clearances, was denied by the helicopter firm.

Caverton agreed it was in partnership with the state initially, but said the cooperation ended since August 2012.

Rivers State has claimed the purchase and operational plan agreement it entered into with the Utah bank and Caverton, which the government has cited as reason for banning the plane, was common with other owners of private jets in the country.

The House of Representatives hearing follows the controversial grounding of the Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s private jet due to the “status of the controversial aircraft” by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) last month.

The NCAA had said the aircraft is “operating illegally in the country.”

The Rivers State government, however, claimed the plane was grounded over “vague issues” saying the governor’s pilot had filed all the right papers.

Understanding Nigeria Aviation Reforms

The Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, said on Wednesday that the aviation industry is anticipating a passenger volume of 15 to 20 million by the year 2020.

The Minister said Nigeria, after China and Japan, ranked in terms of passenger volume and is expected to keep growing at a rate of nine to 10 per cent annually.

Ms. Oduah said that aviation policies must be tailored to address the contemporary socio-economic development of the government; adding that the revised National Civil Aviation Policy, NCAP, would be responsive and adaptable to new safety, security and technology dynamics of the global aviation industry.

She said this included the strengthening of the existing regulatory framework and facilitating the growth of domestic airlines, the setting up of the National Carrier, and the development of aerotropoli.

In this interview on Channels Television’s weekend programme, Sunrise, the Director Airworthiness Standards in the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Benedict Adeyileka and a Development Consultant, Emeka Okengwu examine the impact of the aviation reforms on the Nigerian economy.