Colombia Plane Crash Takes 71 Lives | November 30, 2016
A Colombia plane crash has left soccer fans in Brazil in mourning, after 71 people-including members of a professional Brazilian soccer team-were killed. The British Aerospace Avro RJ85, crashed on November 28, 2016, in the Andes mountains near Rionegro, Colombia, while carrying members of the Chapecoense soccer club to an important match. Also killed in the tragic international plane accident were team coaches, journalists and other guests.
Alaskan Mid-air Plane Crash and Airport Crash Kill Six | August 31, 2016
This month in Alaska, two fatal plane crashes claimed the lives six people. On August 13, the pilot of a small plane was killed when his plane crashed near Birchwood Airport in Chugiak. Then weeks later on August 31, two small planes collided in western Alaska, killing five people. Investigators are piecing together what caused both crashes.
Fatal Anchorage Plane Crash the Second in Alaska This Month | April 20, 2016
Authorities are currently investigating two fatal plane crashes that occurred in the state of Alaska in recent days. The first crash happened on April 8, just south of Juneau. The second, an Anchorage plane crash, was just reported today.
Tennessee Helicopter Crash Kills Pilot, Four Tourists | April 24, 2016
A Tennessee helicopter crash killed five people on Monday afternoon. The fatal crash was reported at around 3:30 p.m. in the town of Pigeon Forge, which is perhaps best known for being the home of Dollywood theme park on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Medical Helicopter Crash in Central California Kills Four, Including Patient | December 10, 2015
A SkyLife medical helicopter transporting a patient to a central California hospital crashed in heavy fog on Thursday night, killing all four people on board. The Bell 407 helicopter with tail number N408FC crashed in the wilderness just outside the town of McFarland.
Officials say the medical helicopter was transporting a patient from Porterville Municipal Airport to the San Joaquin Community Hospital in Bakersfield, a flight that should take roughly 10 minutes under normal circumstances.
A search team found a debris field based on the medical helicopter’s last known coordinates at around 8:45 p.m. It took officials roughly 90 minutes to reach the site of the crash, as fog and darkness hampered search and rescue attempts. At around 10:00 p.m., the search and rescue team confirmed that they had indeed found the missing SkyLife medical helicopter.
The pilot, along with the flight nurse, flight paramedic, and the patient were all confirmed dead at the scene by emergency responders. The victims have not been identified, pending notification of next of kin.
What is SkyLife?
According to the company website, SkyLife Air Ambulance is a partnership between American Ambulance and Roger’s Helicopters. The company has been providing air medical transportation for critically ill trauma and medical patients since 1991.
SkyLife transports an estimated 1,000 patients annually from airports in Fresno and Visalia.
The SkyLife Medical Helicopter Crash Victims
Officials have said the SkyLife helicopter was staffed by a seasoned flight crew that had been working together for some time. American Ambulance president and CEO Todd Valeri told the media that the company is “absolutely devastated” after hearing the dreadful news. The company’s 600 employees were actually gathered for a Christmas party when the word got out about the fatal medical helicopter crash.
“We’re just consoling one another, telling stories, crying,” Valeri told NBC News. The company is still working to inform the families of all the victims.
Mid-Air Collision Between F-16 Fighting Falcon and Small Plane Leaves Father and Son Dead | July 8, 2015
A mid-air collision between a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon and a Cessna 150 killed the passenger and pilot of the smaller single-engine airplane. The fatal crash was reported on Tuesday morning at around 11:00 a.m. in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, about 20 miles north of Charleston. The pilot of the fighter jet, Major Aaron Johnson, safely ejected from his aircraft and did not sustain any serious injuries.
Witnesses reported seeing the F-16 broadside the small plane, causing debris to rain down onto an RV park. No injuries were reported on the ground, but the Cessna was demolished in the crash.
According to Yahoo! News, Major Johnson is with the 55th Fighter Squadron stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter. Military officials said at a press conference that the fighter pilot was practicing instrument approaches into Charleston Air Force Base at the time of the collision. Major Johnson was in communication with Charleston air traffic controllers during the training exercise.
Officials searched for hours on Tuesday looking for the bodies of the two men reportedly aboard the Cessna, but couldn’t find either victim. On Wednesday, Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury told reporters that a search team had found the body of 68-year-old Michael Johnson, who was a passenger aboard the Cessna. The body of his 30-year-old son, Joseph, is still missing. Joseph was reportedly flying the plane when the collision occurred.
At this time, it is unclear if Joseph Johnson had filed a flight plan, though Berkeley County officials said Johnson indicated that he and his father were flying to Myrtle Beach.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has dispatched a team to investigate Tuesday’s fatal plane crash. Investigators expect to issue a preliminary report in about a week. A full report could take up to a year to complete.
Investigators now believe that Germanwings Flight 4U9525 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was alone in the cockpit when he deliberately initiated the airliner’s descent and crash into the French Alps. The Germanwings crash, which killed Lubitz and 149 others, is now being widely reported as a murder-suicide. An airline spokesman told the media that Lubitz was “100 percent fit to fly without any caveats.” But according to records obtained by the media, Lubitz’s training was interrupted six years ago due to burnout and depression. He was later allowed to return to his training after his suitability had been reestablished. Investigators searching Lubitz’s home believe they have found evidence of mental illness, but have not found a suicide note.
Bodies of AirAsia Victims Found Along With Debris | December 30, 2014
Officials spotted six bodies in the Java Sea on Tuesday, roughly six miles away from AirAsia Flight 8501’s last known communication. Flight QZ8501 and its 162 people onboard disappeared from radar on Sunday morning after the pilots asked air traffic controllers to change their altitude amid bad weather. Controllers denied their request, citing heavy air traffic.
Three of the six bodies were recovered and brought aboard an Indonesian navy ship. The bodies were reportedly swollen with no life jackets on. Soon after the first six were discovered, other search teams began reporting more and more bodies floating off the coast of the island of Borneo. The French media has reported that upwards of 40 bodies have been recovered, though according to CBS News, that report has not yet been confirmed.
The bodies were found after search and rescue teams located red, white and back debris believed to be from the plane itself. Search crews also reported seeing a large shadow underwater, which they believe to be the downed aircraft. The plane’s location, as well as the bodies and debris were found in waters believed to be roughly 200 feet deep, so recovering the wreckage should not prove too difficult.
Families of those on QZ8501 congregated in Surabaya could only look on in horror as Indonesian television showed images of the first body being removed from the Java Sea waters. Some family members went into hysterics upon seeing the graphic footage.
AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes took to Twitter on Tuesday after some of the bodies were found, expressing sadness to all the families who lost loved ones. Later when speaking to reporters, Fernandes said he is confident that officials know “more or less” where the aircraft is. “It’s not missing anymore,” he said.
International Investigators Finally Reach MH17 Crash Site | July 31, 2014
A team of police and forensic specialists from the Netherlands and Australia have finally reached the site Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash. Efforts to reach the MH17 crash site had been delayed for several days as fighting between pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian military continued in the wake of the tragedy. At least 10 soldiers in the Ukrainian military were killed in an ambush led by pro-Russian separatists not far from the MH17 crash site. The ambush came only a few hours before the foreign investigators arrived, at a time when both sides had agreed to a cease-fire around the crash site. The foreign investigators are expected to begin their work by retrieving more human remains as well as collect the belongings of victims. According to the Guardian, the precise number of remains left at the crash site is still unclear.
Air Algerie AH5017 Crashes in Mali | July 24, 2014
Kidal, Mali — An Air Algerie flight bound for Algeria crashed early Thursday morning in remote part of Mali. Flight 5017 had at least 116 people onboard when it departed from a Burkina Faso airport bound for Algeria. Air Algerie has confirmed that 50 of the passengers are French citizens. Other passengers aboard the AH5017 are citizens of Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Algeria, Canada, Germany, Luxembourg, Mali, Cameroon, Belgium, Ukraine, Romania, Switzerland, Nigeria and Egypt. The six-person flight crew are all citizens of Spain. U.S. State Department officials have said they are not aware of any Americans on the flight.
Authorities believe the MD-83 plane went down between the towns of Kidal and Gao amid a heavy thunderstorm. According to USA Today, the search for the downed plane presents a problem, as the area has been plagued with separatist violence. As of now, French forces – including two fighter planes – are canvassing the area aiding in the search for the missing aircraft. According to CNN, personnel from the United Nations and Algeria are also assisting.
47 Feared Dead in TransAsia Airways Plane Crash | July 23, 2014
Penghu, Taiwan — TransAsia Airways Flight GE222 crashed Wednesday evening on its way to Penghu Magong airport. There were 54 passengers and 4 crew onboard. Due to heavy rains caused by a typhoon, the pilot attempted to make an emergency landing in an airport located in Xixi Village. The 14-year-old aircraft, according to the CAA, was reported to have been experiencing technical failures which prevented the plane from properly landing. Officials are saying that 47 people were killed and 11 were hospitalized with severe injuries. Typhoon Matmo caused 30,000 homes to lose power, while producing astonishing winds of up to 67 miles-per-hour.
Malaysia Airlines MH17 Shot Down Killing All 298 People Aboard | July 17, 2014
Grabovo, Ukraine — According to US intelligence reports, it appears that Pro-Russian separatists shot down a Boeing 777-200 passenger airplane over eastern Ukraine on Thursday. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was at 33,000 feet, on its way to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam with 298 people onboard, when it was shot down. It crashed near the town of Gravobo. Efforts to begin an unbiased, independent investigation have been hampered by the militants near the crash site. Civil aviation authorities need access to the crash site to ensure a proper investigation is conducted. The grieving family members should not be left in the dark. It is no benefit to anyone to fail to keep them from understanding the truth.
Four friends, including billionaire Lewis Katz, were killed on May 31, 2014, when the Gulfstream G-IV they were flying in, crashed during take-off at the airport in Bedford, Massachusetts. The group was flying back to New Jersey after attending a fundraiser in Boston at the home of author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.
The two pilots and a flight attendant also perished in the crash. The NTSB reports that a witness stated that the plane never left the ground, before crashing and catching fire. Weather does not appear to be a factor in the crash, which occurred at about 9:40 p.m.
Nearly two months have passed since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing, and there are still more questions about the jumbo jet’s disappearance than there are answers. On March 8, the Boeing 777-200ER plane departed from Kuala Lumpur at 12:41 a.m. with 239 people on board. It was scheduled to land at 6:30 a.m. local time in Beijing. Roughly an hour and twenty minutes into the flight, communication with the plane was lost. Prior to losing contact, the pilots did not communicate any problems to the air traffic controllers, nor did they issue any sort of distress signal.
The multinational search and rescue effort, later reported as the largest in history, began in the Gulf of Thailand and eventually expanded to the South China Sea, the Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea. On March 15, military radar data and satellite pings shifted the focus of the search to the southern part of the Indian Sea, with efforts coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. Two independent analyses by the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch and Inmarsat later concluded “beyond any reasonable doubt” that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went down somewhere in the southern part of the Indian Ocean with no survivors. If the official assumption proves true, the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 incident would be the 17th deadliest aviation accident in history.
Alaska Plane Crash Kills Four, Injures Six | December 1, 2013
On the night of November 29, 2013 a Hageland Aviation Services Cessna 209B Caravan commuter plane crashed near St. Mary’s, Alaska, killing the pilot and three passengers. Heroic efforts by one of the surviving passengers likely saved the lives of the other injured passengers. Weather was likely a factor in this crash, but it will not be known for certain how much of a factor until the NTSB completes their investigation and a full report is released.
Alaska is known for its potentially bad and fickle flying weather. Because most of Alaska is wilderness, on-the-ground weather reporting stations are far apart. Pilots often take off for a destination where the weather is reportedly fine, only to find poor and hazardous conditions upon arrival.
The availability of up to date aviation weather reporting is changing for the better in Alaska. Satellites and other electronic aids are making possible better and faster updates to pilots. Still, it is ultimately the pilot who must make the decision on whether the conditions he encounters during the flight make continuation of the flight safe, or too dangerous to continue.
Air Taxi Crash in Alaska Kills All 10 Onboard | July 8, 2013
A small plane taxiing two South Carolina families to a Lake Clark, Alaska lodge crashed presumably while taking off from an airport in Soldotna. All nine passengers and the pilot, an Alaska native, were killed in the crash, which occurred at around 11:20 a.m. Sunday morning.
Melet and Kim Antonakos, along with their three children, Ana, Mills and Olivia, were killed in the crash. Chris and Stacey McManus were also killed, along with their children, Meghan and Connor. The two families were from Greenville, South Carolina, according to USA Today. The pilot of the plane, Will Rediske, also died in the crash. Rediske, who owned an air taxi company, was a “highly experienced” pilot, according to a company spokesman.
According to an initial report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a witness saw the de Havilland DHC3 plane taxiing out to the airport’s runway but did not actually witness the plane take off. Moments later, the plane was completely engulfed in flames off the side of the runway. First responders arrived at the scene and put out the blaze in 10 minutes. No one was able to make it out of the plane.
NTSB investigators told reporters there was no flight recorder on the aircraft. At this time, the cause of the crash is unknown. Investigators will spend roughly a week probing Sunday’s crash, and a final report should be issued in about a year.
There were 291 passengers and 16 crewmembers aboard the Boeing 777 when it went down. According to a statement made by Asiana Airlines in the wake of the crash, the airline said 141 passengers were Chinese, 77 Koreans, 64 Americans, three Canadians, one French, one Vietnamese and one Japanese.
The three deceased victims have been identified as 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan, 16-year-old Wang Linjia, and 15-year-old Liu Yipeng, all female students from China. Wang Linjia and Ye Meng Yuan, who had been friends and classmates since middle school, were participating in a summer exchange program in the U.S. with 28 others students, including Liu Yipeng. The 15-year-old actually survived the crash only to succumb to her injuries six days later. She was pronounced dead at San Francisco General Hospital on Friday morning. Law enforcement officials are still investigating whether Ye Meng Yuan actually survived the crash only to be run over by a rescue vehicle rushing toward the burning wreckage.
Columbia Helicopters announced today that they are grounding six of the remaining Chinook helicopters in their fleet after their seventh Chinook helicopter crashed in Peru this week, killing all seven aboard. At least two of the people killed were U.S. Citizens, according to reports.
The Chinook 234 model choppers will be out of service for three days while company officials perform various safety inspections. Three of the choppers that will be inspected are in Papua New Guinea, one is in Oregon, one is on contract with the U.S. military in Afghanistan and one remains in Peru.
The “safety stand-down” came as Columbia Helicopters sent a team of investigators down to Pucallpa, Peru to piece together what caused Monday’s fatal crash. According to OregonLive, no one is certain what caused the crash, though witnesses say the chopper was pluming smoke moments after takeoff. An investigation is still ongoing.
Latin Singer Jenni Rivera and Six Others Killed in Plane Crash | December 10, 2012
A Learjet 25 airplane with Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera aboard crashed in Nuevo Leon, Mexico on Sunday, December 9, 2012, killing Rivera and six other people. At this time, authorities are not certain what caused the private plane to crash. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sent investigators to assist the Mexican government in their crash investigation. An anonymous state official informed the Associated Press that officials are testing DNA to give next of kin definitive identification of those killed. The civil aviation agency in Mexico says a preliminary report on the crash should take at least 10 days to compile.
World renowned pilot Carl Johan Nurmi was killed and another person was injured Monday morning after a Robinson R22 helicopter crashed near French Valley Airport in Murrieta, California. The two-seater helicopter crashed at around 10:15 a.m. near Lake Skinner. Authorities finally located the crash site after some difficulty reaching the remote area, pronouncing Mr. Nurmi dead at the scene. With over 24 years of flying experience, Mr. Nurmi is listed as holding five world helicopter speed records. The passenger, who is not believed to have suffered life-threatening injuries, has not been identified.
According to the Press Enterprise, the Robinson R22 helicopter was built in 2004 and registered to November Aplha, LLC, a company that leases helicopters to flight schools. The investigation will be handled by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Award-Winning Filmmakers Die in Fiery Australian Helicopter Crash | February 6, 2012
American cinematographer Mike deGruy and Australian writer/producer Andrew Wight were killed when the Robinson R44 helicopter they were traveling in crashed in Eastern Australia on Saturday afternoon local time. Authorities believe the seven-year-old helicopter went down shortly after taking off from an airstrip near Nowra, roughly 97 miles south of Sydney. Wight, 52, was reportedly piloting the Robinson R44 helicopter when it crashed with 60-year-old deGruy also onboard. Australian investigators said the chopper was seen hovering a mere 30 feet from the ground shortly before it crashed and erupted into flames.
“It is cruelly ironic that he died flying a helicopter, which was second nature to him, like driving a car would be to most people,” said filmmaker James Cameron, who was a close personal friend of both Wight and deGruy. It is believed that the two men were beginning work on a 3D documentary about Papua New Guinea. At this time, the cause of Saturday’s helicopter crash is unknown, but Australia’s Transport Safety Bureau has investigators at the crash site.
A private helicopter with five people onboard crashed into the East River in New York City Tuesday afternoon while attempting to land, killing one and sending three people to the hospital. Three passengers, two women and a man, were pulled from the 60 degree water by first responders near 34th Street in Manhattan. The two women were rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition. The man was also taken to a hospital in stable condition. The pilot, who is the owner of the downed chopper, swam safely to the riverbank after the helicopter hit the water. Rescue divers from the New York Police Department pulled the body of the dead woman from about 50 feet of water after searching for over an hour. All of the passengers aboard the helicopter are believed to be tourists from England.
Witnesses say it appeared the pilot was struggling to keep the helicopter in the air, possibly experiencing some mechanical problems. The chopper lifted to about 25 feet off the ground and spun around three or four times before ultimately splashing into the water and sinking in a matter of seconds. “It went down pretty fast, you could see the splash, you could see the top of it and it just disappeared,” said an eye witness. “It looked like it was trying to land at the heliport and missed the landing.” The Bell 206 helicopter went down in the river near a heliport on 34th Street. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched an investigation into the crash. Investigators from the NTSB are due to arrive at the crash site sometime this evening.
To view more information: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44776452/ns/us_news-life/#.TotuBHMyIak
Ten Spectators and Pilot Killed at Reno Air Show | September 19, 2011
Eleven people were killed Friday September 16, 2011 at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada when a 1940’s era P-51 Mustang appeared to lose a piece of its tail before plummeting to the ground near a grandstand filled with spectators. The downed plane had previously flown a few hundred feet above the crowded grandstand where some spectators noticed a gurgling noise coming from the plane’s engine. A few seconds later, the plane briefly pitched upward before taking a nosedive straight into a section of VIP box seats. Dust and debris consumed the first rows of the VIP section where the plane’s impact with the ground made a crater three feet deep and eight feet wide. Ten spectators and the pilot were killed in the deadly air show crash. Officials said over 70 air show spectators were taken to area hospitals to treat major head injuries, facial trauma and limb injuries.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation into the cause of the Reno air show crash will center around a piece of the aircraft’s tail that witnesses say came off the plane seconds before crashing into the VIP section. Amateur videos taken of the crash by spectators show what appears to be a small piece of the plane plummeting to the ground seconds before the crash. The breakaway part suggests a potential mechanical failure on the aircraft, which calls into question potential maintenance issues with the 60-year-old plane. Records indicate that the plane involved in Friday’s crash had previously crashed almost 40 years ago after an engine failure. Since then, the plane has had several engine replacements as well as a new canopy and many other modifications. Witnesses believe the part that fell off the tail appeared to be the “elevator trim tab,” which is a small surface on the tail used to stabilize the aircraft. NTSB investigators say the component in question has been recovered from the crash site, but at this time they are hesitant to confirm that it is the elevator trim tab from the plane. Elevator trim tabs free pilots from having to put constant pressure on pitch controls.
Another theory being discussed is that the pilot seat may have broken or malfunctioned in a way that caused pilot Jimmy Leeward to lose control of the P-51 Mustang. A picture taken moments before the plane plummeted into air show spectators shows a cockpit without a pilot, leading some to wonder if the pilot’s seat broke free. A mechanic familiar with planes like the vintage P-51 told news organizations that even if Leeward had slumped in his seat, he would still be visible in the cockpit.
Huge Tear in Fuselage Causes Southwest Airlines Plane to Make Emergency Landing
April 3, 2011
Southwest Airlines flight carrying 118 people was forced to make an emergency landing on Friday after a sudden rupture in the fuselage caused the aircraft to lose cabin pressure. There were no serious injuries. The Boeing 737-300 had taken off from Phoenix, Arizona, when a 5-foot-long hole burst open in the fuselage. Pilots were able to land the aircraft in Yuma, Arizona, where federal authorities inspected the damage. Inspectors concluded that pre-existing cracking in the fuselage caused the tear. Authorities have since found similar cracks on two other Southwest Airlines planes.
The incident prompted Southwest to ground about 80 planes, canceling about 300 flights on Sunday. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident and will work together to determine what actions may be necessary after the investigation. Baum Hedlund has been retained in this incident.
A Jetliner carrying 131 people crashed and broke into several pieces as it attempted to land at San Andres Island on Monday morning. Only one person on board died as a result of the crash. The Boeing 737 broke into three pieces after crashing upon landing at the Colombian island. The pilots have since reported that the plane was struck by lightning shortly before the crash.
The Governor of the Caribbean Island has called the crash a miracle, since all but one passenger survived. At least five people have been reported injured, four seriously. The flight originated from Bogota, Colombia and included eight American passengers.
On July 20, 2010 a United Airlines flight headed to LAX experienced severe turbulence on Tuesday, leaving at least 22 passengers injured. Moments after flight attendants finished their beverage service, the 255 passengers and 10 crew members aboard the Boeing 777 were rocked by severe turbulence which sent drinks and lose items flying across the cabin. Passengers said it felt like the plane dropped. One woman was thrown from her seat with such force that she hit her head on the wall of the cabin, leaving a visible crack near the window.
The flight was diverted to Denver International Airport where it was met by medical crews. According to the National Weather Service, a line of thunderstorms were reported in the area on Tuesday night. Authorities are now investigating the incident, the third of its type amongst United Airlines flights in the last couple of months.
During a tropical torrential downpour on the night of December 22, 2009 an American Airlines flight carrying 154 people attempted to land at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica. The Boeing 737-800, operating as American Airlines Flight 331, touched down on the slippery runway, failed to stop and barreled through a fence before crashing into a sandy embankment a mere 15 feet from the Caribbean Sea.
Miraculously, no one was killed in the crash. Over ninety people were taken to area hospitals of which a handful were hospitalized over-night with more serious injuries.
The impact of the crash was so severe that the aircraft broke into several pieces. Both engines came off during the mishap and the fuselage was severely cracked on impact.
Survivors described the panic that ensued after the aircraft overshot the runway. Some were struck by overhead luggage that fell around them. Within minutes of the crash, rescuers began to pull bloodied and shocked passengers out of the broken fuselage. Witnesses said the air around the wreckage was thick with the smell of smoke and burning jet fuel.
The NTSB and the FAA have sent investigators to the site of the crash who will work with the Jamaican Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) in finding a cause for the failed landing.
Read this article to learn why victims of international airline crashes are treated differently than passengers on domestic flights: American passengers have limited rights in international airline crashes because of a treaty known as the Montreal Convention.
Experts Scramble to Find Answers After an Air France Jet Disappears Over the Atlantic | June 1, 2009
On Sunday, May 31, 2009, Air France Flight 447 abruptly and mysteriously disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean. The aircraft, an Airbus A330-200 was carrying 228 people on their way from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. Aviation authorities scrambled on Monday to find information on the missing jetliner as Brazilian and French military jets combed the Atlantic looking for clues. As of now, experts speculate that weather could have played a major role in the disappearance. Data shows that the aircraft had flown into an area with stormy weather and “high turbulence” before losing contact with Brazil air traffic control. The Brazilian military discovered debris in the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday that might be from the missing plane.
Some experts doubt lightning could have caused a modern Airbus jet to crash and point rather to a possible circuit failure. Two Americans were aboard the missing flight.
Plane Crashes Into Cemetery in Montana, Killing All Aboard | March 24, 2009
A single-engine turboprop plane crashed in a cemetery in Butte, Montana, on Sunday afternoon, March 23, 2009, killing all 14 people aboard, including seven children. The aircraft, a Pilatus PC-12, was traveling from Oroville, California to Bozeman, Montana when the pilot changed course to Butte for unknown reasons. The plane then nosedived before crashing into a cemetery 500 feet short of Bert Mooney Airport in Butte.
The flight is believed have been taking its passengers, seven adults and seven children, on a skiing vacation.
The crash is the fourth major plane accident in the U.S. in about three months.
Officials began their investigation Monday morning, gathering evidence at the crash site in Holy Cross Cemetery. The investigation is expected to take at least a year, since very little evidence is available.
A press conference was held on Sunday evening, hours after the crash. Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board offered few details during the conference and no cause for the crash has been given. FAA spokesman, Les Dorr, did say that the Pilatus PC-12 is usually built to carry 11 people. It is still unclear if extra weight was a factor in the crash, since seven of the 14 people aboard were small children.
The weather at the time of the crash was partly cloudy with visibility of 10 miles and winds were blowing from the northwest around 10 mph.
According to officials, air traffic controllers received gave no sign of distress from the pilot of the doomed plane when he requested to divert the flight to the Bert Mooney Airport in Butte. Like many small airports in America, the Butte airport has no radar control. Without radar control, a pilot would have switch to a radio frequency and use visual rules in addition to following specific procedures for landing.
According to officials, the aircraft did not have cockpit voice or flight data recorders and was not licensed to carry commercial passengers.
The plane was registered to Eagle Cap Leasing Inc. of Enterprise, Oregon, whose president, Irving M. Feldkamp of Redlands, California, has yet to comment on the crash. Feldkamp has been a pilot since 1994 and is certified for instrument flight.
Continental Plane Crash near Buffalo | February 26, 2009
Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman files lawsuit for children of spiritual leader, Susan Wehle, who was killed in the Continental Connection Commuter Plane Crash
The aviation disaster lawyers of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman have filed a wrongful death lawsuit today on behalf of Jonah and Jacob Mink, whose mother, Susan Wehle, of Amherst, was killed in the February 12 Continental Connection Flight 3407 crash at Clarence Center, New York.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court, Western District of New York in Buffalo against Continental Airlines, Inc. (Texas); Pinnacle Airlines Corp. (Tennessee); Colgan Air, Inc. (Virginia); and Bombardier Aerospace Corporation (Texas). Case number: 09-CV0174-S.
The complaint alleges that the flight crew lost control of the aircraft due to, among other things, a combination of airfoil icing, negligent actions of the flight crew and an inadequate, defective, de-icing system and flight control system of the aircraft.
Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800 Crash in Amazon Jungle of Brazil | September 30, 2006
On September 29, 2006, Brazil experienced its worst air disaster to date when Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes Flight 1907, carrying 149 passengers and six crew members, crashed nose first into the dense Amazon rain forest of Mato Grosso state after a midair collision with a private Embraer Legacy 600 business jet. There were no survivors.
Radar contact was lost with Gol’s Boeing 737-800 during the flight from Amazon’s principal city of Manaus to Brasilia, the nation’s capital. An air force rescue team located the wreckage the following day, and began an unsuccessful search for survivors.
The smaller Legacy jet, en route from the Brazilian factory (of Embraer) to ExcelAire Services, Inc. in New York, successfully negotiated an emergency landing at an air force base in Serra do Cachimbo, in spite of extensive damage to the plane’s wingtip and tail.
A Recipe for Disaster: Southwest Flight 1248 | December 10, 2005
Ronald L. M. Goldman was a lead attorney handling the discovery deposition efforts and Clark Aristei acted as lead plaintiffs’ counsel for the Coordinated Discovery Cases in the Southwest Airlines Flight 1455 runway crash-landing in Burbank, California in 2000. That plane went off the runway, through barriers, crossed the street, hit a car, and came to rest mere feet from gasoline pumps at a service station. It is frighteningly similar to the Midway crash on December 8, 2005 in Chicago.
Baum Hedlund is investigating the airline accident at Chicago’s Midway International Airport in which Southwest Airlines Flight 1248 crashed when it ran off Runway 31C which, due to its displaced threshold, only has 5826 feet of usable runway. The crash-landing occurred during a snowstorm. The Boeing 737 plowed through a fence and onto a busy street, striking several vehicles. The plane landed on top of a car, killing a young boy and injuring his family members. At least ten others were injured, including some passengers. Baum Hedlund represented 11 passengers injured in the Southwest Flight 1248 incident.
Piecing together the Miami seaplane crash tragedy | December 21, 2005
MIAMI (Reuters) – A seaplane packed with passengers crashed off Miami Beach and sank into the southern U.S. city’s main shipping channel on Monday, killing at least 14 people, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The twin-engine seaplane, which flies between downtown Miami and the Bahamas, crashed just off the southern tip of Miami Beach after taking off with 16 passengers and two crew, Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer Danielle DeMarino said.
Other Coast Guard officials said up to 20 people were on board. DeMarino said 14 bodies had been recovered from the crash site.
Witnesses told local television the plane seemed to explode in the sky before falling into Government Cut, the entry to the Port of Miami, where it came to rest in shallow water next to a jetty. Fox News interviewed Aviation Attorney, Ron Goldman, about the crash.
Charlotte, North Carolina – The last family to settle a wrongful death claim stemming from the Air Midwest crash of January 8, 2003 at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport demanded as part of their settlement terms that those responsible for the crash hold themselves accountable and publicly apologize to the victims’ families.
Pastor Douglas and Tereasa Shepherd, who lost their 18 year-old daughter, Christiana, in the crash, invited all the victims’ families to attend today’s event. The Shepherd family, their attorneys and approximately six other families gathered at the memorial crash site this morning to witness the public apology by Air Midwest and its maintenance company, Vertex Aerospace (now known as L-3 Communications Aerotech).
Aviation Attorney Robert E. Guilford won an appeal on June 13, 2003, for the widows of the three paramedics killed in the 1998 Bell helicopter crash in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. The helicopter was airlifting an injured child when the tail rotor yoke failed and caused the aircraft to crash.
Mr. Guilford filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bell on behalf of the widows but Bell succeeded in having the case dismissed based on a federal statute called the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994 (GARA) which bars legal action against manufacturers of general aviation aircraft if the part that allegedly caused the accident is more than 18 years old. Mr. Guilford appealed.