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20 June 2011

Plane Crash in Russia Kills 43

20 June 2011; RusAir; Tu134A; RA-65691; flight 7R-243; Petrozavodsk, Russia: The aircraft was on a domestic flight from Moscow (Domodedovo)to Petrozavodsk, Russia. The aircraft crashed on a roadway about one kilometer from the destination airport. Of the 43 passengers and nine crew members, 44 were killed and eight survived.

Related Information
Aviation Herald article with airport approach information
BBC article
Russian plane crashes

Videos from Russia Today and MSNBC

17 June 2011 Approches 15th Anniversary

Believe it or not, next month marks 15 years of It is very unlikely that anyone involved with in 1996 could have predicted either the current state of the Internet or the current state of aviation safety and security. One thing that we may all agree on is that without the Internet, the relationship that the general public has with issues of airline safety and security would be very different.

Since its inception, the goals of have been to provide the aviation safety community and the general public with factual and timely information on issues and events that concern airline passengers and airline professionals. By leaving your comments and suggestions, you can help to continue to accomplish its mission for years to come.

Feel free to comment on one or more of the following topics:

- How the Internet changed airline safety

- The first time you turned to the Internet for airline related information

- The most important airline safety or airline security change you want to see

- How you first found out about

- What you would change about or any of its related sites

Please to leave any other comment or suggestion that comes to mind. These comments (but not your email address) will be published in an upcoming article. Below are some of the most important online efforts of that you may want to talk about: snapshots from
The Conversation at (podcast) YouTube Channel on Twitter Facebook Group

13 June 2011

Two new plane crash and aircraft safety videos

The site has two new postings this past week. The first is about a September 2009 crash of an Ilyushin 76 during an air show in Teheran, Iran. All seven crew members were killed after the aircraft broke up in flight and crashed.

The newest event was not a crash, but came very, very close to being a disaster for both the crew on the aircraft and several bystanders on the ground. Apparently, the pilot of an Argentinian Air Force trainer flew the aircraft directly at a group of people on the ground, getting down to about three feet (one meter) off the ground. There were two videos, one from the aircraft, which included data from the head up display, and a second video taken from the ground. The still picture below, taken from one of the videos, shows just close this aircraft came to the crashing.

Submit a video
Do you know of a video that should be added to is always open to ideas. The best kinds of videos to send have most of the following characteristics:
  • Available on a video sharing site like YouTube, or available online as a MP4, M4V, MOV, or WMV file

  • Deals with a single event

  • Is associated with some kind of formal accident or incident report

  • Deals with a plane crash, some other serious accident or incident, or a situation with the potential to be a crash

  • Involves any kind of flying activity, including aircraft, helicopters, ultralights, skydiving, or space flight

  • Has some kind of educational value to the public

For examples of what kind of videos we like, look at some of the postings at Not all of the videos involved crashes, and in the case of private aircraft accident in Palo Alto, CA, did not have a video associated with it. However, it did have two very dramatic audio recordings of the actual crash.

02 June 2011

FAA creates new and harsher rules concerning lasers

On 1 June 2011 the FAA announced that it will now use a rule originally used against someone on board the aircraft who interfered with a flight crew, and apply it to people on the ground who deliberately point lasers at aircraft. With this change, someone who points a laser at an aircraft can be fined up to $11,000.

While this threat to aircraft has not resulted in a major accident, flashing a laser at an aircraft could compromise aviation safety by distracting or incapacitating pilots during critical phases of flight. The FAA published a 2003 study that the effects of laser exposure may be serious for some pilots. Two years later, in 2005, the FAA published an Advisory Circular (AC-70-2) that provided guidance to air crews for reporting laser incidents.

Since 2005, the number of reported incidents has grown from 300 in 2005 to over 2,800 in 2010. Many of these events last year were reported near major airports, with almost 100 near Chicago's O'Hare airport, and nearly 200 around the four biggest airports in the Los Angeles area.

Even with this FAA change in interpreting regulations, pointing a laser at an aircraft will still be a civil rather than a criminal offense, and the FAA will still only have the power to impose fines and won't be able to put perpetrators in prison. It remains to be seen if this change will reduce the risks faced by flight crews and passengers.

BBC Interview with Dr. Todd Curtis of
The program The World Today from the BBC interviewed Dr. Curtis about some the issues associated with pointing lasers at pilots (5:02).

Report laser incidents to the FAA