Force of Air Algérie crash means victims may not be identified

Author: admin  |  Category: Crashes, Safety


via , The Guardian

Black boxes from flight AH5017 arrive in Paris, and investigators say it could take several weeks to determine what happened

Air Algerie crash site

Investigators gather evidence at the crash site of Air Algerie flight AH5017 in Mali’s Gossi region. Photograph: Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images

French air accident investigators say they are reasonably optimistic about establishing what caused an Air Algérie aircraft to fall from the skyover Mali on Thursday, apparently plunging more than 30,000ft in three minutes.

However, identifying the 118 victims is likely to prove difficult because of the violence of the crash, say officials at the site in Mali.

Flight AH5017 from Burkina Faso to Algeria disappeared off the radar screens during the early hours of last Thursday. Air traffic control recordings show that the Spanish pilots had reported heavy storms and asked to turn back.

Minutes later the plane, less than an hour into its flight and laden with fuel, seems to have dropped to the ground. A scorched crater at the site of the crash – in Mali’s Gossi region, near the border with Burkina Faso – and a limited scattering of small parts of the aircraft are testament to the violence of the impact.

Radar recordings show the plane’s last contact at 1.47am local time. A witness reported seeing a ball of flame in the crash area at about 1.50am, suggesting the tragedy happened in minutes.

One witness said it was “as if a bomb had fallen” on the desert, and that the plane had hit the ground at a steep angle and at full speed, ruling out any attempt at an emergency landing.

Police investigators and gendarmes at the scene say the plane was “pulverised” and they have found no bodies. Even finding traces of the victims – who included one Briton and 54 French people, including entire families – is proving a challenge, with stifling heat alternating with torrential rain in a remote area.

The two flight recorders arrived in Paris on Monday. The main black box, which records flight data, was retrieved intact and the information has been extracted. The second, a cockpit recorder, was found damaged. Officials say the magnetic band that stores the sounds and conversations from the cockpit is “creased and broken” in places.

Rémi Jouty, director of France’s air investigator, the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyse (BEA), told the radio station Europe 1 that finding out exactly what happened to the plane could take several weeks, but he was optimistic about discovering the cause of the crash.

General Gilbert Diendéré, chief of staff to Burkina Faso’s president, Blaise Compaoré, said: “I don’t think we will be able to return any bodies. They were scattered, dispersed. I’m not even sure we’ll be able to find all of them. The fall was dramatic and very fast.”

Original story, here.

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Dallas-bound jet returns to Omaha as precaution

Author: admin  |  Category: Safety


Story via

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Mechanics have been checking an American Airlines jet that made a precautionary landing in Omaha after crew members reported what smelled like an electrical fire in the cockpit.

Omaha television station KMTV says ( ) the Dallas-bound jet took off from Omaha just before 6:30 p.m. Monday but soon turned around and landed back at Eppley Airfield.

American spokesman Matt Miller told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Flight 2323 carried 62 passengers and five crew members. Miller says a replacement for the MD-80 aircraft took off about 9:30 p.m. and made it to Dallas without incident.

Miller says he had no word yet on what, if anything, was wrong with the flight’s original plane.

Full story, here.

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Alaska Airlines jet makes emergency stop in Klamath Falls

Author: admin  |  Category: Safety


Original Story by: Herald and News, via The Columbian, Published: July 28, 2014, 9:45 AM

KLAMATH FALLS — Not one, but two 737 Alaska Airlines passenger jets landed at the Crater Lake-Klamath Falls Regional Airport on Sunday afternoon.

The first made an emergency landing at 3:30 p.m. It was a scheduled flight from Orange County, Calif., to Seattle, but had to divert due to an apparent fuel leak in one of the engines, according to airport authorities.

The second flight arrived from Seattle about 6 p.m. to pick up the 160 passengers and crew who were stranded at the airport for about three hours. About eight passengers rented cars in Klamath Falls to drive on to their final destinations.

“We had our emergency equipment meet the flight as the plane came in,” Bill Hancock, airport operations manager said. “That’s standard procedure. The jet had to sit on the runway a bit so we could check it out before the passengers were allowed to deplane.”

The crew and airport officials teamed up to offer food and beverages as the passengers filled the airport waiting lounge. Many were on holiday, and a few were international travelers. Alaska Airlines officials from Medford drove to Klamath Falls to help with the transition between planes and crews.

“Everything was handled very professionally,” remarked Heather Berkley, who was flying to Seattle. “I received several text messages updating me about what was going on from the airlines.” She and Publisher Heidi Wright handed out free Sunday newspapers to the passengers as they waited for the second plane.

Linda Tepper, airport business manager, also pitched in to help feed and make passengers comfortable during the layover.

Mike Robinson, his wife and two daughters — all of Silverdale — were heading home from a vacation at Disneyland.

“It wasn’t a bad delay at all,” he said. “The crew told us what was going on all the time. It went pretty well. My girls made friends with other passengers’ girls while we waited.”

Elizabeth Larsen and her daughter, Carly, were heading home to Spokane. They took the delay in stride, as well.

“Carly had texted my mom that we ‘crash landed’ in Oregon,” Larsen laughed. “I had to call my mom right a way and correct that!” She noted, too, that despite the quick descent into Klamath Falls, the crew kept everyone calm. “I had a few seconds of panic. But after that it was just a normal landing.”

The abandoned jet will be inspected by Alaska staff before it will fly on to Seattle for maintenance, officials said.

The fact that the airport does not have commercial airline service since SkyWest/United pulled out in June, was not lost on Alaska Airlines workers. One noted that Klamath Falls treats Alaska staff very well when an emergency such as this happens.

Original story, here.

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Pilot dies after orchard helicopter crashes in Wenatchee

Author: admin  |  Category: Crashes, Safety


Via and The Associated Press

WENATCHEE, Wash. — A pilot died after a helicopter crashed near Pangborn Airport in Wenatchee Wednesday afternoon, according to the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office.

The crash happened just before 2:30 p.m. on Stermilt Hill Road. Allen Kenitzer of the Federal Aviation Administration in Renton says the helicopter was a Bell 206A Jet Ranger.

Chelan County Fire District spokesman Rick Eissacson said the helicopter was not a firefighting helicopter but an orchard helicopter used for drying rain water off cherry trees.

There was no information available about the pilot.

Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

Full story, here.

The Federal Aviation Administration Preliminary Report can be found, here.   The FAA Preliminary information is as follows:


At the time of this post, no information is available via the National Transportation Safety Board. However, a Preliminary Report may be found by searching the Aviation Database, here, once it has been prepared.

For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our work representing victims and families following an injury or loss, visit our website or contact us.

Southwest Flight From BWI Makes Emergency Landing In Columbus

Author: admin  |  Category: Safety


Original story via CBS Baltimore


Columbus, OH (WJZ/WBNS)– A Southwest Airlines flight from BWI made an emergency landing at Port Columbus International Airport late Tuesday night, according to our sister station WBNS.

A spokesperson from Southwest Airlines says Flight 424 from Baltimore/Washington to Chicago-Midway diverted to Columbus after the pilots receiving a smoke indication in the forward cargo hold.

The captain declared an emergency and landed safely.

Emergency evacuation slides were deployed and all 49 passengers and five crew members on board escaped safely. No injuries were reported.

Emergency vehicles surrounded the plane on the taxiway and found no indication of smoke or a fire.

Southwest Airlines says the aircraft is out of service for further inspections and they are working to get passengers to Chicago first thing Wednesday morning.

Full story, here.

When an airline fails to reasonably care causing injury to a passenger, we step in to help hold the airline accountable to ensure the passenger or passengers are compensated. If you have been injured while flying commercially please contact Brodkowitz Law.

Southwest Jet Turns Back After Smoke Reported in Cabin

Author: admin  |  Category: Fumes, Safety



A Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines flight returned to Austin, Texas, minutes after takeoff Sunday because of a report of smoke in the cabin, the airline said.

Flight 4625 left Austin at 9:18 p.m. Central Time. The smoke was reported after takeoff and the plane turned back, landing after 9:30 p.m., according to FlightAware.

Firefighters responded to Austin Bergstrom International Airport after the plane landed, ABC affiliate KVUE reported.

According to Southwest Airlines, passengers boarded a new plane and arrived in Dallas about two hours behind schedule.

The aircraft, a Boeing 737, was taken out of service for inspection. No one was injured, and the cause of the situation remained under investigation.

Full story via original source, here.

The source of the smoke in the above incident may be unknown, but passengers and crew alike should be aware of contaminated bleed air in the cabin. For more information, visit our website or contact us.

If you are experiencing health effects after being exposed to smoke in the cabin of an airplane, please see this medical protocol which may help your doctor in treating you.

FAA Investigates American Airline’s Refusal To Allow Use Of Kid Seat On Flight

Author: admin  |  Category: Other Events, Safety



Via, John Goglia, Contributor

The FAA has confirmed to Forbes that it is investigating American Airline’s June 9 refusal to allow a passenger on an American Eagle flight to use an approved kid’s seat when the parent had paid for a seat for the child.   According to FAA spokesperson, Alison Duquette, “a parent should be able to use an approved-child restraint system that is appropriate for the child’s weight.”

In a troubling incident I wrote about last month, a parent was forced to take off with his 14-month old son as a lap child, even after he had bought a seat for the child and brought an FAA-approved car seat for use on the flight.  The incident was brought to my attention by the child’s mother, Amy Harsch, who was understandably upset that her son was forced to take off with none of the safety restraint protections afforded all the other passengers and crew in the event of an emergency.  According to American Airlines spokesperson, Martha Thomas, in an email discussing American’s investigation of the incident “properly securing the seat at that time would have been time consuming and delayed the flight’s departure.”  Time-consuming, perhaps, but required by the Federal Aviation Regulations which prohibit an airline from preventing a child from using an approved restraint system that is weight-appropriate when the parents have purchased a seat for the child.

According to Ms. Duquette, the FAA spokesperson, a complaint was forwarded to the FAA and “we are investigating the incident.”

Original story via, here.

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Twenty injured when S Africa to HK plane hits turbulence

Author: admin  |  Category: Safety, Turbulence


via BBC World News

Fire service vehicle parks in front of the South African Airways flight SA286 in the Hong Kong International Airport, 16 July 2014

Badly injured passengers were taken to hospital as soon as they landed in Hong Kong (Photo via

At least 20 people have been injured when a South African plane to Hong Kong encountered severe turbulence.

Two people were critically injured and immediately taken to hospital on landing.

Flight SA286 left Johannesburg on Tuesday and landed in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

The airline said 165 passengers were on the plane when the turbulence struck over Malaysia.

Witnesses on the flight told Hong Kong newspaper the South China Morning Post that many passengers hit the cabin ceiling, causing head and neck injuries.

Local television images showed ambulances on the tarmac at Hong Kong’s airport taking away the injured after the plane landed at around 12:30pm local time (0430 GMT).

A spokesman for South African Airways said 17 passengers and three crewmembers were injured, although details of the injuries have not yet been given.

Speaking to local press, the Hong Kong fire department spokesman said 14 ambulances, four fire engines, a mobile casualty treatment centre and a mobile command unit were sent to the scene.

Full story, here.

For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our work representing injured passengers and flight crew worldwide, visit our website or contact us for a free case evaluation.

United flight diverted to remote Midway Island due to odor

Author: admin  |  Category: Fumes, Safety


Photograph via

Story via CNN, original story by By Michael Martinez, Chris Welch and Mayra Cuevas

(CNN) — A harrowing United Airlines flight Friday over the Pacific Ocean was forced to land on remote Midway Island because of what an FAA official said was an electrical odor on board.

The United Airlines plane, carrying 335 passengers and 13 crew on a Boeing 777, was flying from Honolulu to Guam when it was forced to land and spend seven hours on the Pacific atoll, said United spokeswoman Mary Clark. A replacement aircraft later carried everyone back to Hawaii on Friday, she said.

When explicitly asked Saturday whether the disturbing smell was smoke or something burning, Clark described the incident as an odor in the cabin.

A passenger, Karen von Merveldt-Guevara of Sedona, Arizona, said the pilot spoke of smoke and failure to the radar and other systems.

“The captain said there was smoke in the cockpit and the radar failed and other electronic systems were failing, so they had to land. I think they landed old-school. They did an amazing job to get there safely,” Merveldt-Guevara said.

“At one point there was one drop of about 40 feet. After that turbulence, it got really silent. I thought everybody was praying, and we were coming in on the wings of faith. We were all praying,” Merveldt-Guevara told CNN.

She said an odor emanated even before the plane took off. But the jet took flight any way before being diverted to Midway Island, a U.S. territory known as home to a World War II battle.

United is now investigating the plane, a Boeing 777. The new jetliner is one of the most sophisticated in aviation, Clark said Saturday.

United couldn’t comment on further details, such as the purported radar failure, because its investigation is ongoing, Clark said.

Von-Merveldt said that passengers were told before the flight began that there was an odor in the cockpit.

Some people left the plane, but Merveldt-Guevara decided not to because she was with 25 people traveling together to a big family gathering in Guam.

“I’m just digesting it,” she said Sunday in a telephone interview. “I think they should not have let us go from the plane from Honolulu. They told us they had a problem with a smell in the cockpit.

“We had 25 family members on board, and that made me think it was OK to stay,” she added.

After all, she thought, her airplane ticket was a last-minute gift given to her a week earlier. “I thought this was godsend, this was meant to be. I was thinking this can’t go wrong!” she said.

In fact, the flight takeoff was delayed in Honolulu for three hours, during which the plane sat on the tarmac, she said. “Then they let us go, and I thought it didn’t feel right, but hey,” she said.

But during the flight while everyone was asleep, Merveldt-Guevara overheard a conversation of a passenger with a flight attendant who said the plane was returning to Honolulu.

“When more people woke up, they made an announcement. I could understand they didn’t want mutiny. First we thought it was of a storm hitting Guam. Then the smell got worse in the cabin, and I started to gag because of the smell of chemicals. The attendants were busy. In between they would communicate saying they were busy in the cockpit trying to figure things out,” Merveldt-Guevara said.

On Midway Island

A video shows people fanning themselves with leafs of paper inside the cabin, apparently after the plane landed.

In the video, a voice on the intercom tells the passengers: “Midway is not an island that has hotels and things. It’s just a diversion airport. What they’re offering is they have gymnasium here that you can all go to if you like and they have chairs and things. We can put you there until we figure out what exactly is going on. They will open up their stores so you can get something to eat.”

The video then displays passengers getting off the plane and walking the tarmac in the middle of the night.

Inside the gym, passengers sat on chairs or rested on the floor.

At the end of the video, the passengers cheered when addressed by a man in the top bleachers. Apparently, they were about to get off the island.

A new flight, 2105, flew the passengers to Guam, where they landed Saturday, Clark said.

FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer described the odor aboard the plane as an “electrical smell” in the cabin or cockpit.

On Sunday, Merveldt-Guevara expressed relief that the journey was over.

“I thought let’s just be grateful. Let’s savor the moment,” she said.

But she said her luggage still hadn’t arrived in Guam.

Full story via

At Brodkowitz Law we have experience representing passengers and flight crew injured by contaminated air on airplanes, for more information, visit our website or contact us.

Delta Air Lines Flight 2370 Severe turbulence incident

Author: admin  |  Category: Turbulence


The Federal Aviation Administration’s Accident/Incident Database had the following preliminary information via the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) page regarding a severe turbulence incident near West Palm Beach, Florida involving Delta Air Lines Flight 2370:

Date: 09-JUL-14
Time: 00:14:00Z
Aircraft Make: AIRBUS
Aircraft Model: A319
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: Minor
Aircraft Missing:
Damage: None
State: Florida
Total Fatal: 0
Fatal Serious Minor None Unknown
Flight Crew 0 0 0 0 0
Cabin Crew 0 0 0 0 0
Passenger 0 0 1 0 0
Ground 0 0 0 0 0
Activity: Commercial
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: DAL-Delta Air Lines
Flight Number: DAL2370
Entry Date: 09-JUL-14
Updated since entry: No

The report indicates at least one passenger was injured.  The incident is being investigated by the Miami Flight Standard District Office.  The preliminary report can be found, here. ASIAS provides preliminary accident and incident information reported to the Office of Accident Investigation & Prevention within the past 10 business days. All information is preliminary and subject to change.

For additional information, please go to the National Transportation Safety Board(NTSB). indicates that the flight arrived in West Palm Beach (PBI) “On Time” but the estimated arrival time was listed as 7:59 p.m., and the scheduled arrival was 8:32 p.m. Additional information can be found via .

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