Saturday, October 18, 2014

Beech 36 Bonanza, N143LH: Fatal accident occurred October 17, 2014 at John H. Hooks Jr. Memorial Airport (M79), Rayville, Louisiana

Any witnesses should email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email


FAA Flight Standards District Office:     FAA Baton Rouge FSDO-03


Edwards Barham
Edwards Barham of Oak Ridge, the only person to serve as chairman of three of Louisiana's top higher education boards and a longtime pilot, died following a plane crash on the Rayville airport taxiway Friday.

Barham, who was 77, died following injuries he sustained after his plane veered off of the taxiway and crashed into a fence.

His brother Robert Barham, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said funeral arrangements are incomplete under direction of Cox Funeral Home in Bastrop.

"He was a wonderful guy and a great big brother," Robert Barham said.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said Barham will always be remembered for his service to the state.

"Supriya and I were saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Edwards Barham, and our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends," Jindal said. "He was a good man who lived fearlessly and gave of himself generously. He had a long life of public service to our state, and we are grateful for his work to improve higher education in Louisiana. His memory will remain in our hearts forever."

Barham served previously as chairman of the Board of Trustees, Board of Regents and Louisiana Community and Technical College Board of Supervisors.

He is considered a founding father of Louisiana Delta Community College in Monroe.

Delta Chancellor Barbara Hanson was emotional when she learned of Barham's death Saturday.

"Edwards Barham was a gentleman, a statesman, a tireless advocate for higher education and a dear friend," Hanson said. "Louisiana is richer for having known him. He was a great man."

Barham, a planter in Morehouse Parish, also served in the Louisiana Senate.

"He just felt that if you were blessed you owed something back to the community," Robert Barham said.

Barham was an avid flier and the founder of Flying Tiger Aviation, one of two major agricultural flying schools in the United States.

"My brother was the one who gave me my (pilot) instrument rating," Robert Barham said.

Earlier this year Flying Tiger Aviation announced a major expansion at the Bastrop airport and a partnership with Delta to create the Louisiana Aerial Application Center of Excellence.

Barham had suffered from cancer during the past two years but had improved considerably with treatment during recent months. "We were all happy with the way he responded," Robert Barham said.

Richland Parish Sheriff Lee Harrell said deputies responded to the accident about 3:15 p.m. Friday at Rayville Municipal Airport.

Harrell said Barham landed his Beechcraft Bonanza airplane after returning from a trip to southern Louisiana, deplaned his two passengers, refueled and was taxiing to the hangar when the right wheel of his landing gear veered into the grass.

The sheriff said witnesses heard the engine rev and the airplane returned to the taxiway, but never slowed down.

Harrell said the plane traveled about 275 feet when the left wing hit an unoccupied golf cart, then traveled another 30 feet when it crashed into the fence.

Emergency personnel removed Barham from the plane, and he was taken by air ambulance to Richardson Medical Center in Rayville, where the sheriff said he was in stable condition with injuries to his face and head.

Barham was then transported by air ambulance to Shreveport, where Harrell said he believes Barham died during the flight.

Harrell said Federal Aviation Administration officials are scheduled to come to Rayville on Monday to examine the plane.

Barham's body was taken to Little Rock for an autopsy.

Barham is survived by his wife, Bennie.

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 Edwards Barham, shown here in a file photo from The News-Star, founded Flying Tiger Aviation.
 (Photo Courtesy/Credit: THE NEWS-STAR )

RICHLAND PARISH (KTVE/KARD) -- Former State Senator Edwards Barham is dead after his plane veered off a lot and crashed into a fence for an unknown reason, Friday night. 

 According to the Richland Parish Sheriff's office, Barham touched down at the Rayville Municipal Airport at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

After fueling the plane, Barham headed to park the plane into a locally-owned hangar.

Deputies told KTVE/KARD for some reason, the plane then veered off the lot and crashed into the fence next to the hangar.

Barham suffered head injuries in the crash and was transported to Richland Medical Center.

Richland Parish Sheriff Lee Harrell said from there, Barham was being airlifted to a trauma center in Alexandria. On the way, the pilot succumbed to his injuries and died.

Since the crash resulted in a death, Harrell said the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will arrive at the airport over the weekend to investigate the crash.

Barham represented the agricultural District 33 from 1976 to 1980 in the Louisiana State Senate.

He was 77-years old. 

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Delta to retire Boeing 747s by 2017

If you want to book a flight on one of Delta Air Lines’ Boeing 747s, the clock is ticking.

The carrier, which flies out of Palm Springs International Airport, plans to retire the last of the 16 747s in its fleet by 2017, CEO Richard Anderson said during the carrier’s third-quarter earnings call Thursday.

The move is no surprise, but the timeline guidance comes as Delta says in its earnings statement that it will “accelerate the retirement of (its) 747 fleet as part of its Pacific network restructuring.”

Delta President Ed Bastian, speaking on the same call as Anderson, said Delta’s accelerated phase-out of the 747s comes as the company shifts some of its capacity on trans-Atlantic flights to routes between the USA and Asia.

Bastian added Delta’s acquisition of Airbus 330s next year will help facilitate retirement of 747s.

More broadly, the move comes as industry analysts speculate that the 747’s days could be numbered and that Boeing will likely have to end production of its iconic jumbo jet sooner rather than later.

Boeing’s latest model of the 747 — the 747-8 Intercontinental — is its biggest and most technologically advanced passenger version of the jet. But, so far, sales of the plane have been tepid.

Lufthansa was the launch customer of the latest version of the jet, and recently took delivery of the milestone 1,500th 747 ever produced. Air China became the second airline to take delivery of the new 747-8i last month. But, outside those carriers, Korean Air and Russian carrier Transaero are the only other passenger airlines with orders for the aircraft.

As of late June, the number of 747s coming off Boeing’s production line north of Seattle is just 1.5 per month — down from about six per month in 1990. And airlines that have older 747s in their fleets are phasing out the planes at an increasingly brisk clip.

Air New Zealand, for example, flew its final Boeing 747 flight in September, opting to replace the aircraft with Boeing’s 787 and 777 models.

That matches a trend in which airlines have shown an increasing preference for two-engine widebody jets — like the Airbus A330 and Boeing’s own 777 — that seat fewer people, but burn less fuel and can fly comparable distances.

Still, Boeing officials remain steadfast that the 747 has a solid future ahead of it.

“There is still a fair amount of interest” from airlines, Eric Lindblad, vice president and general manager of Boeing’s 747 program, told Today in the Sky in June. “Enough that we’re going to sit here today and say we expect we’re going to be building the 747-8 for quite a bit longer.”

United: Wi-Fi, streaming video coming to regional jets

United Airlines says it will add Wi-Fi and streaming in-flight entertainment to more than 200 of the bigger regional jets that fly for the company’s United Express affiliates.

United, which flies out of Palm Springs, says the first Wi-Fi-enabled regional jet flights are expected later this year. United expects the rollout of Wi-Fi to the Embraer E170, Embraer E175 and Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft in its United Express fleet to wrap up by next summer.

The in-flight entertainment options will debut later, coming online “early next year,” United says in a statement. The company says the specified United Express aircraft will get offerings that include “a wide range of movies and television shows.” Customers will be able to stream the options via Wi-Fi-enabled iOS and Android devices using United’s mobile app. Customers also will be able to view the offerings on their laptop computers.

“United is pleased to extend our growing Wi-Fi and personal device entertainment platform to our fleet of larger regional jets,” Jeff Foland, United’s EVP of marketing, technology and strategy, says in a statement. “These new elements will enhance the entire in-flight experience for our customers.”

United says it is installing Gogo’s ATG-4 air-to-ground Wi-Fi product on the United Express flights.

Android devices currently are not supported on United’s mainline aircraft that already have streaming in-flight entertainment options. However, United spokeswoman Karen May tells Today in the Sky that Android devices will be supported “later this year” on those aircraft. Then will come the rollout to regional jets next year.

USA Today reporter Bart Jansen contributed to this week’s column. Today in the Sky runs every Saturday in Escape.

Aeronca 7AC Champion, N946DR: Accident occurred October 16, 2014 in Cordele, Georgia

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA017 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 16, 2014 in Cordele, GA
Aircraft: AERONCA 7AC, registration: N946DR
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On October 16, 2014, about 1230 eastern daylight time, an Aeronca 7AC airplane, N946DR, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from Crisp County Cordele Airport (CKF), Cordele, Georgia. The private pilot was fatally injured and the passenger received serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The planned cross-country flight departed from CKF at 1230 and was destined for Peach State Airport (GA2), Williamson, Georgia. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to witnesses, the accident airplane was the first of four airplanes to depart in sequence from runway 28, a 5,001-foot-long, 150-foot-wide, asphalt runway. The airplane lifted off from the runway about midfield and started a climb. After reaching about 150 feet above ground level, the airplane entered a gradual left turn that progressed into a steep turn and slight descent. The airplane then entered a nose down attitude before it impacted the ground, spun around and came to rest.

The airplane came to rest in a grass area in a flat attitude, on a southerly heading about 350 feet from the runway. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The wings remained attached to the fuselage; the right wing displayed both outboard and inboard leading edge crush damage and the inboard wood spar was broken at the fuselage. The inboard section of the left wing exhibited vertical crush damage. No damage was noted on the elevator and rudder control surfaces and the elevator trim tab was observed in the slight nose up position. Both propeller blades remained attached to the propeller hub. Blade A exhibited some chordwise scratches and curling at the blade tip. Blade B also displayed chordwise scratches and a slight bend at the blade tip. Examination of the accident site and wreckage revealed that the airplane right wing made contact with the ground before the airplane spun and came to rest.

Further postaccident examination of the airframe was conducted at a secure facility and fuel system continuity was confirmed from the wing tanks, through the fuel gascolater, to the engine. Flight control continuity was established from the control stick in the cockpit to the ailerons and elevator, and from the rudder pedals to the rudder.

Examination of the seat belt restraints revealed that the pilot's lab belt and shoulder harness had been cut by the first responder team.

The pilot held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on December 11, 2013. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 3,098 hours; of which, 88 hours were flown during the previous 6 months.

A handheld Garmin 396 global positioning system receiver was recovered from the cockpit and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory, Washington, DC, for download.

The engine was retained for further examination.

 National Transportation Safety Board air safety investigator Stephen Stein says the purpose of the on-scene portion of the investigation is to gather perishable information which is information that may no longer be available after the wreckage is disturbed and also includes witness statements. 



The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are in Crisp County investigating a plane crash that happened Thursday afternoon.

NTSB Air Safety Investigator Stephen Stein says the purpose of the on-scene portion of the investigation is to gather perishable information which is information that may no longer be available after the wreckage is disturbed and also includes witness statements.

Stein says the investigation could go on for months or even a year before a cause is known. Investigators will be looking into the pilot's history and environmental factors as well.

The pilot, 61-year-old Rene St. Julien of Port St. Lucie, Florida was killed and his wife Jan was injured and improving at a hospital in Macon. This happened just around 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Crisp County Cordele Airport as the plane was departing.

NTSB welcomes any information you may have regarding the accident by emailing or calling (202) 314-6000.

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Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Atlanta FSDO-11


Any witnesses should email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Tunisia: Disruption of Tunisair Flights From National Airports

Tunis — Morning flights of the Tunisair national carrier company in departure from the airports of Tunis Carthage, Monastir Habib Bourguiba and Djerba Zarzis, recorded Friday, important delays due to technical deficiency in the computerized systems of registration and booking in Tunisian airports, Tunisair explains.

In a news release, Friday, the company specified that though this deficiency had been repaired, disruptions risk to go on regarding some afternoon flights.

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Airline passengers caught with undeclared, banned and dangerous items on planes, Civil Aviation and Safety Authority reveals

Airline passengers are putting the safety of aircraft at risk by bringing on board potentially explosive items such as fireworks, nail polish and fuel-operated chainsaws in their checked-in luggage.

The Sunday Telegraph has obtained a staggering list of banned items found in passenger bags in the year to June, with the national air safety watchdog warning the items likely represented just a fraction of dangerous goods it believes end up in aircraft cargo holds.

The release of the data follows a baggage fire triggered by undeclared batteries in April this year and comes as the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA) launches a national campaign to raise awareness of the need to declare potentially dangerous goods.

Explosives, live ammunition and radioactive material were some of the more serious undeclared items found in passenger bags this year.

Batteries and nail polish were two of the most common items found, followed by dry ice, nail polish remover and cigarette and barbecue lighters.

One passenger was found with a petrol-operated hedge-cutter while others brought on chainsaws, a “Whipper Snipper”, a camping stove and kerosene blow torch.

Other dangerous goods included a ball bearing handgun, a battery-powered wheelchair, Selleys liquid nails, brake cleaning fluid, sparklers, a Sodastream cylinder and gas-filled blow torches.

A CASA spokesman said passengers who are confused as to what they were allowed to take on a plane should refer to the authority’s new dangerous goods (DG) app.

The app was designed to inform passengers if an item was banned on an aircraft or needed to be specially packed or consigned, he said.

“In April 2014, a number of lithium batteries ignited inside the cargo hold of an aircraft on the ground at Melbourne airport,” the spokesman said.

“In the air, the batteries can go into thermal runaway causing a violent reaction resulting in fire.

“To keep dangerous goods safe air travellers must think about what they are carrying, check the DG app, seek advice from their airline and honestly answer dangerous goods questions when checking-in for flights.”

The fire occurred on a Fiji Airways plane waiting to depart from Melbourne airport to Nadi on April 26.

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) report released after the April 26 incident said the captain of the Boeing 737 aircraft declared a “Mayday” after observing heavy white smoke billowing from the cargo hold of the plane during an external pre-flight inspection of the plane.

Emergency crews uncovered 28 batteries, including six to eight which had been destroyed by the fire, in checked-in luggage.

The report said the owner of the luggage — a certified remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operator in Australia — had declared eight lithium batteries were being carried as hand-luggage.

The passenger had stated none were being brought on in the checked-in luggage.

The report said an electrical short involving the batteries had started the fire.

It said the bag had been screened through the oversized luggage point at Melbourne Airport.

“An initial investigation revealed that several lithium-ion polymer batteries and an RPA controller were contained in the case,” it said.

“An electrical short circuit involving the batteries resulted in the

initiation of a fire, destroying the contents and damaging the case.

“An RPA controller containing other, similar, lithium-ion polymer batteries was found in one of the passenger’s other checked-in bags.”

Under civil aviation laws, passengers failing to declare dangerous goods face penalties of up to seven years in prison.

Story and Photos:

Burnt battery balancers from the April fire incident. 
Picture: CASA

Is Ebola Making it Unsafe to Fly?

KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -  

Experts say it's not likely passengers who traveled on the plane with Dallas nurse Amber Vinson were infected with Ebola. The virus is spread through direct contact with body fluids such as blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, or waste. 

While she had a low grade fever, she did not have any other symptoms.

"In the early stages of the illness you aren't very contagious at all," says Dr. William Schaffner.

The airline is going to great lengths to clean the plane, even replacing seat covers, carpeting and air filters. The CDC says Ebola on dried surfaces like a countertop can survive for hours. Infectious disease specialist Dr. William Schaffner says the airline's response is understandable but says surfaces are not usually a source of transmission.

"It dies very quickly so there are really no examples of someone having acquired Ebola infection from touching the environment."

Ebola symptoms don't include coughing and sneezing, but many people wonder if Ebola can transmit that way?

The CDC says while that's not the typical way Ebola spreads, it's possible a patient's saliva or mucus could come into contact with another  person's eyes, nose or mouth.

Story and Video:

Mystery over low-flying plane

Mystery surrounds the identity of a woman after a low flying plane was spotted flying over Preston trailing a banner with the words ‘Sorry Jackie’.

Social media lit up on Saturday morning after pictures of the plane were circulated as puzzled residents attempted to find the mystery woman.

It seems whoever commissioned the banner was clearly apologetic for their actions.

The plane was spotted flying over homes in Lostock Hall, at around 10.30am at the weekend.

Twitter user @BloggerDon sent us this picture after she spotted the plane over her home.

* Do you know who ‘Jackie’ is? Get in touch with or call 01772 838107

Story and Photo:

Low flying plane spotted over Lostock Hall trailing a 'Sorry Jackie' banner sent in by @BloggerDon

Paramedics meet flight at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (KRDU), North Carolina


The Ebola crisis has everyone on high alert RDU airport. Wake County EMS met the daily American Airlines flight from London Thursday afternoon after a passenger became ill.

The flight was slightly delayed. Passengers who spoke with ABC11 said in spite of being on an eight-hour flight from Heathrow Airport, they had no problem waiting.

Emergency responders met an American Airlines flight right after it landed at RDU. New CDC Ebola guidelines encourage airline crews to take an abundance of precaution with sick travelers. Wake County EMS, which has been trained to handle a potential Ebola case, was immediately called in.

"Everyone's scare so, you never know," said Raleigh resident Mario Foy. "You can only be safe."

Once the plane's wheels touched the ground, passengers were told to stay put.

"There was no emergency declared, but they did ask us to remain in our seats after landing so that paramedics could board the flight," said Cary resident David Stafford.

EMS went inside the cabin and escorted off the sick passenger. Shortly afterward, everyone else was allowed to exit.

"As I disembarked the plane, I saw her sitting in a wheelchair being talked to by paramedics," said Stafford.

The passenger was checked out. An airport spokesperson says she did not have Ebola-like symptoms. It was determined the woman just had a cough and fever and she was treated on site.

If though, if there ever were a suspected case of Ebola, RDU says they have an emergency plan in place for the deadly disease.

The CDC says the risk of Ebola spreading on a plane is low. The disease is not airborne and spreads through direct contact with infected fluids.

Story, Comments and Video:

Pilot Talks About Transporting Ebola Nurses

The pilot who flew a Dallas nurse with Ebola to Maryland for treatment Thursday says the task of ferrying patients with the deadly disease on life-saving missions is always gratifying, and says none of his crew members has had any problems. 

Randy Davis, vice president of Phoenix Air, was the pilot who brought Nina Pham, 26, the first nurse to fall ill with Ebola after treating the first U.S.-diagnosed patient, from Dallas to Maryland on Thursday night. He had earlier helped fly now-recovered Ebola patient Nancy Writebol back from Liberia.

"You're always gratified when you know you're helping someone directly," Davis said. "You can see their face. You can see them walk in and out of your aircraft."

Davis is not nervous about the missions. "Not a single Phoenix Air flight crew personnel or medical personnel has had any problem whatsoever," he explained.

On the company's last two missions, there were two pilots in the cockpit and three medical staff members, including one person overseeing the process. That person doesn't wear protective gear, as he serves as the eyes and ears of the staff.

Davis' company has been a part of a dozen Ebola-related missions, but it wasn't until the last two days — when it flew Pham to Maryland, and her Ebola-stricken coworker Amber Vinson to Atlanta — that it had flown patients within the U.S.

"We're very happy that all the Americans we've brought home are still alive. Some of them have already walked out of their hospital," Davis said.

Nina Pham is currently "resting comfortably" at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, where she was flown Thursday and is in fair but stable condition, officials said Friday.

Amber Vinson is being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where she was flown Wednesday, but neither the hospital nor her family have said Friday what her condition is.

Story and Videos:

Our View: Pilots have a nerve to criticize Cyprus Airways management

CYPRUS Airways pilots union PASYPI held a news conference on Wednesday to complain that ministers and the airline’s board did not take the necessary steps needed for the company to become viable and thus meet the five requirements set by the European Commission.

They did not explain what these steps should have been, but the pilots have not exactly helped the drive for viability by suing the company on the grounds that the cuts it imposed on their salaries were illegal. The company had cut all staff’s wages in 2005, but whereas the rest of the unions representing the airline’s workers accepted these, PASYPI never agreed to them. The labor court ruled this week that the cuts in pay and benefits of the pilots had been implemented without the consent of the members of PASYPI and were therefore illegal.

Now the company will be obliged to pay the total amounts cut from every pilot’s salary since 2005 plus interest. Presumably, burdening the company with additional costs is the pilots’ contribution to the effort to make the airline viable. It is astonishing that the pilots, by far the best rewarded employees of the airline and among the highest paid in the industry, were not willing to give up a small part of their fat salaries to help their company survive, but have the nerve to accuse the board and the government for not taking the necessary steps for viability.

The PASYPI president Petros Souppouris claimed that €100 million injected by the state had been lost, the implication being the amount had not been used for the company’s needs. He blamed the senior management team for big blunders and demanded the investigation into the goings-on at the company be made public. As if to underline the pilots’ naive thinking, Souppouris claimed that his union was in favor of privatization and the arrival of a strategic investor who would help develop the airline, which was unable to deal with the competition in the last 10 years.

It did not cross Souppouris’ or his colleagues’ minds that one of the main reasons CY was uncompetitive were the unjustifiably high salaries it was paying its pilots and other staff. Nor does it occur to them that a strategic investor would not keep paying them the princely salaries they secured when all the unions were plundering the airline with the help of the politicians and their appointees on the board.

Bad management, political meddling, greedy unions and self-serving directors all contributed to the bankrupting of the airline and the pilots have a nerve to criticize management when they were not even willing to give up a small fraction of their fat salaries to help the company.

Story and Comments:

Smolensk Plane Crash Monument Modifications Open for Discussion: Polish Prime Minister

MOSCOW, October 18 (RIA Novosti) - Design modifications on the monument to be built in remembrance of the Tu-154M crash near Smolensk are still up for discussion between Poland and Russia, Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz said Saturday.

"I think this is still an open issue, that there will also be comments and suggestions from the Polish side. This case is not yet closed," Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz was quoted as saying by Polish television channel TVN24.

The prime minister has spoken out following an announcement from Russian Minister of Culture, Vladimir Medinsky, that Russia believes the monument to be built on the Tu-154M crash site is too large. Medinsky went on to propose the monument be reduced from 100 meters to 40 meters long, according to TVN24.

"It should be like we planned," Kopacz was quoted as saying by TVN24 adding that the changes proposed by Russia are inconsistent with what had already been decided.

"We are waiting for a reaction from our side. We will also propose that when we plan something, it should be carried out as planned," she added.

The prime minister stressed that any decisions surrounding the monument should be based on common sense and not be politically-charged since it commemorates a place where Poles were tragically killed.

The Tupolev Tu-154M aircraft of the Polish Air Force crashed near the city of Smolensk, Russia on April 10, 2010. All 96 passengers on board were killed including Polish President Lech Kaczynski and other top Polish government officials. The design of the monument was selected on March 30, 2012, by a unanimous vote in an international competition judged by both Polish and Russian representatives.

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NTSB Identification: ENG10RA025
Accident occurred Saturday, April 10, 2010 in Smolensk, Russia
Aircraft: TUPOLEV TU154, registration:
Injuries: 89 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On April 10, 2010, about 0656 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), a Tupolev Tu-154M, Tail Number 101, operated by the Polish Air Force as flight PLF101, crashed during approach to the Military Aerodrom Smolensk "Severnyi", Russia. All 89 passengers and 7 flightcrew were killed, including the President of Poland. The airplane was destroyed by impact and postcrash fire.

Following the accident, the governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Poland concluded a bilateral agreement that the regional international independent safety investigation organization, the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), would conduct the investigation. Although the airplane was operated as a "state" aircraft, by the mutual agreement, the investigation was conducted following the guidance provided in ICAO Annex 13 Standards and Recommended Practices. As the United States was state of design and manufacture for the TAWS and FMS units, the NTSB was requested to support the investigation activity.

For more information on the accident investigation, contact MAK at

Fighter jets and passenger plane in mid-air drama above Montrose

Disaster was narrowly averted over the skies of Angus when three US fighter jets came too close to a passenger plane, experts have reported.

A communications breakdown, possibly caused by a jamming of the airwaves during a massive military exercise, resulted in what has been described as a potentially very serious incident 33,000 feet above Montrose.

An investigation by the UK Airprox Board noted that, amid the confusion, it was the timely and effective intervention of an air traffic controller based in the Angus town that had prevented the aircraft colliding last April.

The dramatic incident, which happened during one of Europe’s largest military training events, involved a Boeing 737 passenger aircraft and three F15 US Air Force fighter planes.

Worryingly, the pilots of the three F15 fighters lost communications with air traffic control and amid the radio silence one of the jets came within about 600 metres (2,000 feet approx.) of the passenger plane, which can carry almost 200 people.

A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman confirmed that the planes had flown “too close” and lessons will be learned throughout the industry.

He said: “It’s a class C airprox incident – they were too close for our standards and the point is for this not to happen again.” 

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Japan’s first homegrown airliner finally unveiled

NAGOYA – Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. on Saturday finally unveiled Japan’s first homegrown passenger jet following three delays.

The subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. rolled out the new twin-engine Mitsubishi Regional Jet at a plant in the town of Toyoyama, Aichi Prefecture, where the midsize aircraft was built with help from the state and other companies.

With its maiden flight due next spring, the Nagoya-based firm plans to start testing this year and delivery in 2017. It has been delayed three times.

More than 400 orders for the MRJ have been received from domestic and foreign airlines.

Buyers of the first Japanese-built airliner in half a century include Japan Airlines Co., All Nippon Airways Co. and Eastern Air Lines Group Inc. of the United States, which agreed to buy up to 40 of the jets, which are used for short-haul flights and seat 70 to 90 passengers.

JAL signed in August a letter of intent to buy 32 MRJs, worth about ¥150 billion in list prices, saying it wants to strengthen the airline’s domestic services by using the fuel-efficient jet from 2021. JAL, which has been undergoing revitalization following bankruptcy in 2010, is expected to seek to resume flights on some domestic routes it has halted.

Smaller jets are seen as a flexible alternative for airlines to meet seasonal demand or service routes on which larger aircraft would be less economical.

The market for regional jets has long been dominated by Embraer SA of Brazil and Canada’s Bombardier Inc., while Mitsubishi Aircraft also has to compete with new entrants from Russia and China.

In August, JAL also announced it will buy up to 27 Embraer jets, whose deliveries will start next year. The Brazilian aircraft maker has separately received orders from airlines for nearly 600 of its next-generation regional jet, the E2, which will enter service in 2018.

The MRJ was shown off at the ceremony 52 years after a prototype of the last Japanese-built commercial airliner, the YS-11 twin-engine turboprop plane, made its maiden flight.

Industry minister Yuko Obuchi, who is embroiled in a political funds scandal, was supposed to attend Saturday’s ceremony, but in the morning she canceled a scheduled trip to Aichi for the ceremony.

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A photo taken in June shows the test model of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp.'s Mitsubishi Regional Jet, which was unveiled Saturday in a ceremony at a plant in the town of Toyoyama, Aichi Prefecture. | MITSUBISHI AIRCRAFT CORP./KYODO