No survivors in Cuba airliner crash with 68 aboard
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#1 Nov 8, 2010
Los Angeles, CA
#1 -- Yesterday Judged:
Cuban airline pilot died as hero to villagers
AP Photo/Osmany Rodriguez, Escambray, Prensa Latina
The wreckage of AeroCaribbean Flight 883 is seen near Guasimal, Cuba, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. A state airliner carrying Cubans and travelers from Europe and Latin America crashed and burst into flames in a mountainous area Thursday after declaring an emergency and losing contact with air traffic controllers. All 40 Cubans and 28 foreigners aboard died, authorities announced early Friday.
At first Caridad Fernandez thought she was watching a hotshot Cuban Air Force pilot showing off some fancy turns. "The plane was rocking in the air and flying so low it sounded like thunder."
But then the plane made a 360-degree roll and her daughter, watching from their porch, screamed with fright. "She yelled to me that it would fall from the sky".
In a flash of minutes, Aero Caribbean's flight 788 did just that.
The ATR-72 twin turboprop crashed into a remote valley in Cuba's Escambray Mountains, killing all 68 passengers and crew on board. The plane was heading to Havana on a short 1.45-hour flight.
No one knows exactly what brought the plane down and investigative teams from Cuban Civil Aviation and the military say it is too early to speculate. The crash site has been sealed off and sources tell NBC News that searchers on Friday located the plane's two black boxes. These cockpit voice recorders reportedly were not compromised in the crash.
By the eyewitness accounts, the entire ordeal was a gruesome sight to watch: first, seeing the plane in trouble and the pilot, Captain Angel Villa MartÃnez, fighting to keep control; then, realizing that the battle is lost as the plane plummets to the ground and bursts into a ball of fire.
"It was horrible beyond description," said Caridad, although in hindsight she and others believe the accident could have been much worse.
"We all would have been killed, if not for the pilot."
Flight 788 was directly over the small farming village of Guasimal when it ran into trouble. Caridad's daughter wasn't the only person afraid the plane would crash. "We all did," said another resident Alcides Olivares.
Things turned bad so fast for Flight 788 that all the flight deck had time for was one SOS call to the tower.
Yet, somehow, Captain Villa had the tenacity and quick thinking to steer his crippled plane away from the town. It went down 4 miles away, into a deserted valley.
"We will always be grateful to him," said Caridad. "He died a hero."
And in death, Capt. Villa inspired a whole town of heroes.
When the plane crashed and burst into a fireball, hundreds of Guasimal's residents grabbed machetes and ran up the hill. Carving a path to the crash site, the farmers hacked through the thick vegetation for 5 hours. They guided the fire trucks and Civil Defense bulldozers through the rugged brush.
The next day Olivares, covered with scratches and bruises, shrugged off any discomfort.âWe did what had to be done. I think it was the right way to honor the pilotâs sacrifice.â
#2 Nov 8, 2010
A plan crashes with 68 people on board, and there are no questions? Not about the passangers, and not about the "ATR 72," a twin-turboprop short-haul regional airliner built by the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR [Avions de Transport Régional].
That plane seats up to 78 passengers [in a single-class configuration], and is operated by a two-pilot crew. Fiftenn years ago, October 31, 1994, American Eagle "Flight 4184" crashed due to icing in Roselawn, Indiana killing all 68 people onboard.
The accident had a significant effect on procedures for dealing with ATR "in-flight icing as well as US airlines' utilization of ATR aircraft" in specific geographical areas. And on August 24, 2008, an Air Dolomiti ATR 72 en route from Munich, Germany, to Bologna, Italy, "abandoned take off after the pilot announced a smoke alarm."
On 26 August, an amateur video, "filmed by a bystander, showed 60 passengers jumping from and fleeing the burning plane before fire department workers extinguish the flames." The fire department was there in a minute and no one was injured, a Munich airport spokesperson told German daily "Die Welt" on Tuesday. And the airline finally admitted that "the incident was different than initially portrayed, telling 'Die Welt' that the landing gear on the left side of aircraft did catch fire, though the extent of the danger to passengers remains unknown."
It seems the people didn't need to know. And the very same problem we have here with our "Daily Breeze" in Torrance. Why are the people kept in the dark? "Größter Konkurrent ist die Bombardier Q-Serie" [CANADA]. Yes, the Canadian competition.
#3 Nov 9, 2010
"It seems the people didn't need to know. And the very same problem we have here with our 'Daily Breeze' in Torrance. Why are the people kept in the dark?'Größter Konkurrent ist die Bombardier Q-Serie'[CANADA]. Yes, the Canadian competition."
Our Canadians are busy, and the "Breeze" is sleeping?
Arnie's buddy Frank took over Santa Anita,
and not a word in our "Breeze."
Shouldn't we know more about that plane too, since were are still in the aircraft building business? Almost a thousand of these ATRs have been built, and we don't know anything about them?
There's also the "Bombardier Dash 8 Series 400," the "British Aerospace ATP," the "CASA C-295," the "Fokker 50," the "Handley Page Herald," the "Antonov An-140" and "Ilyushin Il-114," the "NAMC YS-11" and the "Saab 2000" in the same league. And India plans to build their "Indian Regional Jet."
And what do we have to offer? We even gave up on the F-20.
Fortunately we still have the C-17, made in Long Beach.
#4 Nov 10, 2010
President Barack Obama and his team are putting the finishing touches this week on a long-awaited deal between India and Boeing for 10 C-17 Globemaster jets, and the $5-billion deal, "which took nearly a year to iron out, is expected to keep the Long Beach C-17 plant and its 5,000 workers humming a year past the now-scheduled 2013 closure date."
Many South Bay firms supply components for this aircraft. And in a speech Monday from India, "President Obama alluded to the C-17, which is part of a massive arms and military equipment deal between the United States and India.'The major trade deals that were signed in Mumbai are an important step forward in elevating India to one of America's top trading partners,' Obama said in a press conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh."
"Today, I'm pleased to welcome India's preliminary agreement to purchase 10 C-17 cargo planes, which will enhance Indian capabilities and support 22,000 jobs back in the United States."
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