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Airbus Crashes in Comoros

Posted by feww on June 30, 2009

Yemenia Airbus A310 with 153 People Crashes in Comoros

Yemenia-Airbus-A310A Yemen Airways (Yemenia) Airbus A310 with 153 people onboard crashed in the Indian Ocean near the archipelago of Comoros earlier today, according to an airline official.

Most of the 142 passengers  (total of 153 people onboard) were Comoran or French. There are no report of  survivors.

Yemenia Airbus A310. Source: Image may be subject to copyright.

The downed Yemenia Airbus A310 passenger jet was flying from Sanaa, Yemen,  to Moroni, in the Comoros, carrying also a 11-strong crew, Reuters reported an official as saying.

The Comoros (Population of 800,000), which consists of four small volcanic islands (Anjouan, Grande Comore, Moheli and Mayotte) in the Mozambique channel, about 300 kilometers northwest of Madagascar, is not believed to have any sea rescue capabilities.

Comoros map

Map of the Comoros Islands. Original map: UN.

“We still do not have information about the reason behind the crash or survivors,” the deputy general manager for Yemenia operations, said.

“The weather conditions were rough; strong wind and high seas. The wind speed recorded on land at the airport was 61 kilometers an hour. There could be other factors.”

“Two French military aircraft have left from the islands of Mayotte and Reunion to search the identified zone, and a French vessel has left Mayotte,”the director general of Moroni International Airport was reported as saying.

“The plane has crashed and we still don’t know exactly where. We think it’s in the area of Mitsamiouli,” Comoros Vice-President Idi Nadhoim told Reuters.

“We think the crash is somewhere along its landing approach,” Mr Kassim a representative from regional air security body ASECNA said. “The weather is really not very favorable. The sea is very rough.”

Reuters sketch showing the flight path of downed Yemenia Airbus. Image may be subject to copyright.

Who owns Yemenia?

Yemenia is 51 percent owned by the Yemeni government and 49 percent by the Saudi Arabian government. Yemenia’s fleet includes four Airbus A310-300s, two Airbus A330-200s and four Boeing 737-800s, according to the airline site.

Airbus Crash Stats

If you really have to fly because your life depends on it [sic,] and if you are flying an Airbus, then fly on odd days of the month because the Airbus is statistically twice more likely to crash on even days!

The Next Airbus Crash?

The probability that the next major air disaster would involve an Air New Zealand Airbus has now increased to 0.78.

Related Links:

4 Responses to “Airbus Crashes in Comoros”

  1. feww said

    Smoke in cabin causes emergency landing in Fla.

    July 1, 2009

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A commercial airliner with 128 passengers and crew has made an emergency landing in Florida because smoke was detected in the cabin.

    The Spirit Airlines plane landed safely Tuesday afternoon at Daytona Beach International Airport, about 150 miles away from its intended destination of Fort Lauderdale. The Airbus plane took off from Chicago.

    Stephen Cooke, the airport’s director of business development, said three passengers were taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. No other injuries were reported.

    Spirit Airlines spokeswoman Misty Pinson the smoke dissipated once the plane’s engines were turned off.

    The airline was putting the passengers on another plane.

    Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

  2. msrb said

    Air India flight lands in Delhi under emergency conditions

    NEW DELHI: An Air India flight from Delhi to Hyderabad, with 74 people on board, on Monday landed at the IGI Airport here under emergency conditions as the pilot suspected technical trouble, airport sources said.

    Emergency drill, including positioning of fire brigades and ambulances, was followed after the pilot informed the air traffic control (ATC) that he wanted to land as the cockpit panel had signalled problem with the hydraulic system of the Airbus A-320, t he sources said.

    The Delhi-Hyderabad-Tirupati flight, IC-942, made a “normal and safe” landing at 1141 hours and went “on its own power” to the bay earmarked for it where all the 68 passengers and six crew members disembarked, an airline spokesperson said.

    The pilot decided to return to Delhi instead of flying to Hyderabad, after being on air for about 30 minutes when the indication about hydraulic problem appeared on the panel.

    The aircraft was being examined by Air India’s technical personnel, the Air India official said, adding that a separate aircraft was arranged to take the passengers to their destination. – PTI
    Copyright The Hindu Business Line

  3. msrb said

    Yemeni Airbus crashes in ocean, toddler found alive

    SAN’A, Yemen (AP) — A passenger jet from Yemen with 153 people on board crashed in the Indian Ocean early Tuesday as it tried to land during heavy wind on the island nation of Comoros, and search teams rescued a child from the sea, officials said.

    There were 142 passengers and a crew of 11 Yemenis on board when the Airbus A310, which had set off from the Yemeni capital of San’a, went down shortly before landing in Moroni, on the main island of Grand Comore, Yemeni civil aviation deputy chief Mohammed Abdul Qader said.

    AIR FRANCE FLIGHT: Crash mystery tests limits of technology

    Most of the passengers were from Comoros, returning from Paris. Those on board included families with children and there were at least three babies on the flight, he added. France said 66 on board were French nationals.

    Comoros immigrations officer, Rachida Abdullah, told The Associated Press that a child was rescued from the sea. She said that three bodies have also been retrieved, along with debris from the plane, but that no other survivors have been recovered so far.
    FIND MORE STORIES IN: Airbus | Air France | Nicolas Sarkozy | Bernard Kouchner | Comoros | Yemenia

    Abdul Qader, the Yemeni official, said the child was 5 years old. He said it was too early to speculate on the reasons for the crash, adding that the flight data recorder hadn’t been found.

    “The weather was very bad … the wind was very strong,” he said, adding the windy conditions hampered rescue efforts. Abdul Qader said wind speed was 40 miles per hour as the plane was landing.

    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 8 nautical miles (9.2 miles) north from the Comoran coast and 18 nautical miles (21 miles) from the Moroni airport.

    And on the Indian Ocean island of Ile de la Reunion, an official statement from the French prefecture said the crash occurred at 10:50 p.m. ET Monday.

    French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said French aviation and naval support was heading to help in search operations at the Comoros government’s request.

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy “expressed his deep emotion” about the accident and asked the French military to help in the rescue operation, particularly from the French islands of Mayotte and Reunion, according to a statement from his office.

    Kouchner expressed “sincere condolences” and said the French Embassy in Moroni was “fully mobilized” to help families. The French junior minister for cooperation, Alain Joyandet, is heading Tuesday to Moroni, the statement said.

    The Comoros is an archipelago of three main islands situated about 1,800 miles south of Yemen, between Africa’s southeastern coast and Madagascar.

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

    In Paris, a crisis cell was set up at Charles de Gaulle airport. Most of the passengers on board were from the French city of Marseille, which has a large Comoros community.

    Another crisis cell has been established in Marseille, according to Stephane Salord, the consul general of the Comoros in the Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur region of France.

    “There is considerable dismay,” Salord said. “These are families that, each year on the eve of summer, leave Marseille and the region to rejoin their families in the Comoros and spend their holidays.”

    In France, this week is the start of annual summer school vacations.

    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 (Yemen Airways) since 1999.

    Airbus identifies the plane’s serial number as 535, and 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.

    France’s transport minister Dominique Bussereau said French aviation inspectors found a “number of faults” during a 2007 inspection of the plane. He told France’s i-Tele television that the Airbus A310 was inspected by France’s civil aviation agency DGAC and “they noticed a certain number of faults.”

    On May 31, an Airbus A330 operated by Air France ran into thunderstorms after leaving Brazil and crashed into the Atlantic. Fifty-one bodies were recovered from that flight, which was carrying 228 people.

    Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

  4. feww said

    UPDATE 9-Yemeni plane crashes off Comoros with 153 aboard
    Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:20am EDT
    * Yemenia Airbus A310-300 on last leg of Paris-Comoros trip
    * 142 passengers, 11 crew on board; one survivor found
    * Passengers include 66 French nationals

    By Ahmed Ali Amir
    MORONI, June 30 (Reuters) – An Airbus A310-300 from Yemen with 153 people on board, including 66 French nationals, crashed into the sea as it approached the Indian Ocean archipelago of Comoros in bad weather early on Tuesday, officials said.

    Some bodies were recovered from the wreck of the Yemenia plane, said Abdul-Rahman Abdul-Qader, undersecretary of Yemen’s aviation authority. The airline said one survivor had been rescued from the sea.

    The Paris airports authority said 66 French nationals were aboard the plane, which was flying the final leg of a flight taking passengers from Paris and Marseille to Comoros via Yemen. A large number of Comoros nationals were also on board.

    Two French military planes and a French ship left the Indian Ocean islands of Mayotte and Reunion to search for the plane.

    “The planes have seen debris at the supposed point of impact,” Ibrahim Kassim, an official at the regional air security body ASECNA, told Reuters.

    It is the second Airbus to plunge into the sea this month, following an Air France Airbus A330-200 (EAD.PA) that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean killing 228 people on board on June 1. A preliminary report on that crash is due on Thursday.

    The Paris-Marseille-Yemen leg of the Yemenia flight was flown by an Airbus A330. In Sanaa, those passengers who were flying on to the Comoros changed onto a second Yemenia plane, the A310 that crashed.


    French Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau said faults had been detected during inspections in France in 2007 on the Yemenia A310, and that it had not flown to France since.

    “The A310 in question was inspected in 2007 by the DGAC (French transport authorities) and they noticed a certain number of faults,” he told the I-tele television channel.

    “The company was not on the black list but was subject to stricter checks on our part, and was due to be interviewed shortly by the European Union’s safety committee.”

    French television showed pictures of friends and relatives of the passengers weeping at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, many of them railing at the airline.

    Airbus said it was dispatching a team of investigators to the Comoros. It said the aircraft was built in 1990 and had been used by Yemenia since 1999. Its engines were built by Pratt and Whitney, a unit of United Technologies (UTX.N).

    “We still do not have information about the reason behind the crash, or survivors,” Mohammad al-Sumairi, deputy general manager for Yemenia operations, told Reuters.

    A Yemenia official said there were 142 passengers including three infants, and 11 crew. The plane was flying to Moroni, capital of Grande Comore, the main island of the archipelago.

    “The weather conditions were rough; strong wind and high seas. The wind speed recorded on land at the airport was 61 kph (38 mph). There could be other factors,” Sumairi said.

    “We think the crash is somewhere along its landing approach,” said Kassim from ASECNA. “The weather is really not very favourable. The sea is very rough.”

    ASECNA — the Agency for Aviation Security and Navigation in Africa and Madagascar — covers Francophone Africa.


    The French military said it had sent military and civilian medical teams, boats and divers to the crash site aboard the plane from Reunion. Comoros authorities sent small speedboats to the area.

    France and the Comoros have enjoyed close ties since the islands’ independence in 1975. France estimates 200,000 people from Comoros live in mainland France, and remittances from France are an important part of the islands’ economy.

    A United Nations official at Moroni airport, who declined to be named, said the control tower had received notification the plane was coming in to land, and then lost contact with it.

    Yemenia is 51 percent owned by Yemen and 49 percent by Saudi Arabia. Its fleet includes two Airbus 330-200s, four Airbus 310-300s and four Boeing 737-800s, according to its website.

    The Comoros comprises three small volcanic islands, Grande Comore, Anjouan and Moheli, in the Mozambique channel, 300 km (190 miles) northwest of Madagascar and a similar distance east of the African mainland. © Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

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