TIME Aviation

Black Box Recovered From Indonesian Plane Crash

The plane was destroyed in the crash

(JAYAPURA, Indonesia) — Indonesian officials say the black box has been recovered from passenger plane that crashed in a remote area of the country, killing all 54 people on board.

The plane went missing two days ago but rescuers only reached the crash site on Tuesday because of delays caused by the weather and rough terrain.

They said Tuesday that the plane was destroyed in the crash and there was no chance of any survivors.

TIME Aviation

Indonesian Plane ‘Totally Destroyed,’ All Victims’ Bodies Recovered

"All the bodies were burned and difficult to identify"

(JAYAPURA, Indonesia) — An Indonesian passenger plane that went missing two days ago was destroyed when it slammed into a mountain, killing all 54 people on board, the country’s top rescue official said.

More than 70 rescuers reached the crash site only on Tuesday after being hindered by rugged, forested terrain and bad weather.

The flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder, the plane’s “black boxes,” were found in good condition, said Henry Bambang Soelistyo, the National Search and Rescue Agency chief. The data they contain could help explain what caused the crash.

“The plane was totally destroyed and all the bodies were burned and difficult to identify,” Soelistyo told The Associated Press.

He said all 54 bodies had been recovered and will be taken to Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, so they can be identified.

The Trigana Air Service plane was flying from Jayapura to the city of Oksibil with 49 passengers and five crew members on a scheduled 42-minute flight when it lost contact Sunday.

Soelistyo said the wreckage was at an altitude of 2,600 meters (about 8,500 feet). Much of Papua is covered with impenetrable jungles and mountains. Some planes that have crashed in the past have never been found.

The airline’s crisis center official in Jayapura’s Sentani airport, Budiono, said all the passengers were Indonesians, and included three local government officials and two members of the local parliament who were to attend a ceremony Monday in Oksibil marking the 70th anniversary of Indonesia’s independence from Dutch colonial rule.

Oksibil, about 280 kilometers (175 miles) south of Jayapura, was experiencing heavy rain, strong winds and fog when the plane lost contact with the airport minutes before it was scheduled to land.

The victims’ relatives, who had been waiting at the airport, broke down in tears when they heard the news. Many of them accused the airline of taking too long to give them information.

“They are unprofessional … they play with our feelings of grieving,” said Cory Gasper, whose brother Jhon Gasper was on the plane.

The airline released a public apology just after a search plane spotted the smoldering wreckage of the ATR42-300 twin turboprop on Monday.

It was unclear what caused the caused the crash, Indonesia’s transportation safety commission has opened an investigation.

The passengers included four postal workers escorting four bags of cash totaling $468,750 in government aid for poor families to help offset a spike in fuel prices, Franciscus Haryono, the head of the post office in Jayapura, the provincial capital, told The Associated Press.

Indonesia has had a string of airline tragedies in recent years. In December, all 162 people aboard an AirAsia jet were killed when the plane plummeted into the Java Sea as it flew through stormy weather on its way from Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, to Singapore.

The sprawling archipelago nation of 250 million people and some 17,000 islands is one of Asia’s most rapidly expanding airline markets, but it is struggling to provide enough qualified pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers and updated airport technology to ensure safety.

From 2007 to 2009, the European Union barred Indonesian airlines from flying to Europe because of safety concerns.

Trigana Air Service, which began operations in 1991, had 22 aircraft as of December 2013 and flies to 21 destinations in Indonesia. The carrier has had 19 serious incidents since 1992, resulting in the loss of eight aircraft and major damage to 11 others, according to the Aviation Safety Network’s online database.

The airline remains banned from flying to Europe along with other six Indonesian airlines.

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Associated Press writers Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to this report.

TIME indonesia

The Death Toll in the Indonesian Plane Crash Has Risen to 141

Security forces and rescue teams examine the wreckage of an Indonesian military C-130 Hercules transport plane after it crashed into a residential area in the North Sumatra city of Medan, Indonesia
Roni Bintang—Reuters Security forces and rescue teams examine the wreckage of an Indonesian military C-130 Hercules plane after it crashed into a residential area in the North Sumatra city of Medan, Indonesia, on June 30, 2015

Recovery teams continue to search through the rubble for bodies

Officials said early Wednesday that the death toll from Tuesday’s military plane crash on the Indonesian island of Sumatra had risen.

“We have received 141 bodies,” a police official named Agustinus Tarigan told Agence France-Presse at a local hospital.

The Indonesian air force, whose C-130 Hercules aircraft crashed in the highly populous city of Medan on Tuesday before exploding, revised the number of people on the plane to 122, 12 of whom were crew members. Authorities had earlier said there were only 113 people on board, and that they do not expect to find any survivors.

The plane hit a massage parlor and a hotel in one of the city’s residential areas, and recovery teams continue to clear debris in search of more bodies. Officials have thus far confirmed only three deaths on the ground.

The Aviation Safety Network, an agency that tracks air disasters worldwide, says this has been the sixth fatal crash involving Indonesia’s air force within the past decade.

[AFP]

TIME Colombia

This Mother and Baby Survived a Plane Crash and Five Days Lost in the Colombian Jungle

“It’s a miracle”

A mother and her baby have miraculously been found alive five days after their plane crashed in thick jungle in northwestern Colombia.

Nelly Murillo, 18, and her 1-year-old son were discovered Wednesday not far from where the twin-engine Cessna plane had crashed near Quibdo in Choco province, reports the BBC. The cause of the crash is not yet known.

“It’s a miracle,” Colonel Héctor Carrascal of the Colombian air force told Agence France-Presse. “It is a very wild area and it was a catastrophic accident.”

According to the Colombian air force, Murillo suffered only minor injuries and burns and the baby was unharmed. The two were airlifted to a hospital in Quibdo.

“His mother’s spirit must have given him strength to survive,” said Carrascal of the infant.

Rescuers discovered the plane Monday with the body of the pilot, Captain Carlos Mario Ceballos, inside the cockpit.

[BBC]

TIME Accident

4 People Have Died in a Florida Plane Crash

The small Piper PA-31 aircraft was attempting to make an emergency landing for unknown reasons

Four people aboard a small Fort Lauderdale–bound plane died Sunday when the aircraft crashed and incinerated in a nature preserve near Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.

The Piper PA-31 aircraft, which had departed from Orlando, was attempting to make an emergency landing for unknown reasons, and plunged into the ground from an altitude of 8,000 ft., killing the four people on the plane, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

“It nosedived right into the floor. It sounded like a semitruck hit a wall, it was so loud,” eyewitness Bobby Bemis told NBC Miami.

The plane was soon engulfed in flames in a wooded area north of the airport, prompting Florida fire teams to rush to the scene.

“Our crews made an aggressive attack on the fire, extinguished the fire within minutes,” Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue’s Chantal Botting told the Sun-Sentinel.

Names of the victims have not been released yet. No ground injuries were reported and the airport remains open.

TIME Aviation

Germanwings Crash Site Yields a Damaged Black Box

Investigators still have no idea why the plane went down

One of the flight recorders, or black boxes, belonging to Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 has been recovered, but French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve says it has been damaged.

Investigators are hoping that at least some data from the recorder can be retrieved to shed light on the crash, the cause of which is still not known.

Search and recovery operations resumed in the French Alps on Wednesday morning, a day after the jet crashed and most likely killed all 150 people aboard.

The 24-year-old Airbus A320 was en route from the Spanish city of Barcelona to Dusseldorf in Germany when it went down just before 11 a.m. local time on Tuesday, scattering wreckage across more than four acres of craggy terrain near the village of Digne-Les-Bains in southeastern France.

French officials estimated that it would take “at least a week” to scour the remote site. More than 300 policemen and 380 firefighters have been mobilized in the effort, according to Agence France-Presse.

At least 67 Germans were believed to have been aboard Flight 4U 9525, along with around 45 Spanish passengers. Two Australians and two Japanese are also believed to have perished, as well as Belgian and Turkish travelers.

An unconfirmed report in Germany’s Spiegel magazine, cited in the Telegraph, said that some Germanwings staff felt the crash was related to repairs made on Monday to the nose-wheel landing doors of the ill-fated aircraft. Lufthansa, which owns Germanwings, denied that there was any connection.

Nevertheless, scattered reports have emerged that some Germanwings employees are refusing to board the company’s planes in the wake of the disaster. “We understand their decision,” said Thomas Winkelmann, a Germanwings spokesperson, in a statement.

On Wednesday, aviation experts continued to wrestle with several puzzling aspects connected to the crash. Why was no distress made by the pilots? And why did it take Flight 4U 9525 an unusually long time to descend from its cruising altitude of approximately 38,000 feet?

“Eight minutes is a long time for a descent in an uncontrolled fashion,” Mike Daniel, an international aviation-safety consultant based in Singapore, tells TIME. “It could be more of a controlled fashion but we won’t know until they read the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder.”

Meanwhile, reports have also began to surface of lucky escapes.

Players from the Swedish first division soccer team Dalkurd FF had been originally booked to travel on Flight 4U 9525, but later switched their plans to avoid a layover in Dusseldorf.

“At first, our time was spent calming down our relatives on the phone because they had been worried sick about us,” Frank Pettersson, the team’s goalkeeper, told Yahoo News. “Later came shock as the thoughts of the victims onboard on that plane became more tangible.”

Read next: These Charts Show Why the Germanwings Crash Is Especially Unusual

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME

Real TIME: Plane Skids Off Runway At LaGuardia

A Delta airplane skidded off the runway and crashed into a fence at LaGuardia Airport in New York City on Thursday.

Watch #RealTIME, and read more here.

TIME Taiwan

TransAsia Crash Death Toll Reaches 32 With 11 Passengers Still Missing

TransAsia Airways Plane Crashes In Taipei
Ashley Pon—Getty Images Rescuers check the wreckage of the TransAsia ATR 72-600 on the Keelung river at New Taipei City on Feb. 4, 2015

Experts suspect a "flameout" in one of the engines may have been to blame

Taiwanese search-and-rescue teams continued to search for 11 missing passengers from a TransAsia flight that crashed in Taipei on Wednesday morning, as the confirmed death toll from the disaster reached 32.

Flight 235 went down soon after takeoff after banking hard to the left, clipping a taxi driving on an overpass and slamming into Taipei’s Keelung River. Local broadcasters have released a recording of an unidentified crew member uttering “Mayday” three times before losing contact with the control tower.

Speculation as to why the plane ditched has revolved around the possible failure of the aircraft’s left engine that appeared to be malfunctioning in footage posted online.

“Before it hit the taxi, it made a hard left bank that’s indicative usually of the pilot trying to either avoid something or an uncontrolled event,” Mike Daniel, an international aviation-safety consultant based in Singapore, tells TIME.

However, authorities have refrained from commenting on possible causes until the official investigation concludes. On Wednesday, rescue teams successfully recovered the plane’s flight recorders and pulled its fuselage from the Keelung River after nightfall.

At least 32 people were killed during the crash. Fifteen passengers survived with injuries.

“I’m simply amazed that there were survivors,” says Daniel. “It actually speaks well to the construction of the aircraft to have survivors after that type of impact — not only after hitting the bridge but also cartwheeling into the water.”

TransAsia representatives said the ATR-72 turboprop had been in service for less than a year; however, after being delivered, one of the engines was immediately replaced after functioning improperly, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“Actually, this aircraft in the accident was the newest model. It hadn’t been used for even a year,” Peter Chen, TransAsia’s director, told reporters at a press conference, according to the Associated Press.

Wednesday’s accident marks the airline’s second deadly crash in less than 10 months. In July a TransAsia flight went down near the airport at Magong on Taiwan’s Penghu Island during a rainstorm, killing 48 people and injuring 10.

TIME Aviation

Plane That Crashed Into Chicago Home Missed Couple by 8 Inches

Twin-engine small cargo plane had just taken off from Midway Airport

A small cargo plane that crashed into a Chicago home Tuesday morning missed hitting an elderly couple residing in the house by eight inches, according to the city’s fire chief.

The twin-engine plane had just taken off from Midway Airport when it began experiencing engine problems, the Chicago Tribune reports. The pilot, who was the only person on board, was attempting to return to the airport but crashed into the home. He was dead at the scene.

The plane collided with the right side of the house, but the couple, an 84-year-old man and an 82-year-old woman, were on the left side of the residence asleep in their bedroom. Neighbors said the couple was “bewildered,” but did not sustain any injuries.

“They were in a bedroom next to the living room and the living room is gone,” Chicago Fire Chief Michael Fox said. “Eight inches. They were very lucky.”

[Chicago Tribune]

TIME Accident

Kansas Airport Plane Crash Kills 4

Wichita Airport-Crash
Brian Corn—AP Firefighters try to put out a fire at Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kan. on Oct. 30, 2014 shortly after a small plane crashed into the building killing several people including the pilot.

Approximately 100 people were in flight safety center when airplane plowed into it

A small airplane plowed into the top of a flight safety center at an airport in Kansas after losing engine power on takeoff Thursday, killing at least four people, injuring five and leaving four others missing, officials said.

The twin-engine Beechcraft King Air reported trouble after taking off from Mid-Content Airport in Wichita around 10 a.m. ET. It hit a two-story FlightSafety International building while trying to return to the runway, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The crash sent up thick plumes of black smoke that could be seen for miles.

“There wasn’t a loud bang, there wasn’t a loud…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

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