Sunday, January 6, 2008

Not A Good Day For Flying

Search resumes for crashed Venezuelan plane

CARACAS (AFP) — Navy vessels and helicopters resumed a search Saturday off the Venezuelan coast for a twin-engine plane that crashed into the Caribbean with 14 people aboard, including eight Italians.

The plane took off Friday from Caracas bound for Islas Los Roques, an exclusive tourist destination 168 kilometers (104 miles) north of the Venezuelan capital.
At around 10:00 am (1430 GMT) Friday the pilot reported problems in both engines of his Let 410 aircraft, Venezuelan authorities said. The plane at the time was about 38 kilometers (23 miles) from the island chain.

The plane was carrying eight Italians, five Venezuelans, a US and a Swiss citizen, Civil Protection officials said.

The rain and rough seas in the search area are making rescue operations more difficult, officials said.

Plane With 10 Aboard Crashes in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A small plane crashed Saturday in waters off Kodiak island in southern Alaska, killing six of the 10 people on board, authorities said.
The Piper Navajo Chieftain crashed soon after take off at 1:48 p.m. in shallow waters, according to the Coast Guard. The pilot radioed that he would be turning the plane around, according to Clint Johnson, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board.

"Just after takeoff, the pilot reported an undisclosed problem to tower," he said. "We don't know why he tried to come back."

A private float plane from a fish processing company pulled four people from the wreckage. One person died trying to swim the roughly 300 yards to shore, said State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.

The pilot, 50-year-old Robin Starrett of Kodiak, was killed, as were five passengers from the small community of Homer, Peters said. They are Stefan F. Basargin, 36; Pavel F. Basargin, 30; Zahary F. Martushev, 25; Iosif F. Martushev, 15; and Andrian Reutov, 22.

The charter flight operated by Kodiak-based Servant Air was headed to their town on the Kenai Peninsula, a short 100-mile ride to the northeast.

Two of the survivors were flown to Anchorage for treatment. One has been released from the hospital in Kodiak and another remains there in good condition, said John Callahan, a spokesman for Providence Health and Services Alaska.
No information about anyone on board has been released pending notification of family members.

The plane was headed to Homer, a quick flight north, on the Kenai Peninsula, authorities said.

The aircraft is owned and operated by Servant Air, a local company that serves half a dozen communities on the large island in south-central Alaska, 225 miles southwest of Anchorage. The flight service started in 2003 as a one-plane operation and has grown to a fleet of seven small aircraft.

Ted Panamarioff, a spokesman for Servant Air, said the deaths are a major tragedy for the small rural communities, where air travel is a regular part of life.
"We're all family and friends here," he said by phone from Kodiak. "We knew these customers for several years. This is really, really tragic."

Kodiak and Homer each have populations of roughly 6,000 people.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

Pilot injured when plane crashes
January 6, 2008

The pilot of a small plane that crashed in a wooded area off of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Laurel was taken to the trauma center at Prince George's Hospital Center with serious injuries, according to Prince George's County Fire and Rescue.

There were no other passengers in the Cessna, which went down at the border of Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties just north of Route 197 on the northbound side of the parkway about 4:30 p.m. yesterday. Authorities did not release the pilot's name last night.

Sgt. Robert Lachance of the U.S. Park Police, which handled the initial investigation because the land belongs to the National Park Service, said it appears the pilot was having mechanical problems before the plane went down.

Hazmat units were called to contain fuel that leaked from the plane, a Prince George's fire spokesman said.

Model rocket fired near plane approaching Logan
January 5, 2008 06:40 PM
By Danielle Capalbo, Globe Correspondent

The pilot of an airplane carrying passengers to Logan Airport reported today that a model rocket appeared to have been fired toward his craft, a Federal Aviation Administration official said.

The pilot of AirWisconsin flight 180A saw what appeared to be a spark or firework in front of the plane around 12:26 p.m., after the jet had descended to 500 feet and was preparing to land, said FAA spokeswoman Holly Baker.

The model rocket did not actually hit the aircraft, and the plane landed safely, Baker said.

Trooper Eric Benson, a state police spokesman, said the plane was flying over the Winthrop-Revere area at the time and the rocket was believed to have been fired from the Belle Isle Marsh. The salt marsh is about a half-mile northeast of two of the airport's runways.

Benson said state police were investigating.

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