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Posted: 7/2/2002 7:56:44 AM EDT
This just in... U E B E R L I N G E N, Germany, July 2 — Investigators today were looking into the likely cause of a deadly midair collision between a Russian airliner and a German cargo plane, which killed dozens of people, most of them Russian children and teenagers. The two planes collided above the picturesque Lake Constance late Monday night, creating a massive fireball in the night sky. Flaming debris and body parts were scattered over a 25-mile swath of land, setting fire to a school, several buildings and a farm. No one on the ground was injured. But all aboard the two planes, which collided about 36,000 feet above the lake near the German-Swiss border, including the two pilots, are believed to be dead. "At such an altitude, it would be a wonder if anyone survived," Wolfgang Wenzel, a police spokesman for the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg told reporters today. Russian officials said at least 50 of the passengers on board the Russian Tupolev 154 plane bound from Moscow to Barcelona were youths heading to a festival organized by UNESCO, the U.N. science, education and cultural body. The 12-member crew and at least 10 adult passengers on the Bashkirian Airlines' flight are also presumed dead. Rescue workers using helicopters equipped with infrared cameras and sonar-equipped boats on Lake Constance worked through the night and recovered 12 bodies by daylight, according to German authorities. The Tupolev's flight data recorder has also been recovered. Rescue workers in the area were searching for the flight data recorder of the German cargo jet, a Boeing 757 operated by global shipping company DHL. The plane had a crew of two and was en route from Bahrain to Brussels, DHL officials said. [img]http://media.abcnews.com/media/World/images/map_germany_020702.gif[/img] Continued...
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 7:57:19 AM EDT
Human Error Likely The morning after the fatal accident, investigators were looking at pilot error as a possible cause of the collision. The collision between a DHL cargo plane and a Russian passenger jet took place over the southern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Swiss officials, who control the air space in the border region, said Swiss air traffic controllers had told the Russian airline to descend or dive before the collision, but the Russian pilot reacted too late. According to Anton Maag, chief of the air traffic control tower in Zurich, the Russian plane began to descend only after a third request from air traffic controllers. By that time, the Boeing 757's automatic collision warning system had issued an order to descend, Maag said. Amid reports that the Russian pilots may have had poor command of the English language, Russian aviation officials denied the speculation and said the pilot had years of experience and was fluent in English. Experts were also looking at the possibility that ground controllers had entered incorrect data for the flight paths, or that one of the two planes had failed to follow its approved flight path. Flame in the Sky The picturesque area around Lake Constance, which is popular resort area close to the German, Swiss and Austrian borders, was the scene of frantic rescue and emergency work this morning as debris from the planes lay scattered over a 25-mile area. Witnesses said they saw a flame in the sky and then heard an incredible bang. Parts of the planes, which had caught fire in the explosion, then came crashing to the ground. Residents of the nearby village of Owingen said there seemed to be three sections falling to the ground, the last one exploding in a blinding flash. Tragic End to Excursion In Russia today, grieving parents of the youths en route to the UNESCO festival in Barcelona were attempting to catch flights to Germany as President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to the relatives of the victims. The youths were supposed to have left Saturday for Spain, but missed their connection. Bashkirian Airlines then organized a special flight to Barcelona, airline officials said, so that the youths would not miss the UNESCO festival. The teenagers and children were from the political elite families of Russia's oil-rich Bashkortostan region. Many of the youths had the same last names, prompting speculation that some families had lost more than one members. New Version of an Old Plane Tupolev is an old Soviet aircraft manufacturer which made large transport planes in the style of 727s. Tu-154s are one of the most common Russian planes used for medium-range flights. Russian aviation sources said the Tu-154 in Monday's collision was fitted with the latest navigational and communications equipment, including a Dutch-made collision avoidance system, and met with international safety standards. While Tu-154s have had several accidents in the past few years, it is still not clear how much of the blame for these accidents could be attributed to bad maintenance. In February, an Iranian-owned Tu-154 crashed in Iran killing all 119 aboard. ABCNEWS' Mike Lee in Germany and Claudine Weinbrenn in London contributed to this report. [url=http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/world/DailyNews/germany020702.html]Here's the Story[/url]
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 8:58:58 AM EDT
So, what? This isn't big enough news anymore?? Jeez, guys, wake up!
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 9:29:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/2/2002 9:34:05 AM EDT by Kar98]
Nope, heard about it already, last night actually, at around 9pm Mountain, and even then it already was old news, since it happened at around 2330 local (=several hours earlier). And what's there to Generally Discuss about it? The altitude where the incident happened reminded me of a line from "American Pie" (the song) though. Edited to add: However, I do remember that the seats in a Aeroflot-operated Tupolev 154 where considerely more comfortable than the ones in a Lufthansa 757 or a Delta DC. Wider, more leg room, oh, and they handed out smokes (which you could even smoke right there on the plane), compliments of the airline. One thing about a commie-run airline they don't have to cram in more passengers to remain profitable, since they don't have be profitable at all.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 4:00:44 PM EDT
I am a mechanic for DHL airways. Lotsa talk going on yet no one knows anything. Tragic.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 4:10:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/2/2002 4:10:43 PM EDT by Ponyboy]
So basically 50 children just died because of the UN. Typical.....
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