In an incident on Sept. 30, Air France Flight 66, from Paris to Los Angeles was forced to make an abrupt diversion when it lost one of the four engines on the Airbus A380 over the Atlantic.
Out of the 496 passengers and 24 crew members that the plane carried, none were injured but remained on board hours after landing at 3:42 p.m. GMT (11:42 a.m. EDT).
David Rehmar, a former aircraft mechanic, who was a passenger on the flight, spoke to the BBC and speculated based on his observations that the incident was a result of fan failure. “You heard a loud ‘boom’, and it was the vibration alone that made me think the engine had failed,” he said.
The plane reached Goose Bay Airport, in Labrador in eastern Canada after flying for nearly an hour on three engines. Air France also issued an official statement saying that the regularly trained pilots and cabin crew handled the serious incident perfectly. There were also several photographs and videos shared by passengers on social media showing plane metal in tatters surrounding the exposed interior of the engine.
However, the company still hasn’t addressed a possible cause for the incident.
This is not the first time this year that a commercial aircraft has suffered technical difficulties and encountered aviation safety dangers such as this. Earlier this year on July 7, Air Canada Flight 759, an Airbus A320 nearly landed where four other aircraft were waiting to take off. The flight had 140 people on board.
The pilot then landed on a taxiway that ran parallel to the runway, circling back without further trouble with the help of the air traffic controller, the Independent reported.
Though Air Canada has launched its own investigation into Flight 759 and runway confusion is determined as one of aviation safety hazard, it is still considered rare for pilots to mistake a taxiway for a runway as Taxiways do not have the same distinctive markings and lighting as runways. The cause of the incident is still not clear.
On March 28, Peruvian Airlines Flight 112, a Boeing 737-300 caught on fire following the collapse of the landing gear at an airport near the Andean town of Jauja, Peru. All of the 141 people on board survived but 29 of them were taken to the hospital for injuries and the aircraft suffered damages beyond repair, the Aviation Herald reported.
Peru’s interior minister suggested the aircraft’s wing might have skimmed the runway, according to local media, the New York Daily News reported.
There was another incident that took place on March 20 when an Antonov An-26 of South Supreme Airline was destroyed by fire after landing at Wau Airport in South Sudan. The flight was from the Juba Airport, South Sudan. The damage was supposedly said to be a result of poor visibility which is also considered an aviation safety hazard but the investigations have not yet revealed the real reason behind the incident.
According to an eyewitness, the aircraft was already on fire when it landed as he reportedly saw smoke coming out from the tail while the aircraft was landing, CoastWeek.com reported. The aircraft was destroyed after landing and at least 18 survivors were reported out of the 45 including the crew on board.
A similar incident had taken place in January too, owing to poor visibility when a Turkish cargo jet crashed near Kyrgyzstan’s Manas airport, killing at least 37 people, most of who belonged to a village that the Boeing 747 struck while trying to land in a dense fog, Al Jazeera reported.
The reports also say that the airport administration said that the plan was to make a stopover at Manas which is 25 km (15 miles) north of the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek. The plane was making its way from Hong Kong to Istanbul but it crashed while trying to land in poor visibility at 7:31 a.m. local time (9:31 a.m. EDT).
Even after all these incidents, the one which will go down in history would be the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
On 8 March 2014, 239 passengers hopped aboard as the flight prepared to make its way from Kuala Lumpur at 12.41 a.m. local time, (12:41 p.m. EDT on March 7) and was due to land in Beijing at 6.30 a.m., (6.30 p.m. EDT on March 8). But it never arrived.
For reasons unknown to this day, this particular Boeing 777 veered off its original flight path and did not send any distress signal. On March 16, 2015, data released by the Malaysian authorities confirmed the plane crashed in the Indian Ocean but there was no sign of any wreckage found, International Business Times (U.K. edition) reported.
The mystery of the aircraft’s disappearance is yet to be resolved as more theories regarding the fate of the plane continue to surface.
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