The accident aircraft in January 2013
|Date||24 July 2014|
|Summary||Crashed; under investigation|
|Site||Southeast of Gossi, Mali|
|Aircraft type||McDonnell Douglas MD-83|
|Operator||Swiftair for Air Algérie|
|Flight origin||Ouagadougou Airport, Burkina Faso|
|Destination||Houari Boumediene Airport, Algiers, Algeria|
Air Algérie Flight 5017 (AH5017/DAH5017) was a scheduled international passenger flight from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, toAlgiers, Algeria, which crashed in Mali, near Gossi, on 24 July 2014. The McDonnell Douglas MD-83 with 110 passengers and 6 crew on board, operated by Swiftair for Air Algérie, disappeared from radar about fifty minutes after take-off. There were no survivors.
The cause of the crash is not yet known; Malian authorities are conducting an investigation with the assistance of France’s Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile.
Flight 5017 was the third fatal commercial airliner accident in a one-week span, following the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on 17 July and the crash of TransAsia Airways Flight 222 on 23 July.
The aircraft reached cruise altitude, flight level 310 (FL310), 22 minutes after departure and attained its target speed of 280 knots (IAS). About two minutes later, it began to gradually lose speed, and, though the speed did eventually drop to 200 knots, the aircraft maintained FL310. After an unspecified length of time had passed, the aircraft began to descend, and the speed dropped to about 160 knots. Afterwards, the aircraft entered a left-hand turn and began to lose altitude more rapidly, thus spiralling down. The flight data recording stopped at 1:47; at the time, the aircraft was at an altitude of 1,600 feet (490 m) and a speed of 380 knots. It crashed about a second later.
On 28 July, it was revealed that the flight crew had asked to return to Burkina Faso, after first having requested to deviate from course because of bad weather. There was a mesoscale convective system in the area at the time, and the aircraft had deviated to the left of its course to avoid it. Satellite images apparently identifying the light flare from the aircraft impact at the margins of the storm were captured.
The Malian authorities have opened an investigation and the French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile (BEA) will provide technical assistance. On 27 July, BEA investigators arrived at the crash site to collect evidence. Both black boxes have been recovered; data from the flight data recorder (FDR) has been read out. The cockpit voice recorder was damaged in the impact and repaired, but “the recordings that [the magnetic tape] contains are unusable, due apparently to a recorder malfunction, with no link to the damage that resulted from the accident”. As a result, the investigation will have to mine alternative sources, like records of air-traffic transmissions.
On 7 August, the investigation team held a press conference at BEA’s headquarters in Paris. They outlined the team structure (three international working groups assigned to the “aircraft”, “systems” and “operations” each) and presented an abridged timeline and a reconstruction of the aircraft’s flight path. An interim report is scheduled to be published mid-September. Following the conference, Gérard Feldzer, an aviation expert, told BFMTV that the aircraft trajectory recorded by the FDR strongly suggested the plane hadstalled in bad weather.
Passengers and crew
There were 110 passengers on the plane; of those, 52 were French citizens, at least 33 of whom were French military personnel serving in Africa and Mali including three senior intelligence officials. A senior Hezbollah leader who had been posing as a businessman in Senegal andBurkina Faso was also on board. Others came from Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Algeria, Spain, Canada, Germany and Luxembourg. An Air Algérie representative in Burkina Faso, Kara Terki, told a news conference that all passengers were in transit to Europe, the Middle East, or Canada. All six crew members were Spanish. The number of persons holding multiple citizenship onboard was apparently high. The Lebanese embassy in Abidjan estimated the number of Lebanese citizens on the flight was at least 20. Some of these may have dual nationality. One Chilean had dual French nationality.
The aircraft was acquired by Swiftair, a charter flight operator, and reregistered EC-LTV in 2012. It was wet-leased to Air Algérie on 22 June 2014 to provide additional capacity for the summer season.
At the time of its loss, EC-LTV had acquired in excess of 32,000 cycles.[a] The director of the Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGAC) of France, Patrick Gandil, said the plane had been checked in France “two or three days ago” and that it was “in good condition”.
Tridents: Medak & Air Algerie Disasters
The logo of Air Algerie, rotated to vertically present itself, appears similar to a trident. As noted here, “Flight MH17: Twilight Tridents and Noteworthy Numbers,” tridents are connected, for whatever reason, to some recent crashes and accidents. Also, as it developed, the logo for Penghu County, where GE222 crashed, is trident-like (see here).
Todd Campbell was looking at Tridents from 2007-2011, at his blog. Campbell’s “Through the Looking Glass” was on target before it was insightful to be hitting the bullseye with tridents.
Etemenanki tweets that the reason behind all the recent activity: “Neptunalia – feast day of Neptune-Poseidon, god of horses, sea, quakes, and associated with Atlantis.” Neptunalia begins on July 23rd. Tridents, again, of course.
It is also worthy of noting that the 2008 Mumbai attack (India’s so-called “9/11”) was at various locations, one of which was the assault against the Trident Hotel.
Plus, also, July 23rd was “Batman Day,” and guess what the fictional Wayne Enterprises uses as their logo?
[Ouagadougou is the capital of Burkina Faso and the administrative, communications, cultural and economic centre of the nation. It is also the country’s largest city, with a population of 1,475,223 (as of 2006). The city’s name is often shortened to Ouaga. The inhabitants are called ouagalais. The spelling of the name Ouagadougou is derived from the French orthography common in former French African colonies. If English orthography were used (as in Ghana or Nigeria), the spelling would be Wagadugu.
The name Ouagadougou dates back to the 15th century when the Ninsi tribes inhabited the area. They were in constant conflict until 1441 when Wubri, a Yonyonse hero and an important figure in Burkina Faso’s history, led his tribe to victory. He then renamed the area from Kumbee-Tenga, as the Ninsi had called it, to Wage sabre soba koumbem tenga, meaning “head war chief’s village.” Ouagadougou is a Francophone spelling of the name.]
“We have lost contact with the plane,” Swiftair said.
“At this moment, emergency services and our staff are working on finding out more on this situation.”
Air Algerie said via Twitter, “Unfortunately, for the moment we have no more information than you do. We will give you the latest news live.”
The tweet appears since to have been deleted, according to CNN.
Initial reports of the crash were confirmed by Algerian aviation authorities. “I can confirm that it has crashed,” an anonymous official told Reuters. While details of the whereabouts of the plane remain unclear, early reports from the CCTV network and Algerian TV suggested that it went down in Niger.
Later reports say that this Air Algerie flight with at least 116 people on board that dropped off radar is thought to have crashed in Mali, the flight operator said.
Air Algerie said via Twitter that the plane has apparently crashed in the Tilemsi area, about 43 miles (70 kilometers) from the southeastern city of Gao (which had the ancient name of Kawkaw or Kuku).