Category Archives: Air Crash

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U.S. Government Accepts Responsibility for July 2015 Midair Collision

U.S. Government Accepts Responsibility for July 2015 Midair

By Ofonime Essien

Cessna 150 July 2015 Midair Collision

The U.S. government has taken responsibility for the July 2015 midair collision between a U.S. Air Force F-16 and a Cessna 150 that killed two people. NTSB

In taking responsibility for the July 2015 midair collision between a U.S. Air Force F-16 and a Cessna 150 near Charleston SC (CHS), a government report said the FAA’s air traffic controllers were responsible for actions and omissions that led to the accident. Citing the see and avoid concept, the report said the pilots of both aircraft were considered factors in the collision.

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The government’s admission came in response to a lawsuit filed by the families of the two victims aboard the Cessna who perished in the crash. The F-16 pilot ejected after the collision and was unhurt. In the report, the U.S. government added, “Accordingly, the United States does not contest its liability for their deaths [the two men aboard the Cessna] in this case, but does contest the existence, type and quantum of damages available to plaintiffs.”

The attorney for the victims, well-known aviation safety analyst and TV commentator Mary Schiavo, said the victory was, “… just the first step, a very important first step. The government finally admitted that they caused this horrible disaster.” Schiavo is expected to call for a jury trial next to seek damages from the government.

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The Cessna 150 had departed Moncks Corner Airport just before 11 a.m. local time for a VFR flight to Myrtle Beach and was flying a southeast heading, while the F-16, heading in a southerly direction, was under the control of the Charleston TRACON. The F-16 pilot was preparing for a practice instrument approach to Charleston AFB at the time of the collision. The Cessna pilot never made radio contact with CHS ATC.

The Charleston controller called the Cessna as traffic to the F-16 pilot approximately 30 seconds prior to the collision, although the fighter pilot never saw the other aircraft. An NTSB animation of radar data indicates the F-16 would most likely have passed behind the Cessna if the controller had taken no action at all.

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As the two aircraft approached closer, however, the Charleston controller turned the F-16 to a 180-heading placing the fighter on a collision course with the Cessna. At the time of the accident, the Charleston controller was working alone, but was assisted by a radar handoff controller, a typical configuration at CHS.

(Flying Mag)



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Loss of Engine Power Proves Fatal for Piper Pilot

Category : Air Crash

Loss of Engine Power Proves Fatal for Piper Pilot

By Ofonime Essien

Piper Pilot Crash

The pilot was departing on a cross-country flight in the twin-engine Piper PA-23-160. A witness stated that before takeoff, he spent about 20 minutes in the run-up area at the airport in Port Clinton, Ohio.

As the airplane left the runway, witnesses heard a “popping” noise come from the airplane.

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The plane struggled to gain altitude, and one witness stated it appeared to have a problem with the left engine. The airplane turned left and descended.

A review of a security camera video showed that the airplane turned left after takeoff, entered a rapid nose-down descent, and hit terrain, killing the pilot.

A small amount of water was found in the left engine’s carburetor, however firefighter response efforts could not be eliminated as a potential source for the water.

Based on the weather conditions at the time of the accident, the airplane was operating in an area associated with a risk of carburetor ice accumulation at glide and cruise power settings, but not at takeoff power settings.

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Witness reports and findings from the investigation are consistent with a loss of control following a loss of left engine power, however, the examination of the airframe and engines did not reveal evidence of any preimpact abnormalities.

The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s loss of control following a loss of left engine power for reasons that could not be determined.

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA088

This December 2014 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.


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Missed Approach Proves Fatal

Missed Approach Proves Fatal

By Ofonime Essien

Piper on Missed Approach

The private pilot was conducting a business flight in the Piper PA-34-200T. He had obtained weather briefings on the day before and the day of the flight, which indicated marginal visual flight rules conditions.

However, upon arrival in the vicinity of the airport in Port Huron, Michigan, instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, with visibility at or below the approach’s visibility minimums. However, he contacted the controller, obtained the weather information, and chose to continue the approach.

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Radar data showed that the airplane’s final approach course was unstabilized.

The last data point along the final approach course was about 0.5 mile southwest of the missed approach point, which was near the Runway 4 approach end at an altitude of 1,100 feet.

The missed approach procedure was to climb to 2,500 feet, make a climbing left turn to 4,000 feet, proceed direct to the outer marker, and hold.

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The lack of radar data points below 1,100 feet between the approach and departure ends of Runway 4 may indicate that the airplane was below 1,100 feet over the runway area, which may indicate that the pilot attempted to visually acquire the runway environment with visibilities that did not allow for adequate visual reference to land.

Likely unable to see the runway, he notified air traffic control that he was executing a missed approach.

The plane hit a wooded area about 0.39 mile north/northwest of the Runway 4 departure end. The pilot died in the crash.

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The wreckage path length and slope through the trees was consistent with a shallow angle of impact at relative high speed.

It is likely that the pilot continued flight below the minimum descent altitude without visually acquiring the runway and did not execute the missed approach procedures in a timely manner.

The filed alternate airport for the flight showed weather about the time of the accident that was above weather minimums for a precision approach that was available at the alternate airport.

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The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s decision to continue flight below the minimum descent altitude without visually acquiring the runway and his delayed and improperly executed missed approach procedure in instrument meteorological conditions.

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA087

This December 2014 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.








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Pilot Crashes After Six Unsuccessful Approaches

Pilot Crashes After Six Unsuccessful Approaches

By Ofonime Essien


After a 90-minute instrument flight rules flight, the pilot descended toward his home airport in Seagoville, Texas, and attempted six unsuccessful instrument approaches in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC).

The controller terminated three GPS approaches and one instrument landing system approach because the pilot flew through the final approach course; one GPS approach was terminated because the pilot was performing S-turns on final.

Sunset occurred during the third approach attempt.

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After the fourth approach attempt, the controller suggested that the pilot divert to an airport with visual meteorological conditions (VMC), which the pilot declined because of the Beech V35A’s low fuel status.

During the sixth approach attempt, he stated he was “getting tired of flying this airplane.”

The controller offered him vectors to a VMC airport, but he declined, stating he wanted to “keep working until we get it.”

Soon after he made this statement, the airplane turned right toward the final approach course and rapidly descended hitting terrain. The pilot died in the crash.

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The pilot likely either attempted to descend below IMC and/or experienced spatial disorientation, but the investigation was unable to determine the precise reason for the loss of control.

The pilot’s six unsuccessful approach attempts and his decision not to divert to a VMC airport revealed poor instrument flight skills, poor fuel planning, lack of situational awareness, and poor judgment.

A review of medical records revealed that the pilot was using a sedating antihistamine and had several physiological issues, including vision deficits, diabetes, diabetic neuropathy. These conditions may have had an impairing effect on the pilot, but the medical investigation was limited by the degree of damage to the pilot’s body and the extent to which they may have affected the pilot at the time of the accident could not be determined.

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The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s loss of control and subsequent impact with terrain in instrument meteorological conditions.

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA081

This December 2014 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.




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Swiss jet wreckage found in Alps

Swiss jet wreckage found in Alps

By Ofonime Essien

Swiss jet

An F/A-18 fighter jet. The single-seater aircraft disappeared shortly after takeoff. Photograph: Sandro Campardo/AP

The wreckage of an F/A-18 fighter jet that went missing over the Swiss Alps yesterday has been found in the mountains near the Susten Pass, army officials have said. Searches for the missing pilot were suspended overnight because of dangerous conditions.

“[The crash site] is located in a deep basin, with steep glacier slopes,” Commander Felix Stoffel of the Swiss Air Force told the media on Tuesday afternoon. “We saw a dark rock face, and debris was partly visible.”

Three army helicopters took off on Monday afternoon to help look for the missing one-seater fighter jet and pilot. Both had disappeared earlier that day flying over the mountains in central Switzerland.

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A statement by the Federal Department of Defence issued on Tuesday afternoon said the wreckage had been spotted by one of the helicopter pilots. However, it was not possible to access the crash site on foot due to poor weather conditions.

Mountain rescue specialists planned to gain access via helicopter when the weather cleared. The search for the missing pilot continued until about 8 pm on Tuesday, when army officials said bad weather, snow and avalanches posed too much of a risk to the search party. They planned to resume the search around 6 am Wednesday morning.

Officials said on Tuesday that no more details about any suspected cause of the crash would be communicated for now. Stoffel said that flying in mountainous regions is clearly more dangerous than in flat areas but that Swiss pilots are trained to manoeuvre through the Alps. He added that the takeoff and landing are the most dangerous parts of any flight, and that the crash occurred during the take-off phase from the nearby airfield at Meiringen.

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Both the aircraft and the ejector seat were equipped with transmitters.

However, no transmitter signal has been detected, and commander and former F/A-18 pilot Pierre de Goumoëns said the devices are not foolproof.

“These transmitters are fairly robust, but they have their limits,” he told the media. “Their purpose is to locate the pilot if he used his ejector seat. They are not made to survive a crash against a rock face.”

‘Hopes and prayers’

On Tuesday morning an air exclusion zone was set up between cantons Uri and Bern and 19 mountain rescue specialists were reported helping air rescue teams and Zurich police search for the missing pilot and plane. The teams are carrying out their search on foot at altitudes of over 3,000 metres (9,842 feet). The search was hampered by bad weather on Monday evening.

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The single-seat aircraft had been participating in a training mission with another jet in a thick layer of clouds. Last contact with the missing pilot was at 16:05 pm Swiss time on Monday.

“We hope and pray,” said Swiss Air Force Commander Aldo Schellenberg when asked about the pilot’s chances of survival at a media conference in Bern on Monday evening. Schellenberg said his thoughts were with the pilot and his family.

After taking off from the Meiringen military airport at 16:01 pm, the missing pilot had responded to a radio call as expected at 16:05. However, he failed to reply to a second call. He and the other F/A-18 Hornet pilot were practising manoeuvres for a potential engagement with an F-5 Tiger aircraft.

Source: Swiss Info



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Night flight fatal for four

Night flight fatal for four

By Ofonime Essien

Cessna 172 R

The pilot and three passengers boarded the Cessna 172 for a flight at night near Willoughby Hills, Ohio.

The controller cleared the flight for takeoff and observed the airplane lift off about 2,000 feet down the runway.

Shortly after liftoff, the pilot contacted the controller and reported that the airplane was not “climbing fast” and that he wanted to make a left turn to return to the airport. The controller approved the left turn and observed the airplane begin a left turn and descend to impact with the terrain, killing all four aboard.

A post-impact fire ensued.

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Examination of the accident site indicated that the airplane impacted in a steep descent.

The witness observations and the impact geometry are consistent with the pilot failing to maintain adequate airspeed while turning to return to the airport, resulting in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall.

Weight and balance calculations showed that the airplane was between 93.6 and 165.6 pounds over maximum gross weight at the time of the accident.

The decreased takeoff climb performance reported by the pilot was likely due to the airplane’s over gross weight condition.

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The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane while returning to the airport immediately after takeoff, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and entering an aerodynamic stall during the turn. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inadequate preflight planning, which resulted in the airplane being over maximum gross weight and its subsequent decrease in takeoff climb performance.

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA453

This August 2014 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Source: NTSB








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Three dead in Indonesian military chopper crash

Three dead in Indonesian military chopper crash

By Ofonime Essien

Indonesian Military Chopper crash

Investigators check the wreckage of an Indonesian military helicopter which crashed on July 8, 2016 into a suburban area just north of Yogyakarta, a major city on the main island of Java. / AFP / STR


An Indonesian military helicopter crashed into a home in Central Java Friday, an official said, killing three people in the latest air accident for the country’s armed forces.

The helicopter crashed into a suburban area just north of Yogyakarta, a major city on the main island of Java.

There were six passengers on board the helicopter when it went down, Indonesia’s disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement.

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“Three personnel died,” Sutopo said, adding three others suffered serious injuries and were taken to hospital.

Footage on social media showed the wreckage of the helicopter smashed through the wall of a house. The building suffered significant damage, though local broadcaster TV One reported no one was inside at the time of the crash.

The disaster agency said the helicopter appeared to be having engine trouble shortly before the accident, but they did not confirm the cause of the crash.

The Indonesian military has been hit with a number of aircraft accidents in recent years, including several crashes in urban areas.

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In March, 12 people were killed when a military helicopter went down in bad weather in central Indonesia.

The previous month, a military plane crashed into a house in a densely populated area in Java during a test flight, killing the pilot and two people in the building.

In June 2015 a Hercules C-130 crashed into a residential neighbourhood in Medan, the largest city on Sumatra island, killing 142 people and causing widespread destruction.

(The Daily Star)



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2012 Dana Plane Crash Report Will Be Ready Soon – AIB

2012 Dana Plane Crash Report Will Be Ready Soon – AIB

By Ofonime Essien

Dana Plane

Accident Investigation Bureau has issued an Interim Statement on investigations into the crash of Dana Airlines MD 83 aircraft with registration 5N-RAM, which occurred at Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State, Nigeria on 3rd June, 2012.

According to the press statement issued by the Bureau’s spokesman, Mr Tunji Oketunbi, the Interim Statement marking the fourth anniversary of the unfortunate incident is already on the Bureau’s website (

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Giving an update on the investigation into the accident, which claimed 153 lives, the Bureau stated that the final reports of the investigation will be released to the public very soon.

It stated that the draft Final Report was sent to relevant stakeholders for comments and suggestions as required by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 13 chapter 6.3.

Efforts at resolving and harmonising the issues raised by the stakeholders’ comments and suggestions have however delayed the release of the report.

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The Bureau’s in the Interim Statement explained: “The issues raised by the Stakeholders, which required further scientific testing have almost completely been addressed and the Final Report will be made public very soon.”

On the 3rd of June 2012 at about 1545hours a Boeing MD 83 aircraft, 5N- RAM operated by Dana Airlines on scheduled domestic flight crashed into Iju-Ishaga, a densely populated area on the outskirts of Lagos, following a loss of power on both engines while on Approach to Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos, Nigeria.

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All of the 153 persons on board the aircraft including 6 crew members were fatally injured.  There were also 6 confirmed ground fatalities.

Accident Investigation Bureau, with cooperation from National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of the United States of America (USA) and other stakeholders has been working relentlessly to determine the cause of the accident.


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EgyptAir flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo crashed – Hollande

EgyptAir flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo crashed – Hollande

By Ofonime Essien


The plane, seen here at Cairo airport in 2014, was flying from Paris overnight

An EgyptAir flight reported missing between Paris and Cairo has crashed, French President Francois Hollande confirmed.

The Airbus A320 with 66 people on board disappeared from radar at 02:30 Cairo time (00:30 GMT), soon after leaving Greek airspace.

Greece’s defence minister says Flight MS804 made “sharp turns” and plunged before dropping off the radar.

A major search is under way in seas south of the Greek island of Karpathos.

Greek and Egyptian armed forces are involved in the effort, and France has offered to send boats and planes.

Mr Hollande said he was keeping an open mind about the cause of the crash.

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“We will draw conclusions when we have the truth about what happened,” he said.

“Whether it was an accident, or whether it was – and it’s something that is on our minds – terrorism.”

There were 56 passengers – including three children – seven crew members and three security personnel on board. They included 30 Egyptians, 15 French citizens and a Briton.

Flight MS804 left Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris at 23:09 local time on Wednesday (21:09 GMT) and was scheduled to arrive in the Egyptian capital soon after 03:15 local time on Thursday.

EgyptAir said the plane had been flying at 11,300m (37,000ft) when it disappeared from radar shortly after entering Egyptian airspace.

Aviation officials in Greece said earlier that air traffic controllers had spoken to the pilot a few minutes earlier and everything had appeared normal.

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But Greece’s Defence Minister Panos Kammenos told a news conference that soon after entering Egyptian airspace, the plane had turned “90 degrees left and 360 degrees to the right” before plunging.

There was some earlier confusion over whether a distress signal had been sent by the plane.

Egypt’s state-run newspaper al-Ahram quoted an EgyptAir statement as saying the Egyptian army’s rescue and search had received a distress call from the plane at 04:26 local time – which would be around two hours after the flight disappeared.

But Egypt’s military subsequently said that no such signal had been received.

EgyptAir flight MS804 Passengers’ nationalities

66 people on board – 56 passengers, seven crew members and three security personnel

  • 30 Egyptians
  • 15 French citizens
  • 2 Iraqis
  • 1 from Britain, Canada, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan, Chad and Portugal

The spectre of terrorism inevitably looms over this latest aviation tragedy.

While there is no evidence yet to indicate a malicious attack, it was only seven months ago that the Islamic State (IS) group planted a bomb that brought down a Russian passenger jet over the Sinai.

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IS have vowed to continue targeting the Egyptian state and westerners who visit Egypt.

In a different but also malicious incident in 1999 a disturbed EgyptAir co-pilot put a Boeing passenger plane into a fatal dive off the US coast killing all 217 people onboard, though the Egyptian government continues to say it was a mechanical failure.

However at this stage investigators will be keeping an open mind about the cause of the plane’s disappearance, including checking the maintenance record of the airframe.

Some of the relatives of those on board gathered at airports in Cairo and Paris to wait for news.

Mr Hollande had earlier spoken to his Egyptian counterpart and both leaders were holding emergency meetings with their top officials, according to reports from both countries.




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Syria conflict: Russian helicopter crashes, killing two crew

Syria conflict: Russian helicopter crashes, killing two crew

By Ofonime Essien

M-28H attack helicopter

Russia has used the Hmeimim military base in Syria as a base for its air force AFP

Two Russian military pilots have died after their helicopter crashed near the central Syrian city of Homs.

The aircraft, an M-28H attack helicopter, was not shot at, Russia’s defence ministry said.

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The crash happened in the early hours of Tuesday, the ministry said. The bodies were recovered and brought to Russia’s Hmeimim air base.

Russia joined the Syrian conflict in September, launching air strikes in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

A “cessation of hostilities” came into force in February including the Syrian government and nearly 100 rebel factions, but not the so-called Islamic State (IS).

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Russia withdrew most of its forces from Syria but officials said in March they would continue air strikes.

More than 250,000 Syrians have been killed in nearly five years of civil war. Millions more have been displaced.


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