What a week for crashes!

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Incredible!!! :confused:

CARACAS, Venezuela - A plane carrying vacationers from the French Caribbean island of Martinique crashed Tuesday in western Venezuela after reporting engine trouble, and at least 160 people aboard were feared dead.


The McDonnell Douglas MD-82 was en route from Panama to Martinique when its pilot reported trouble with both engines to Caracas' air control tower at around 3 a.m., said Francisco Paz, president of the National Aviation Institute.

Airport authorities lost radio contact with the West Caribbean Airways plane roughly 10 minutes later in the area of Machiques, near the border with Colombia some 400 miles west of Caracas, he said.

Interior Minister Jesse Chacon said military helicopters and planes flying over the area indicated "it's very unlikely there could be survivors."

The French civil aviation authority said all 153 passengers aboard were French citizens from Martinique and that all died in the crash.

The airline, in a statement from Colombia, said 152 passengers, including an infant, and eight Colombian crew members were on the plane. The discrepancy in numbers could not immediately be resolved.

French President Jacques Chirac expressed his "strong emotion" as he learned of the "appalling catastrophe" and offered condolences to families of victims "in the name of all French."

He sent Overseas Minister Francois Baroin to Martinique and ordered a crisis center opened at the Foreign Ministry. The United States sent four investigators to Venezuela to help.

German Bracho, director of civil protection for Zulia state where the plane went down, told The Associated Press that the passengers were tourists from Martinique returning home after a vacation in Panama.

The airline said the pilot reported an emergency 20 miles from the Colombia-Venezuela border. Authorities said the plane requested permission to attempt an emergency landing at the nearby airport in Maracaibo, Venezuela, but never made it.

It went down in a wooded area between two farms, Bracho said.

"Residents in the area said they heard an explosion," Paz said.

West Caribbean Airways, a Colombian airline, began service in 1998. In March, a twin-engine plane it operated crashed during takeoff from the Colombian island of Old Providence, killing eight people and injuring the other six passengers.

Two other airplane crashes in Venezuela in the past year both involved military planes. In December, a military plane crashed in a mountainous area near Caracas, killing all 16 people on board. In August 2004, a military plane crashed into a mountain in central Venezuela, killing 25 people.
This is getting stupid now. In the past month there has been Air France crash, Sicily crash, Greece crash, S.America crash, CF-18 crash and my friend in Seattle says there's been quite a few small planes goin' down around there. :rolleyes:
Hey now, number 2 isn't exactly true. :lol:
Seriously man, not everything we operate is crap y'know. And it's the Navy helicopters you have to worry about. Those damn Sea Kings are about ready to fall out of the sky, but the new Cyclones aren't supposed to start entering service until 2008. Beats me why so long. More politics. :rolleyes:
Nothin' wrong with the Sea King unless they're about 100 years old and not very well maintained. Navy aircraft maintainers are always slacking off. Oh boy, the stories my dad tells with his disgust of the Royal Navy technicians he met over the years. But then...he had disgust for a fair few RAF blokes as well. Obviously he was just too good, even for himself. :rolleyes:

But anywho, it is getting silly. Obviously Osama was right, Allah turned up the gravity, evan, he's paying us back. :rolleyes: :lol:
plan_D said:
Nothin' wrong with the Sea King unless they're about 100 years old...
Hmmmmm, close. ;)
As for the maintenance, those guys are working their tails off just to keep the damn things in the air. We need new helos. Period. These are just plain worn out.

So, anything new for today? :rolleyes:
Lets hope not.

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