Showing posts with label Plane Crash. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Plane Crash. Show all posts

March 24, 2019

Boeing Made The 737 Max Differently Than Any Other Plane Not To Make It Better But Cheaper

Boeing is in trouble. The American aviation giant finds itself in the middle of a storm that has culminated in the worldwide grounding of its latest aircraft model, the 737 MAX. There is an emerging picture of a major manufacturer botching a new aircraft design, with more than 300 people dead as a result. This follows two fatal accidents in the space of five months that seem to have occurred under similar circumstances.
May one be pardon’d and retain the offence?
“In the corrupted currents of this world,
“Offence’s gilded hand may shove by justice,
“And oft is seen the wicked prize itself
“Buys out the law.” (Hamlet, Act III, sc. three)
The tragic crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 bears an uncanny resemblance to last year’s crash of Lion Air 610, a flight that went down eight minutes after take-off from Jakarta airport. The accident in Indonesia in October last year also killed all passengers and crew, a total of 189 people.
This earlier accident is widely believed to have been caused by repeated nose-down trim responses driven by the MAX’s so-called ‘Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System’ (MCAS), which in turn may have been influenced by inputs from a faulty angle-of-attack (AOA) sensor. In plain English, and from my own limited understanding as a non-Boeing pilot: the crash was caused by a single faulty sensor in the 737 MAX models that poorly written software translated into automatically pointing the nose of the aircraft down to avoid a (non-existent) stall – when the so-called ‘angle of attack’ becomes too high and the plane loses all lift, in effect falling out of the sky – but about which the pilots had not been informed and which they were unable to override.
If that sounds like a pretty obvious design flaw, this is because it is exactly that. Yet after the Ethiopian Airlines disaster, Boeing’s own announcements showed an astonishing ignorance to the gravity of the situation. An official Boeing press release touted a MAX software update that would “make a safe airplane even safer” – which is more than slightly uncomfortable when set alongside the fact that more than 150 people just died in an accident involving that same aircraft. Following the Lion Air accident, Boeing essentially blamed the pilots. The company’s PR approach is one of “move along, nothing to see here”.
Boeing Lion Image Flickr Bathara SaktiBoeing has seen a worldwide grounding of its latest model, the 737 MAX, after a crash killed 300 passengers. The manufacturer seems to have botched this.

Conflict of interest

Aviation accidents very rarely have a single cause. As we wrote in our article on the Germanwings crash four years ago:
“Within aviation in the last few decades, this has been the goal of aircraft accident investigations: not to apportion blame to any particular individual, but to try to uncover a chain of events in order to draw the lessons. (‘Germanwings crash in the Alps: sick pilot a symptom of a sick industry’)”
One such air crash investigator is James E. Hall, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board from 1994 to 2001. His recent opinion piece in the New York Times sheds some very interesting light on the cosy relationship between the manufacturer (Boeing) and the regulator (the Federal Aviation Administration – FAA):
“The roots of this crisis can be found in a major change the agency instituted in its regulatory responsibility in 2005. Rather than naming and supervising its own ‘designated airworthiness representatives,’ the agency decided to allow Boeing and other manufacturers who qualified under the revised procedures to select their own employees to certify the safety of their aircraft. In justifying this change, the agency said at the time that it would save the aviation industry about $25 billion from 2006 to 2015. Therefore, the manufacturer is providing safety oversight of itself. This is a worrying move toward industry self-certification.” (March 13, 2019)
Since this new regulatory scheme took effect, Hall continues, the aviation industry has introduced two new aircraft types, both of which have encountered serious problems. In 2013, Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner was grounded because of fires caused by lithium batteries. In that case, the agency quickly recertified the safety of the aircraft, even before the exact cause of the Dreamliner problems had been determined.
The manufacturer thus in essence becomes both the manufacturer and the regulator, because of the inability of government to do the job, which has outsourced that task beyond the regulatory agency. This has allowed aircraft manufacturers like Boeing to choose their own employees to be the designees who could help certify their planes. This has also led to the absurd situation where the FAA maintains offices inside Boeing’s factories, including those in Renton, Wash., and in Charleston, S.C.
Indeed, Boeing is a major military contractor with close ties with the American government, and is an influential lobbying force in Washington. Last year the company employed more than a dozen lobbying firms to advocate for its interests and spent $15 million in lobbying. The current Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, is a former Boeing executive. But don’t take our word for it, just take a look on Boeing’s own website, which has a document listing a year’s worth of “political expenditures”. It goes on for 14 pages and lists campaign contributions to lawmakers, ranging from a city councilman in Texas to Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, who is now the House speaker. ‘You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.’

One hack too far?

The original 737 became the best-selling airliner of all time and has been a real cash-cow for Boeing. Over the years, Boeing has introduced four distinct generations of the 737. The latest is the 737 MAX, which entered service in 2017. Thus far, Boeing has received orders for more than 5,000 737 MAX jets, an enormous amount, worth billions of dollars. The recent grounding puts all of this at risk.
The truth is, the 737 is now more than 50 years old and is fundamentally an old aircraft with dated technology and ergonomics. Boeing itself realised this years ago and, as explained in this article on the Air Current website, the company actually wanted to replace the 737 with a completely new model designed from scratch.
Aviation is big business, however, and competition for worldwide markets is cut-throat. Airbus in particular, Boeing’s main competitor from Europe, has been chipping away at Boeing’s market share for decades. The Airbus 320 family in the 1980s pioneered the use of digital fly-by-wire flight control systems, as well as side-stick controls, in commercial aircraft, which was now becoming increasingly computerised.
Since then, Airbus has followed a more incremental strategy of evolving their existing designs and putting new, more efficient engines on their existing aircraft. Launched in December 2010, Airbus’s A320neo and subsequent A321neo have been a great commercial success and took Boeing by surprise. This forced Boeing’s hand and it had to put new engines on the 737 to stay even with its rival.
As the previously linked article explains:
“An all-new jet meant leaving the past behind, along with its established infrastructure. With a lower-cost alternative in the A320neo not hamstrung by having to pay for a fresh $15 billion development, a new Boeing jet risked giving Airbus dominant market share. In the wake of a record oil run-up in 2008, airlines wanted fuel efficiency at a current-technology price.
“The 737 Max was Boeing’s ticket to holding the line on its position – both market and financial – in the near term. Abandoning the 737 would’ve meant walking away from its golden goose that helped finance the astronomical costs of the 787 and the development of the 777X.
“Every airplane development is a series of compromises, but to deliver the 737 Max with its promised fuel efficiency, Boeing had to fit 12 gallons into a 10 gallon jug. Its bigger engines made for creative solutions as it found a way to mount the larger CFM International turbines under the notoriously low-slung jetliner. It lengthened the nose landing gear by eight inches, cleaned up the aerodynamics of the tail cone, added new winglets, fly-by-wire spoilers and big displays for the next generation of pilots. It pushed technology, as it had done time and time again with ever-increasing costs, to deliver a product that made its jets more-efficient and less-costly to fly.”
Unfortunately for Boeing, all signs are there that they didn’t implement the re-engining properly, or have gone “one hack of an outdated system too far”. The larger engines also generate more lift, causing the nose of the aircraft to pitch higher than usual, and change the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft. The risk Boeing found through analysis and later flight testing was that under certain high-speed conditions, that upward nudge created a greater risk of stalling. Boeing’s solution was the previously mentioned MCAS software that is meant to automatically trim the horizontal stabiliser to bring the nose down, activated with ‘Angle of Attack’ data. This is what is at the centre of the Lion Air investigation and the recent Ethiopian crash.

Profits before safety

It would appear the tweaks to the existing 737 Classic and NG have reached a qualitative leap where it in effect becomes a completely new aircraft type that should never have been certified by the authorities.
Boeing convinced airlines and the FAA that the planes were essentially interchangeable with earlier models of 737, and therefore pilots who were already trained in flying older 737s would not need comprehensive additional training on the new aircraft (a two-hour training session on an iPad was meant to be sufficient). Until the Lion Air crash, no 737 MAX pilot had ever heard of this completely new MCAS system, which was not documented anywhere, never mind trained for in the simulator. In fact, this was one of the main selling points that helped Boeing secure the 5,000 orders for the 737 MAX: no expensive separate type rating – on average a 5-6 week training involving full-motion simulators, which are very expensive to run – needed for your existing 737 pilots, who can keep making your company money.
China Airlines Image Thomas MitchellThe American aviation industry is a cosy club where everybody looks after each other: regulators, manufacturers and politicians. The consequences of their criminal negligence can be deadly  Image: Thomas Mitchell
Today’s 737 is a substantially different aircraft than the original developed in the 1960s. Boeing strengthened its wings, integrated various new technologies and put in modern avionics. Over the years, the FAA has implemented new and tougher design requirements, but a derivative or “variant” gets many of the designs grandfathered in. This is also the case for the 737 MAX and its predecessors, which held against today’s certification requirements, would not pass certain tests. This obviously doesn’t mean that the popular 737 Classics and NGs flying all over the world are unsafe (well maintained, they are very fine aircraft), but it indicates the dangers associated with this grandfathering system, which to a great extent relies on the self-certification of the manufacturer.
And this is where it seems to have gone wrong, as confirmed by an investigative article published yesterday in the Seattle Times. Current and former engineers directly involved with the evaluations or familiar with the original safety analysis that Boeing delivered to the FAA for the new MCAS flight control system on the MAX, shared details of Boeing’s “System Safety Analysis” of MCAS. The engineers, speaking anonymously to the Seattle Times, found several flaws in the design and disagreed with the safety analysis that was eventually approved. It is worth quoting a few technical notes:
“The safety analysis:
  • "Understated the power of the new flight control system, which was designed to swivel the horizontal tail to push the nose of the plane down to avert a stall. When the planes later entered service, MCAS was capable of moving the tail more than four times farther than was stated in the initial safety analysis document.
  • "Failed to account for how the system could reset itself each time a pilot responded, thereby missing the potential impact of the system repeatedly pushing the airplane’s nose downward.
  • "Assessed a failure of the system as one level below ‘catastrophic.’ But even that 'hazardous' danger level should have precluded activation of the system based on input from a single sensor — and yet that’s how it was designed.”
This is quite a damning assessment by engineers directly involved with the system. The article reveals how several FAA technical experts said in interviews that as certification proceeded, managers prodded them to speed the process:
“Development of the MAX was lagging nine months behind the rival Airbus A320neo. Time was of the essence for Boeing.
“A former FAA safety engineer who was directly involved in certifying the MAX said that halfway through the certification process, 'we were asked by management to re-evaluate what would be delegated. Management thought we had retained too much at the FAA.'"
“'There was constant pressure to re-evaluate our initial decisions,' the former engineer said. 'And even after we had reassessed it … there was continued discussion by management about delegating even more items down to the Boeing Company.'"
“Even the work that was retained, such as reviewing technical documents provided by Boeing, was sometimes curtailed.
“'There wasn’t a complete and proper review of the documents,' the former engineer added. 'Review was rushed to reach certain certification dates.'”
The competition with Airbus was probably the decisive factor. It’s not an accident that the FAA was dragging its feet when the Europeans grounded their MAX fleet. The reputational and financial damage for Boeing is going to be severe, and it could have a noticeable impact on the US economy. Aircraft and parts represent 6 percent of US exports. The market for short-to medium-range aircraft is estimated to be $3.2tn over the next 20 years, which is 54 percent of the total market for aircraft, and Airbus was edging ahead. Boeing needed a success with their new MAX to keep up. Undoubtedly this led the US state to hasten the FAA approval of the model. The Chinese were the first to ground the MAX, probably as part of their tit-for-tat spat with the US over trade.
The decision by the FAA is now under investigation by the Ministry of Transport. They appear to be looking at two elements of the certification process: the engineering side, and the pilot training side. This shows the scale of the scandal. The US state needs to repair the damage it has caused to the authority of the FAA, which until this point was the authority on airplane safety, and their recommendations were followed by others worldwide. If the Europeans or the Chinese were able to seize that mantle, it would mean that Boeing would find it more difficult and costly to certify its new models. It is indicative that the Ethiopian government refused to let the FAA download the data from the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, in spite of US diplomatic pressure. Instead they let the French BEA carry out the task, and the FAA was only allowed to witness.

Short-sightedness and incompetence

A similar process of “soft corruption” and conflict of interest can be seen in the financial industry in various countries across the world, made worse by deregulation. The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 started a process of removing government controls over the airlines and manufacturers in the USA. This was done to encourage competition and lower the ticket prices, but the end result has been the monopolisation of air travel to the point where four major carriers control 80 percent of US air traffic. Tickets did become cheaper but travelling by plane has generally become a miserable experience worldwide and the workforce – from pilots and cabin crew to dispatchers, baggage handlers and office workers – is more exploited, underpaid and demoralised than ever.
Trump Noopy420 wiki FileCOLON0620trumppolicies01.jpgTrump bizarrely tweeted that “airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly” and that he doesn’t want “Albert Einstein to be his pilot”. From a man who nominated his own pilot to head the FAA / Image: Gage Skidmore
Combine this with the majority of establishment politicians sitting on the boards of private companies and you have a clear recipe for disaster. It is a cosy club where everybody looks after each other: regulators, manufacturers and politicians. Obviously, for any airline or manufacturer, any serious incident or accident is bad publicity and is to be avoided. The general level of safety in aviation since the 1980s has been relatively good, and numerically speaking, flying remains the safest method of transportation. Under capitalism, however, with profit as the primary goal, there will be a never-ending battle of short-term expense versus long-term safety, where the latter finishes a long way behind.
This short-term thinking ties in with the increasing short-sightedness and sheer incompetence of the political elite worldwide. In the UK we have the Brexit circus, in the USA we have Trump. The Twitter president was quick last week to send yet another bizarre tweet saying that “airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly” and that he doesn’t want “Albert Einstein to be his pilot”. This comes from a man who doesn’t know how to close an umbrella upon entering the presidential 747 and who last year nominated his own pilot, John Dunkin — the man who flew Trump planes, not Air Force One — to head the FAA. As the Financial Times put it:
“When the Senate laughed him off as unqualified to lead an $18bn agency, Mr Trump failed to come up with a new name. The FAA has been flying without a pilot, so to speak, for more than a year. Little surprise America’s partners have lost trust in its direction.” (March 13, 2019)
Yet, like a broken clock that is right twice a day, Trump in this instance has a point, even if we can’t suspect him of having any real level of comprehension of the matter at hand.

When HAL says no

Amongst the general public there is a lot of confusion about automation in aviation. This is not the place to go into great detail about this, but suffice to say automation has undoubtedly improved the safety of air travel over the last decades. However, there is a reason why you still see two qualified pilots at the front of the plane when you board: for all the talk about replacing pilots with “computers that don’t make human errors” (the wet dream of accountants and certain professors in aeronautics), the relationship between human and machine remains a very complex one. Artificial intelligence is often not very intelligent at all (garbage in, garbage out) and having flown both smaller “hands-on” aircraft for several years without any auto-pilot at all, and highly computerised jetliners with very advanced “flight management systems”, we can say this for sure: we pilots are not going anywhere any time soon.
This is relevant to the Boeing 737 MAX tragedies as certainly the Lion Air crash is an example of how a simple computer can order a command on the basis of false inputs that dooms an aircraft and all persons on board. Incidentally, this almost happened on an Airbus as well. In 2014 a Lufthansa Airbus A321-200 was climbing through 31,000ft out of Bilbao about 15 minutes into the flight, when the aircraft on autopilot unexpectedly lowered the nose and entered a sudden descent. Luckily an alert crew knew the logic of the system and managed to disable the faulty systems causing this descent.
The problem with these recent tragedies is that Boeing didn’t bother to provide the flight crew with the necessary information to truly know their own aircraft. And this goes against one of the basic rules amongst aviation professionals: know your aircraft. Boeing thought they would get away with cutting corners, but as we can see, this has fatal consequences.

Criminal negligence

Reports have started to emerge of confidential reports submitted by Boeing 737 MAX pilots in an anonymous NASA database, with NASA serving as a neutral third party for reporting purposes. This database is a very useful tool that improves safety, and most reports are fairly mundane. Nevertheless, it contains some telling testimonies about Boeing’s latest aircraft, summed up in this article. It starts off with this incident:
“As I was returning to my PFD (Primary Flight Display) PM (Pilot Monitoring) called ‘DESCENDING’ followed by almost an immediate: ‘DONT SINK DONT SINK!’ I immediately disconnected AP (Autopilot) (it WAS engaged as we got full horn etc.) and resumed climb. Now, I would generally assume it was my automation error, i.e., aircraft was trying to acquire a miss-commanded speed/no autothrottles, crossing restriction etc., but frankly neither of us could find an inappropriate setup error (not to say there wasn't one). With the concerns with the MAX 8 nose down stuff, we both thought it appropriate to bring it to your attention. We discussed issue at length over the course of the return to ZZZ. Best guess from me is airspeed fluctuation due to mechanical shear/frontal passage that overwhelmed automation temporarily or something incorrectly setup in MCP (Mode Control Panel). PM's callout on ‘descending’ was particularly quick and welcome as I was just coming back to my display after looking away. System and procedures coupled with CRM (Resource Management) trapped and mitigated issue."
Another report from a First Officer talks about how ‘the aircraft pitched nose down after engaging autopilot on departure’.
In a separate report, a Captain complains about Boeing’s lack of documentation:
“This description is not currently in the 737 Flight Manual Part 2, nor the Boeing FCOM, though it will be added to them soon. This communication highlights that an entire system is not described in our Flight Manual. This system is now the subject of an AD. I think it is unconscionable that a manufacturer, the FAA, and the airlines would have pilots flying an airplane without adequately training, or even providing available resources and sufficient documentation to understand the highly complex systems that differentiate this aircraft from prior models. The fact that this airplane requires such jury rigging to fly is a red flag. Now we know the systems employed are error prone--even if the pilots aren't sure what those systems are, what redundancies are in place, and failure modes. I am left to wonder: what else don't I know? The Flight Manual is inadequate and almost criminally insufficient. All airlines that operate the MAX must insist that Boeing incorporate ALL systems in their manuals [my emphasis].”
“Criminally insufficient” is an apt summary of Boeing’s weak attempt at damage control. We would go further and describe this as criminal negligence. How else to describe certifying an aircraft with a brand new critical system that (a) wasn't documented to the pilots strapping themselves every day to these million-dollar machines, and (b) was not built with the necessary double or triple redundancy that is standard in the industry?
Boeing’s new aircraft should never have been released in the way that it was. It is clear that Boeing cut corners to get the model out as soon as possible, and with as little expense to the airlines as possible. They needed this to avoid falling behind Airbus. To this end, the US regulator, which works hand-in-glove with Boeing, certified the design when they should not have. This is what prepared the way for two completely avoidable accidents, and it shows what the profit motive does to the safety standards of aviation.

February 7, 2019

A Body Has Been Recovered from The Plane Wreckage of the Soccer Star Emiliano Sala


A body has been recovered from the plane carrying the Argentine soccer striker Emiliano Sala, which crashed into the English Channel last month, the British authorities said late Wednesday.

The British Air Accidents Investigation Branch did not specify whether the body was that of Mr. Sala or the pilot, David Ibbotson, the only other person who was on the small plane.

“In challenging conditions, the A.A.I.B. and its specialist contractors successfully recovered the body previously seen amidst the wreckage,” the investigators said in a statement. The body was being taken to the coroner of the county of Dorset, the statement said. 

The recovery crews tried to retrieve the wreckage itself, but bad weather forced them to give up, according to the statement. 
U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
A video still, released by the British authorities, showing the wreckage of the plane that was carrying Mr. Sala and the pilot, David Ibbotson.CreditU.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Mr. Sala, 28, who had recently transferred to the English Premier League club Cardiff City from Nantes in the French league, was flying to Cardiff from Nantes on Jan. 21 when the single-engine, propeller-driven Piper Malibu vanished.

Mr. Sala had sent an audio message from the plane to a group of friends on WhatsApp, saying that he was “so afraid” and that the plane “seems like it’s falling to pieces.”

The authorities called off a search on Jan. 24. But efforts resumed after more than 371,000 euros, about $424,000, was raised from donors, including some of soccer’s most prominent players.

On Sunday, a shipwreck hunter, David Mearns, announced that his team on the ship FPV Morven had found the plane. Another ship, the Geo Ocean III, used a remotely operated vehicle to film the wreckage, and images of the registration number on the fuselage confirmed that it was the missing plane.

Mr. Sala had been one of the leading strikers in France this season. Cardiff City, which has one of the Premier League’s lowest goal totals, had signed him in an effort to improve its poor offensive production. 

The Welsh team agreed to pay 15 million pounds, or more than $19 million, to acquire Mr. Sala. Nantes has demanded payment of the first installment of that transfer fee, which is to be paid over three years, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

February 6, 2019

Emiliano Sala’s Plane is Found at The Bottom of The Waters and Nala His Dog, Waits By The Door

The wreckage of the missing aircraft carrying soccer player Emiliano Sala is seen on the seabed near Guernsey. (AAIB via Reuters TV) (Handout/Reuters)

As workers located a body and wreckage of the plane carrying soccer player Emiliano Sala, his sister posted a heartbreaking image of his dog, Nala, patiently awaiting his return.
The plane carrying Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson from Nantes, France, to Cardiff in Wales disappeared from radar over the English Channel on the evening of Jan. 21. A private search of the waters off Guernsey revealed wreckage of the plane, with an unidentified body inside, on the seabed off the coast of Guernsey on Sunday morning. Both Sala, who was en route to join his new Premier League team after transferring from Nantes, and Ibbotson, 59, are presumed to have died in the crash of the Piper Malibu single-engine aircraft.
On Saturday, the Argentine player’s sister, Romina, had posted the image of Nala, a rescue dog, looking out into the distance, writing on Facebook, “Nala is waiting for you, too.”
Nala también te espera.. ❤ 
Nola waits for you too...💔
The official search ended after four days, but friends, family, and fellow players hired David Mearns, a marine scientist and oceanographer who specializes in deep water search and recovery operations, to continue the search privately. The wreckage was formally identified by Air Accident Investigation Board officials.
“Based on analysis of ROV [robot] video footage, the AAIB investigators on board the vessel concluded that the object is wreckage from the missing Piper Malibu aircraft, registration N264DB,” AAIB said in a statement. “The ROV carried out a further search of the area overnight but did not identify any additional pieces of wreckage.
“Tragically, in video footage from the ROV, one occupant is visible amidst the wreckage. The AAIB is now considering the next steps, in consultation with the families of the pilot, passenger and police. The image shows the rear left side of the fuselage including part of the aircraft registration.
“We intend to publish an interim report within one month of the accident occurring.”
The wreckage was located two days after seat cushions washed up on the beach near Surtainville in Normandy, France, and Mearns, who is no longer involved in the mission, confirmed in an Agence France-Press report that divers were on-site, considering what to do next. “You have to see whether you can lift the plane without disturbing the body and also making sure that you’re picking [all the wreckage] up,” he said.
He continues to be in contact with Sala’s family and added, “This is about the best result we could expect for the families, but is devastating news.”

January 22, 2019

Premier Footballer Emiliano Sala 28 Plane's Has Gone Down Over Chanel Islands

Image result for emiliano sala plane down

Premier League footballer Emiliano Sala was on a light aircraft which went missing over the Channel Islands.

The £15m Argentine striker, 28, was one of two people on board the Piper Malibu which lost contact off Alderney in the Channel Islands on Monday night.
Cardiff City, which signed Sala from French club Nantes in a record deal on Saturday, said it was "very shocked".
Guernsey Police said there was "no trace" of the Cardiff-bound flight and his family said they felt "desperate".

Live: Cardiff striker Sala missing
Sala - born in Argentina, made in France
Sala - timeline of Cardiff City signing
Sala's father, Horacio, told Argentine TV channel C5N, he heard the news from a friend.

"I didn't know anything. I couldn't believe it," he said. "I'm desperate. I hope everything goes well."
Meanwhile, John Fitzgerald, chief officer of the Channel Islands Air Search, said the probability of finding anyone alive from the missing aircraft was "reducing very rapidly".

 Map showing location of Alderney and lighthouse
"I think with the sea temperatures and the sea conditions the chances of finding anybody alive are reducing all the time," he said.
"The sea temperatures are very, very cold and just sap the core temperature of anybody in the water very, very quickly."

The plane left Nantes in north west France at 19:15 and had been flying at 5,000ft when it contacted Jersey air traffic control requesting descent, Guernsey Police said.

The plane lost contact while at 2,300ft and disappeared off radar near the Casquets lighthouse, infamous among mariners as the site of many shipwrecks, eight miles (13km) north-west of Alderney.

The force added UK authorities have been calling airfields on the south coast to see if it landed there but there had been no confirmations and a decision about an overnight search would be made at sunset.

Media captionCardiff City signed the 28-year-old from French club Nantes
A spokesman for the French Civil Aviation Authority said the Piper PA 46 Malibu aircraft was French but had not been registered in France.

"We can confirm Emiliano Sala was on board," he said.
"This morning, the French research started with one French national navy ship and one aircraft. The investigation will determined which authority will take the lead on the research."
Sightings of red flares were reported during a lifeboat and helicopter search, but "nothing of significance was found", a Channel Islands Air Search spokeswoman said.

Police said on Tuesday more than 100sq miles had been searched by five aircraft and two lifeboats. The search had resumed after being called off overnight "due to strengthening winds, worsening sea conditions and reducing visibility".

Cardiff Airport confirmed the aircraft was due to arrive from Nantes but a spokeswoman said there were no further details.
Guernsey harbour master Captain David Barker said no distress call had been received and if the search continues into the night it is unlikely to have a good outcome.
"It's far easier to see something on the surface in daylight," he said. "We are looking for any traces of an aircraft, a life raft, persons in the water, life jackets."
Flowers have been left outside the Cardiff City Stadium

Flowers have been left outside the Cardiff City Stadium

The Met Office said conditions were not "too intense" at the time the aircraft went missing but had become wetter and windier later in the evening.
John Fernandez, a reporter for BBC Guernsey, said it was a difficult area to search.
"A number of search vessels are out searching the area. It's known for its strong currents - there are a number of shipwrecks," he added.
"The search area is absolutely massive at the moment. They're searching a number of different spots at the moment - they're not sure whereabouts this plane might have gone down."
'Last goodbye'
Cardiff signed Sala for a club record fee after protracted negotiations with Nantes and he was due to join his new teammates for training on Tuesday. Training was cancelled.
In a statement, the club's chief executive Ken Choo said they were praying for "positive news" for the player and pilot.

Emiliano Sala told Cardiff City he wanted to "start training and get down to work"
Exit player
Media captionEmiliano Sala told Cardiff City he wanted to "start training and get down to work"
He added: "We were very shocked upon hearing the news that the plane had gone missing. We expected Emiliano to arrive last night into Cardiff and today was due to be his first day with the team.
"Our owner, Tan Sri Vincent Tan, and chairman, Mehmet Dalman, are all very distressed about the situation."
He has been among the top scorers in France in recent years and had scored 13 league and cup goals this season, third behind Kylian Mbappe and Nicolas Pepe.
When his move to Cardiff was announced, he said: "It gives me great pleasure and I can't wait to start training, meet my new teammates and get down to work."
The most recent tweet from Sala's account was a picture of him and his former team-mates, captioned "La ultima ciao", or "the last goodbye".

 Twitter post by @GaryLineker: Terribly worrying news that @CardiffCityFC’s new signing, Emiliano Sala was on board the small plane that has gone missing. Hopefully, somehow, they’ll be found and safe.Image Copyright @GaryLineker@GARYLINEKER
Sala began his playing career at Argentine side Club Proyecto Crecer, before moving to French club Girondins Bordeaux in 2012.

His previous side, Nantes, has postponed its games against Entente on Wednesday and St Etienne on Saturday, according to its match schedule.
Local journalist Arnaud Wajdzik said the atmosphere in Nantes is "very emotional", and people planned to gather in the town square this evening for a vigil.

Reacting to the news at Cardiff City Stadium, Keith Morgan, chairman of the Cardiff City Supporters Trust, said he was shocked by the news.
"We're obviously still hoping it's not confirmed but when or if it is, we will contact Nantes offering all our help," he said.

"I think fans realise what's important and things like this put everything into perspective. Football is important in all our lives but not more than a person's life."
Supporter Christopher Jenkins, 45, of Caerphilly, said: "I was nearly crying with my wife - it's a massive shock to everybody."

July 31, 2018

AeroMexico Plane Crashes at Airport on Take Off

 Eighty-five people have been injured after an Aeromexico flight crashed while en route to Mexico City, according to government officials.
Flight #2431 was taking off at the General Guadalupe Victoria International Airport in the northwest Mexican state of Durango Tuesday afternoon when it crashed, according to Durango state Governor José Rosas Aispuro Torres.

PHOTO: A handout photo made available by the Civil Protection State Coordination (CPCE) shows emergency personnel at the site where an Aeromexico plane crashed, in Durango, Mexico, July 31, 2018.Handout/EPA via Shutterstock
more +

The plane was taking off when it tried to abort the takeoff due to bad weather, but it was too late, Aispuro Torres told reporters. The plane went down after the runway ended, Aispuro Torres said.
Weather reports showed scattered storms in the area at the time of the accident.

PHOTO: An accident has been reported at the Guadalupe Victoria Airport in Durango, Mexico. There are no official figures on injured or deceased.
<p itemprop=Durango Civil Protection

"It is confirmed that there were no deaths following the accident of flight Aeromexico 2431," Aispuro Torres wrote on Twitter. "At this moment on behalf of the cabinet, led by Coordinator Rosario Castro, to attend to the injured and cooperate with airport authorities with what has occurred."
Aeromexico wrote on Twitter Wednesday just after 5 p.m. ET that it was aware of an "accident" in the northwest Mexican state of Durango. 
There were 97 passengers and four crew members aboard the Embraer 190 plane, Mexico's Secretary of Communications and Transportation Gerardo Ruiz Esparza wrote on Twitter.
Aispuro Torres asked the state's security and emergency departments to respond to the scene of the accident, he wrote on Twitter. Any figures for the number of injured passengers are not yet available, Aispuro Torres wrote. 
Survivors are being transported to area hospitals, a spokesperson for Durango's State Coordination of Civil Protection told reporters. Some survivors were able to walk away from the crash to a nearby road, the spokesperson said.

PHOTO: An accident has been reported at the Guadalupe Victoria Airport in Durango, Mexico. There are no official figures on injured or deceased.
<p itemprop=Durango Civil Protection

Photos posted by Durango Civil Protection show smoke rising from the apparent crash site, which was surrounded by first responders and emergency vehicles. Although a fire broke out after the plane crashed, none of the injured appear to have suffered from burns, Alejandro Cardoza, a spokesperson for the Durango Civil Protection, said on Mexican television. The fire appears to be under control, Aispuro Torres told reporters.

PHOTO: An accident has been reported at the Guadalupe Victoria Airport in Durango, Mexico. There are no official figures on injured or deceased.Durango Civil Protection

Further details were not immediately available.
The E190 is often used for regional commercial flights around the world and is commonly used by U.S. carriers American Airlines and Jetblue.
ABC News' Jeffrey Cook, Joshua Hoyos, Whitley Lloyd and Kirit Radia contributed to this report.

March 20, 2018

New Theory with Pictures About Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 and Also Downed Flight 117

 There are Youtube videos and other pictures to fill a book about the dissapearence of this plane with ideas of how it happened or where it might be. But Iam only publishing what can be corraborated. If its a theory it will say so not passed as truth.  This is a theory but it happens to have so much information coming from responsible sources that I,(Adam) decided to have it published. We covered this story extensibly in 2014 because this is never happened before in modern times in which a new Boeing jetliner would just dissapear after being followed by radar, satellite and radio communication to about when the fuel would have been consumed. Those things just don't happen.
The plane explodes or falls from the sky, it doesnt just keep flying , makes turns,
about faces, totally changing the coarse. The worse part is the pain the families and friends are going thru just not knowing what happened to their love ones.
So if there is new information we feel we a need to keep this story alive
because we believe all secrets come with an expiration date.

[New Zealand Herald, By: Kate Schneider]

It's the mystery that still has the world holding its breath - just what happened to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370?
Now, an Australian mechanical engineer claims to have tracked it down near Mauritius, and says the public is being kept in the dark by authorities.
Peter McMahon, who has reportedly worked in crash investigations for more than 25 years, has been hunting for MH370 ever since it disappeared in 2014.
McMahon, 64, says he has finally found what he believes is the jet using NASA and Google Earth images and has pinpointed its location to 16 kilometres south of Round Island, north of Mauritius.

It's an area that's not yet been searched by investigators.
In one of the images, the outline of part of an aircraft is visible just below the surface of the water, the UK's Daily Star reports.
In another, what appears to be a piece of the front cabin can be seen south of Rodrigues Island, also close by.
He claims to have sent his evidence over to the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau (ATSB), which has confirmed it could in fact be the missing plane.
However he alleges that US officials refused to search the area and are hiding information.
"Four Americans were sent to Australia to oversee the findings of MH370," he said. "They have made sure that all information received has been hidden from
 the public, even our government - but why?
"...(they) do not want it found as it's full of bullet holes, finding it will only
open another inquiry."
Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 vanished from radar en route from Kuala Lumpur to ­Beijing on March 8, 2014. No distress signal or message was sent and all 239 passengers and crew on the Boeing 777 are presumed dead.
The aircraft is believed to have made a radical change of course less than an hour
 after it took off and crashed in the ocean off Western Australia six hours later. has contacted the ATSB.

The outline of part of an aircraft is visible just below the surface of the water. Photo / Supplied
The outline of part of an aircraft is visible just below the surface of the water. Photo / Supplied 

What appears to be a piece of the front cabin can be seen south of Rodrigues Island, also close by. Photo / Supplied
What appears to be a piece of the front cabin can be seen south of Rodrigues Island, also close by. Photo / Supplied
In other News about a downed jet liner we have news about the pilot who Russsia blmed for firing a missile at a unarmed commercial passenger airline Flight No 117:

 Capt Vladyslav Voloshyn, 2016 photoImage caption
Capt Vladyslav Voloshyn, 2016 photo
Image captionCapt Voloshyn pictured at Mykolaiv airbase in 2016

 Capt Voloshyn pictured at Mykolaiv airbase in 2016 [BBC]
A Ukrainian military pilot blamed by Russia over the 2014 downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 has killed himself, Ukrainian media report, quoting police.Capt Vladyslav Voloshyn had called the Russian allegation a lie. Dutch investigators concluded that a Russian Buk missile had destroyed the Boeing 777 jet, killing 298 people.
Reports say Voloshyn shot himself at home in Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea.Ukraine described him as a war hero.
He had flown 33 combat missions in a low-flying Su-25 ground attack jet against Russian-backed separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, and had been granted a medal for bravery.
Recently the 29-year-old had been in charge of the Mykolaiv airport, after resigning from the air force. The southern city near Odessa is called Nikolayev by Russian speakers.
A statement from Mykolaiv police on Facebook (in Ukrainian) described Voloshyn's death as "suicide", but it is being investigated under the "premeditated murder" section of Ukraine's penal code.
A military service pistol was found at the scene and is now being examinedby experts.Why is the MH17 disaster controversial?
MH17 debrisImage copyrightREUTERS 
MH17 debris 
Image captionDebris from MH17 at the crash site on 17 July 2014
REUTERS Debris from MH17 at the crash site on 17 July 2014
The airliner, with 298 passengers and crew, was shot down on 17 July 2014 over war-torn eastern Ukraine. More than two-thirds of the passengers were Dutch, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
After pro-Russian rebels launched their insurgency in April 2014 several Ukrainian jets were shot down by them, yet many international airlines continued flying over the conflict zone. MH17's high-altitude flight path was thought to be safe, despite warnings about the rebels' missile capability.
Russian officials not only alleged that Voloshyn's plane had shot down MH17. According to another Russian theory, it was a Ukrainian military Buk missile - no longer in service in Russia - that downed the airliner.
Independent experts - besides the Dutch-led team - rejected the Russian claims, saying the evidence pointed to a Buk fired by pro-Russian rebels or a Russian military unit. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) wants to put the suspects on trial in the Netherlands, but that is fraught with legal difficulties.
Ukrainian and US intelligence sources said the Buk system had been sent into rebel territory by Russia, then moved out again. Family members quoted by Ukrainian media said he had been feeling depressed. They were in the flat when he shot himself on Sunday and his wife heard the shot.An ambulance was called but he died in hospital.
A Ukrainian journalist who knew Voloshyn well, Yuriy Butusov, praised him on Facebook (in Russian) as an exemplary pilot who had fought bravely against the Russian-backed rebels in the Donbass region.
Butusov expressed bewilderment over Voloshyn's death."Dear Vlad, how can this be?! Why?!" he wrote.
"He didn't let himself break down, he wasn't depressed at all - he always acted as an exemplary officer."
According to Butusov, Voloshyn had bombed Russian paratroops during the battle of Ilovaisk in August 2014, one of the bloodiest in the Donbass conflict. More than 300 Ukrainian soldiers died in the fighting there.
Voloshyn was shot down but ejected from his Su-25, and reached Ukrainian lines despite severe injuries, Butusov said.
"I didn't hear him speak of any enemies or unresolved problems," he wrote, adding that Voloshyn was happily married and adored his wife, his little boy and two-year-old girl.
It is adamfoxie's 10th🦊Anniversay. 10 years witnessing the world and bringing you a pieace whcih is ussually not getting its due coverage.

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