Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ethiopian Airline Crashes Off Coast of Lebanon: Why?

Well we don't want to jump to conclusions now do we. Innocent until proven otherwise right? My condolences to the families, however it is imperative that investigators quickly get to the bottom of this. We cannot afford to have incompetent airline pilots flying in international air space. To their cedit (Ethiopian Airlines), they have only had 4 accidents.

AN Ethiopian airliner that crashed into the sea off Lebanon yesterday failed to follow instructions from a flight control tower for unknown reasons, Lebanon's Defence Minister said.

"A command tower recording shows the tower told the pilot to turn to avoid the storm, but the plane went in the opposite direction," Defence Minister Elias Murr said in a television interview.

"We do not know what happened or whether it was beyond the pilot's control," he added.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 lost contact with Beirut airport shortly after takeoff and crashed into the Mediterranean 2.5 nautical miles from the town of Naameh in stormy weather.

So far rescuers have failed to find any survivors from the 90 people on board, and Mr Murr said the official death toll would be limited to bodies delivered to the state hospital in Beirut.

Red Cross volunteers transported 14 bodies and some body parts to the Rafik Hariri state hospital.

Mr Murr's statements came after Prime Minister Saad Hariri chaired an emergency meeting with officials including Mr Murr, Health Minister Mohammed Jawad Khalifeh, army commander Jean Kahwaji and police chief Ashraf Rifi.

The Lebanese army, navy, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and aircraft from France, Britain, Cyprus and the United States were all assisting in rescue efforts, officials said.

An American destroyer, the USS Ramage which specialises in rescue operations, arrived on site at 4pm local time, a US embassy spokesman said.

But officials said hopes of finding any survivors were quickly fading as the search pushed on.

"We hope (to find survivors) but it's unlikely," Health Minister Mohammed Jawad Khalifeh said.

Of the 83 passengers, 54 were Lebanese, 23 Ethiopians, one French, one British, one Iraqi, one Syrian, one Turkish and another of as yet undetermined nationality.

The French passenger was identified as Marla Sanchez Pietton, wife of Paris's ambassador to Lebanon, said Denis Pietton of the French embassy.

Three of the Lebanese passengers had dual nationality from Britain, Canada and Russia.

Source: Herald Sun

2 Opinion(s):

Exzanian said...

White pilots will account for the low accident rate.

Ben said...

Ok guys, I follow this web site and in general I have to agree with 99% of what is being said here. However, here I have to disagree.

As a pilot (over 26 years), I also do not know the cause of the accident. When you take-off in such weather, the workload on the guys in the pointed end is very high.

If they had a lighning strike, the chances of being blinded and disorientated are very high. Also note that the NG (New Generation 738) are all glass cockpit (Monitors which displays all the parameters etc)

These could have been knocked out - even for a few seconds. The radio could have been knocked out as well. Even the thunder clap could have deafened the guys as well.

With regards to ATC telling them to go right, the possibility is that they never heard them, or did not have time to deal with that.

In our lingo we have A.N.C (No, not the disgusting bunch ruining our county), but A = Aviate, fly the plane, N = Navigate, know where you are and C = Communicate.

Fly first - keep the bird in the air, see where you are and then communicate to ATC.

We will have to wait for the DFR and CVR (Digital Flight recorder and Cockpit voice recorders) to be found and taken for analysis. These are what are commonly called the Black boxes (which are orange).

I hope this sheds some light into a few possibilities of what could have happened.