The News

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

28 July 2010

Airblue A321 crash kills all 152 on board

28 July 2010; Airblue; A321-231; flight 202; near Islamabad, Pakistan: The aircraft (AP-BJB) was on a scheduled domestic flight from Karachi to Islamabad, Pakistan when it crashed during approach in a hilly area near the airport. The aircraft was completely destroyed in the crash, and all 146 passengers and six crew members were killed. The crash occurred at 9:45 am local time, and early reports indicate that there was rain in the area at the time of the crash.

Previous Airbus A320 Series Crashes
This is the ninth crash involving airline passenger deaths on an aircraft from the Airbus A320 family. The first was a June 1988 air show crash of an Air France A320, and the most recent was a May 2008 TACA Airlines A320 crash in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

About Airblue Airlines
Airblue is a private airline based in Pakistan. It began operations in 2004 and has an active fleet of about five A320 series aircraft. This was their first major crash.

Additional Resources
Wikipedia page about the crash
Wikipedia page about AirBlue
Fatal A320 plane crashes
Fatal airliner crash rates by model

Photo Credits: Wikipedia, Getty Images

24 July 2010

CF-18 Crashes in Canada and Pilot Ejects in Time

23 July 2010, Lethbridge, Alberts, Canada: A CF-18 fighter jet crashed during an an airshow practice flight at the Lethbridge County airport in Alberta, Canada, and the pilot was able to eject shortly before the crash.

The pilot, Capt. Brian Bews of the Canadian Forces was practicing Alberta International AirShow when the aircraft apparently began to lose control close to the ground. The ejection sequence began about 30 meters (roughly 100 feet) off the ground. After ejecting, the pilot was dragged some distance on the ground before coming to rest. His was taken to a local hospital with unspecified non-life threatening injuries.

According the the Canadian Department of National Defence, the pilot, who is originally from Eatonia, Saskatoon, has logged more than 1,400 flight hours since his military career began in 1999, with about 1,200 of those hours in the CF-18 Hornet. He earned a private pilot's license in 1995.

Photo and video Credits: Global TV, Ian Martens, Miranda Turuk

Other plane crash videos

21 July 2010

Turbulence on United Flight Sends at Least 20 to Hospitals

20 July 2010; United Airlines 777; flight 967; over Kansas: United Airlines Flight 967, a 777 en route from Washington's Dulles Airport (IAD) to Los Angeles (LAX), diverted to Denver, CO (DIA) after apparently experiencing significant turbulence while flying at 34,000 feet over Kansas.

According to United, the aircraft had 255 passengers and 10 crew members. FAA spokesman Ian Gregor in Los Angeles said 26 passengers and four crew members were injured, and that one person was critically hurt, though no additional details were provided about the most seriously injured person. Local media reported that 21 people were transported to Denver area hospitals.

Fox News reported that United had two other significant turbulence events earlier this year. The first was a February incident where about 20 people were injured when a United flight experienced turbulence on a trip from Washington, DC, to Tokyo. That flight was a Boeing 747 with 263 people on board.

The second incident was in May when 10 people suffered injuries, including broken bones, on a United 777 flight that hit severe turbulence over the Atlantic Ocean on its way from London to Los Angeles. That flight was diverted to Montreal.

Last month, a United Express crash in Ottawa, Canada injured three people, including both pilots and one passenger.

While this most recent event is suspected to be due to turbulence, the investigation into this incident is ongoing could reveal another cause or causes. For example, in October 2008, a Qantas A330 was involved in what was first thought to be a turbulence event, but the Australian authorities found that it was not the case.

Plane Crashes and Significant Events for United Airlines
Plane Crashes and Significant Events for the 777
Fatal Turbulence Events Since 1980
Turbulence Resources for Passengers

01 July 2010

Maggots Raining on Passengers Forces US Airways Flight Back to Gate

Some airline incidents are quite stranger than fiction, and that was the case on June 28, 2010 in Atlanta. US Airways flight 1537, which was scheduled to go from Atlanta, GA to Charlotte, NC, was taxiing prior to takeoff when passengers began noticing maggots falling from on overhead bin. The flight crew announced that they were returning to the gate because of a "minor emergency on board."

The source of the maggots was from a container of spoiled meat that was in the carry-on baggage of one of the passengers. The plane returned to the gate, where a ground crew cleaned out the aircraft before it was allowed to continue to Charlotte. The passenger who caused this situation was also allowed to continue, but on another flight. Only after the flight arrived at Charlotte did the airline fumigate the aircraft.

Comments from one of the passengers on this flight show just how disturbing this event was to them:
  • I heard the word ‘maggot' and that kind of got everybody creeped out...All of a sudden, I felt somebody flick the back of my hair and on the front of me came a maggot, which I flicked off me

  • I felt like they were crawling all over me because it only takes one maggot to upset your world

  • And as they're telling us to stay calm and seated, I see a maggot looking back at me and I'm thinking, ‘These are anaerobic, flesh-eating larvae that the flight attendants don't have to sit with
How Can Maggots Get on an Airplane?
In the US, the federal government restricts what kinds of animals or other live creatures are allowed on an aircraft, and what kinds of animals can be imported into the US. However, for domestic airline flights it is up to the airline to set rules for animals, and those rules typically deal with flying with pets and service animals. Also, while the TSA has many rules about what items are permitted and prohibited from checked or carry-on baggage, there are no specific restrictions on bringing either spoiled meat or insects through security. contacted US Airways directly, and a representative indicated that dogs, cats, and birds were allowed on flights, but not bees or other insects. Presumably this means that maggots would not have been allowed on the aircraft if the airline had been made aware of their presence. It is not clear whether the passenger who brought the maggots on board either received permission from the airline or was even aware that there were maggots in their baggage.

Video Report of the Maggot Event

Advice from
Most airlines have very detailed rules on what kinds of live animals or biological specimens you can bring on an aircraft. If you are thinking about bringing any kind of animal or insect on board the aircraft, contact the airline ahead of time to see if your animal will even be allowed. If you are traveling internationally, make sure you are following all appropriate import and export rules. If you see something that may be a problem, for example someone sneaking an animal onto the aircraft, or a carry-on or checked baggage item that may be a health hazard, contact an airline representative immediately.