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Thursday, July 24, 2014

AIR ALGERIE / SWIFTAIR FLIGHT 5017: MISSING AFTER 11 HOURS, REPORTED AS CRASHED IN MALI

Air Algerie plane 'crashes' with 116 on board after going missing over Mali

Air Algerie plane with 110 passengers and six crew reportedly crashes after losing contact with air traffic control over Mali after taking off from Burkina Faso to Algeria.


The plane was an Air Algerie aircraft, and lost contact with air traffic controllers 50 minutes after takeoff.  It is not yet clear what route the plane was taking when it went missing, but would most likely have been flying over either Mali or Niger.  Contact was lost with the plane some time after 01.55GMT (02.55 UK), according the official Algerian news agency.  The missing airplane is owned by Spanish private airline Swiftair, and operated by Air Algerie.

Flight AH5017 was in Malian air space approaching the border with Algeria when contact was lost, a source from Air Algerie has shared in confidence with a mainstream news agency.  The plane was not far from the Algerian frontier when the crew was asked to make a detour because of poor visibility and to prevent the risk of collision with another aircraft on the Algiers-Bamako route.  Contact was lost after the change of course.

An Algerian aviation official has told Reuters that the last contact Algerian authorities had with the missing Air Algerie aircraft was at 0155 GMT (02.55am UK time) when it was flying over Gao, Mali.
Aviation authorities in Burkina Faso say they handed the flight to the control tower in Niamey, Niger, at 1:38am local time (02.38 UK time). They said last contact with the flight was just after 4:30am local time (04.30 UK).
Reports on the safety record of Swiftair, the Spanish company which owned and staffed the missing flight. The airline, according to Aviation Safety Network, has only had four accidents since it was founded in 1986:
  1. October 1993 one of its aircraft was written off when the crew forgot to lower the landing gear as the plane arrived in Madrid. In May 1995, another aircraft was damaged beyond repair during a botched landing at Vitoria airport in Spain.
  2. July 1998 two crew were killed when a cargo aircraft crashed en-route to Barcelona when the pilot lost control of the plane and in January 2012 a plane sustained substantial damage during a botched landing at Kandahar.

Swiftair has said the missing plane was built in 1996 and has two Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219 PW engines. It can carry 165 passengers.  Swiftair took ownership of the plane on Oct. 24, 2012, after it spent nearly 10 months unused in storage, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets, which sells and tracks information about aircraft.  It has more than 37,800 hours of flight time and has made more than 32,100 takeoffs and landings. The plane has had several owners over the years, including Avianca and Austral Lineas Aereas.
This comes only one week after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was allegedly shot down over hostile territory in Ukraine at a reported altitude of 33,000 feet.  There is much dispute over the facts of the crash of MAS Flight 17, and an ONGOING investigation into the now infamous Malaysia Airline Flight MH 370.
Many are becoming increasingly concerned over the safety of air travel.  The FAA has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) regarding the area where the current Air Algerie flight went missing near Mali:
SECURITY MALI U.S. OPERATORS AND AIRMEN SHOULD AVOID OPERATING INTO, OUT OF, WITHIN OR OVER MALI AT OR BELOW FL240 (24,000 FEET) DUE TO INSURGENT ACTIVITY. THERE IS RISK TO THE SAFETY OF U.S. CIVIL FLIGHTS OPERATING INTO, OUT OF, WITHIN OR OVER MALI FROM SMALL-ARMS,  ROCKET-PROPELLED GRENADES, ROCKETS AND MORTARS, AND ANTI-AIRCRAFT  FIRE, TO INCLUDE SHOULDER-FIRED, MAN-PORTABLE AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS  (MANPADS). 
U.S. OPERATORS AND AIRMEN PLANNING TO FLY INTO, OUT OF,  WITHIN, OR OVER MALI AT OR BELOW FL240 MUST OBTAIN CURRENT THREAT INFORMATION; COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE FAA REGULATIONS, OPERATIONS  SPECIFICATIONS, MANAGEMENT SPECIFICATIONS AND LETTERS OF AUTHORIZATION; AND PROVIDE ADVANCE NOTICE OF PLANNED FLIGHTS TO THE  FAA AT AEO-CITEWATCH@FAA.GOV WITH SPECIFIC FLIGHT DETAILS. 
It should be noted, that Swiftair, which is registered in Spain, is governed by rules established by the European Aviation Space Agency (EASA).  According to airline analysts, there was nothing to indicate that the missing flight, a MD-83 type aircraft, had any mechanical issues, and overall is a very reliable airplane with a good safety rating (low fatalities : flight hour ratio).  Additionally, this particular flight was reported to have ample fuel for the flight, with reserves for at least another hour of flight time in the event of bad weather which was active in that region during its flight. 

As for the passengers and crew, the following has been reported as the souls on board:

The list of passengers according to Burkina Faso Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedraogo includes:
  • 51 French, 
  • 27 Burkina Faso nationals, 
  • eight Lebanese, 
  • six Algerians, 
  • five Canadians, 
  • four Germans, 
  • two Luxemburg nationals, 
  • one Swiss, one Belgian, 
  • one Egyptian, 
  • one Ukrainian, 
  • one Nigerian, 
  • one Cameroonian and 
  • one Malian
However, AFP is reporting that "at least 20" passengers were Lebanese. The six crew members are Spanish, according to the Spanish pilots' union.
As of the time of this article (12:12PM EDT) French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has been on the record stating that there has been no observation of the wreckage, and French Military Aircraft are actively searching for any signs of the downed / missing flight.   Patrick Gandil, head of the French civil aviation authority, said the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 "passed through France in Marseille two or three days ago. We examined it and we found almost nothing, it was really in good condition."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

MALAYSIA AIRLINE FLIGHT 17: PASSENGER AND CREW MANIFEST LISTING, JULY 19, 2014

As of 19 July 2014, 5:00pm, the table below shows the latest number of passengers and their nationalities:-


Nationality
Total

Netherlands
193 (including 1 dual Netherlands/USA citizen)

Malaysia
43 (including 15 crew & 2 infants)

Australia
27

Indonesia
12 (including 1 infant)

United Kingdom
10 (including 1 dual UK/S. Africa citizen)

Germany
4

Belgium
4

Philippines
3

Canada
1

New Zealand
1

Total
298

OFFICIAL IMAGES OF PASSENGER AND CREW MANIFEST














OFFICIAL MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT 17: CARGO MANIFEST LINKS / IMAGES JULY 19, 2014

OFFICIAL MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT MH17 FLIGHT MANIFESTS:

Cargo Manifest 1

Cargo Manifest 2

Cargo Manifest 3

Cargo Manifest 4

JPG FILES:





OFFICIAL MALAYSIA AIRLINES STATEMENTS: LISTING OF NATIONALITIES RELEASED FOR MALAYSIA FLIGHT 17

Saturday, July 19, 07:30 PM GMT +0800 Media Statement 7 : MH17 Incident

Malaysia Airlines is appealing to the family members or friends of those onboard MH17 to contact the airline. Enclosed is the MH17 passenger manifest for reference.
In the past 45 hours, the airline together with various foreign embassies have made every effort to establish contact with the next-of-kin but is still unable to identify many more family members.
They are advised to contact Malaysia Airlines’ Family Support Centre at +603 7884 1234 (in Malaysia).
Alternatively the family or friends may call the numbers below in their respective countries:
Netherlands (Malaysia Airlines Amsterdam office)     +31 20 521 62 62
Australia (Malaysia Airlines Sydney office)                +61 2 9364 3526
Indonesia (Malaysia Airlines Jakarta office)              +62 2 1522 9705
New Zealand (Malaysia Airlines Auckland office)     +64 9 306 3930
United Kingdom (Malaysia Airlines London office)    +44 20 7341 2060
Germany (Malaysia Airlines Frankfurt office)            +49 69 1387 1980
Philippines (Malaysia Airlines Manila office)              + 63 2 889 1863
As of 19 July 2014, 5:00pm, the table below shows the latest number of passengers and their nationalities:-


Nationality
Total

Netherlands
193 (including 1 dual Netherlands/USA citizen)

Malaysia
43 (including 15 crew & 2 infants)

Australia
27

Indonesia
12 (including 1 infant)

United Kingdom
10 (including 1 dual UK/S. Africa citizen)

Germany
4

Belgium
4

Philippines
3

Canada
1

New Zealand
1

Total
298

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines deployed a ferry flight last night mobilizing 212 personnel from various government and media bodies and its staff to Kiev and Amsterdam in a special mission for MH17. A total of 85 Malaysia Airlines’ ‘Go Team’ members have been deployed, of which five members will join Malaysia’s Special Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart) in the search-and-recovery mission at the crash site in the Donetsk region, while 80 other members comprising care givers and the management team will be stationed in Amsterdam to assist the family members of the passengers.
MH5002 departed Kuala Lumpur at 9.30pm on 18 July 2014 and arrived in Kiev at 2.58am (local time) on 19 July 2014 with a two hour transit. The aircraft then continued its journey to Amsterdam at 4.50am (local time) on 19 July 2014 and arrived in Schipol Amsterdam Airport at 5.30am the same day.
The mission is also joined by Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport, the National Security Council, Special Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart), Malaysia’s Department of Information, the Royal Malaysian Police, Malaysian Special Air Service, the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Malaysian Armed Forces, Department of Civil Aviation, Chemistry Department, Department of Islamic Advancement of Malaysia and the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team as well as participating media.
Finally, Malaysia Airlines requests the cooperation of members of the media to respect the privacy of the grieving families. The airline’s top priority remains to provide care and assistance to the families of the passengers and crew and any information with regards to their movement will not be made public.
-Ends-

Saturday, July 19, 07:20 PM GMT +0800 MH17 Press Briefing By Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Transport

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT
Today Malaysia Airlines have released the final list of nationalities on board flight MH17. Each of the numbers represents a life lost, and a family in anguish. After this press conference, Malaysia Airlines will release the full passenger manifest.
Malaysia mourns the loss of all 298 passengers and crew. We feel for their families. And we promise to do all we can to ensure that the investigation is completed, and that justice is done.
ON THE INVESTIGATION:
Malaysia is deeply concerned that the crash site has not been properly secured. The  integrity of the site has been compromised, and there are indications that vital evidence has not been preserved in place.
Interfering with the scene of the crash risks undermining the investigation itself. Any actions that prevent us from learning the truth about what happened to MH17 cannot be tolerated. Failure to stop such interference would be a betrayal of the lives that were lost.
Malaysia calls for all parties to protect the integrity of the crash site, and to allow the investigation to proceed. We urge all those involved to respect the families, and the nations who have lost their sons and daughters in this attack.
Yes, MH17 has become a geopolitical issue. But we must not forget that it is a human tragedy. Days after the plane went down, the remains of 298 people lie uncovered. 
Citizens of eleven nations – none of whom are involved in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine –cannot be laid to rest. Their lives were taken by violence; now violence stops them being accorded their final respect. This cannot continue. 
ON DEPLOYMENT:
Earlier today, Malaysia’s special team arrived in Kiev. We ask for continued support from the Ukrainian government, and the other parties involved, as the team seeks to assist the Ukrainian authorities in recovering and identifying the remains of the passengers and crew, and with the wider investigation.
The world has a moral obligation to ensure that the remains of all victims are recovered and treated with respect. We will play our part in fulfilling this obligation. That is why, later today, I will join the Malaysian team in Kiev, where I will work with my counterpart in the Ukraine government, to support efforts to retrieve the remains, and to assist with the investigation.
I will be joined by the Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, the Malaysian investigator in charge, and the Chairman of Malaysia Airlines. The CEO of Malaysia Airlines is already in Kiev.
ON THE FLIGHT PATH:
On the matter of MH17’s flight path, I would like to refer to recent reported comments by officials from Eurocontrol, the body which approves European flight paths under ICAO rules. 
According to the Wall Street Journal, the officials stated that some 400 commercial flights, including 150 international flights crossed eastern Ukraine daily before the crash. Officials from Eurocontrol also stated that in the two days before the incident, 75 different airlines flew the same route as MH17.
MH17’s flight path was a busy major airway, like a highway in the sky. It followed a route which was set out by the international aviation authorities, approved by Eurocontrol, and used by hundreds of other aircraft. It flew at an altitude set, and deemed safe, by the local air traffic control. And it never strayed into restricted airspace.
The flight and its operators followed the rules. But on the ground, the rules of war were broken. In an unacceptable act of aggression, it appears that MH17 was shot down; its passengers and crew killed by a missile. 
CONCLUDING REMARKS
This outrage cannot go unpunished. Once again, Malaysia condemns this brutal act of aggression, and calls for those responsible to be found, and to face the full force of justice without delay.

Friday, July 18, 08:20 PM GMT +0800 Media Statement 4 : MH17 Incident

Media Statement 4: MH17 Incident
1.    Flight plan
MH17’s flight plan was approved by Eurocontrol, who are solely responsible for determining civil aircraft flight paths over European airspace. Eurocontrol is the air navigation service provider for Europe and is governed under ICAO rules.
The route over Ukrainian airspace where the incident occurred is commonly used for Europe to Asia flights. A flight from a different carrier was on the same route at the time of the MH17 incident, as were a number of other flights from other carriers in the days and weeks before. Eurocontrol maintains records of all flights across European airspace, including those across Ukraine.
In April, the International Civil Aviation Organization identified an area over the Crimean peninsula as risky. At no point did MH17 fly into, or request to fly into, this area. At all times, MH17 was in airspace approved by the ICAO.
2.    Altitude
MH17 filed a flight plan requesting to fly at 35,000ft throughout Ukrainian airspace. This is close to the ‘optimum’ altitude.
However, an aircraft’s altitude in flight is determined by air traffic control on the ground. Upon entering Ukrainian airspace, MH17 was instructed by Ukrainian air traffic control to fly at 33,000ft.
3.    Nationalities
Following this afternoon’s press conference, Malaysia Airlines can confirm that a further 16 passengers’ nationalities have been verified. The latest breakdown of nationalities of those on board the flight is as follows:
·         189 Netherlands
·         44 Malaysia
·         27 Australia
·         12 Indonensia
·         9 UK
·         4 Belgium
·         4 Germany
·         3 Philippines
·         1 Canada
·         1 New Zealand
Four passengers’ nationalities remain to be verified.
4.    New flight route
Following this incident, Malaysia Airlines now avoids Ukrainian airspace entirely, flying further south over Turkey.  

Friday, July 18, 01:30 PM GMT +0800 Media Statement 3 : MH17 Incident

Media Statement 3 : MH17 Incident
The B777-200 aircraft bearing registration no. 9M-MRD that operated MH17 on 17 July, 2014 had a clean maintenance record. The aircraft’s last maintenance check was on 11 July 2014. The next check was due on 27 Aug 2014. The maintenance was conducted at Malaysia Airlines’ hangar at KLIA. The aircraft had a clean bill of health.
The aircraft was manufactured in July 1997, and so had 17 years in service.
The aircraft had recorded 75322 hours with a total of 11434 cycles.
All communication system on the aircraft were functioning normally.
The B777-200 uses the Rolls-Royce Trent-800 engine and has a 282 seat capacity.
-end-

Friday, July 18, 07:30 AM GMT +0800 Media Statement 2 : MH17 Incident

Media Statement 2 : MH17 Incident
With immediate effect, all European flights operated by Malaysia Airlines will be taking alternative routes avoiding the usual route.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was on a scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur went down in eastern Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines confirms that the aircraft did not make a distress call.
The usual flight route was earlier declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. International Air Transportation Association has stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions.
As opposed to the earlier statement, the flight was carrying a total number of 298 people – comprising 283 passengers including three infants of various nationalities and 15 crew of Malaysian nationality. Some of the nationalities of the passengers are yet to be determined.
List of number of passengers and crew according to nationality are as follows:-
Nationality
Total
Netherlands
154
Malaysia
43 (including 15 crew & 2 infants)
Australia
27
Indonesia
12 (including 1 infant)
United Kingdom
9
Germany
4
Belgium
4
Philippines
3
Canada
1
Unverified
41
Total
298

Malaysia Airlines is in the process of notifying the next-of-kin of the passengers and crew.
Our focus now is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support to provide all possible care to the next-of-kin. Malaysia Airlines is deploying its “Go Team” to Amsterdam  with a group of caregivers and volunteers to assist the family members of the passengers.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members.
The airline will provide regular updates on the situation.
Families of passengers and crew may contact +603 7884 1234 (Malaysia) or +31703487770(Netherlands).
For media queries, kindly contact +603 8777 5698/ +603 8787 1276.
Please also log on to www.malaysiaairlines.com for updates.
-end-

Friday, July 18, 12:30 AM GMT +0800 Media Statement 1: MH17 Incident

Media Statement 1: MH17 Incident
Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border.
Flight MH17 operated on a Boeing 777 departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day.
The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew onboard.
More details to follow.
-end-