Air Algerie Jet Found with No Survivors, Black Box Recovered

Air Algerie 737
Air Algerie (737 pictured)

French forces secured the site of a crashed Air Algerie flight in Mali, and found one flight recorder but no survivors, French President Francoise Hollande said Friday.

Wreckage of the jet was found in a “disintegrated state” in northern Mali, he said, making it the third major international aviation disaster in recent days.

“Regrettably, there were no survivors. I share the pain of the families, who are going through terrible hardship,” he said.

Hollande said the families of the French nationals aboard the plane — the largest group from any one nation — would be welcomed to the Foreign Ministry Saturday to be given all the latest information.

Airline authorities said Flight 5017 was carrying 116 people when it took off early Thursday from Burkina Faso to Algeria.

Less than an hour into the flight, the aircraft, an MD-83, disappeared from radar after changing its flight path because of bad weather, officials said.

The one “black box” recorder found so far is being taken to Gao, Mali, and will be examined as soon as possible, Hollande said.

“What we already know is that the plane’s debris is concentrated in a limited area,” he said.


Air Algerie MD-83 Jet Crashes in Mali, 116 Believed Lost – UPDATE

Air Algerie 737
Air Algerie (737 pictured)

A French Ministry of Defense official tells Fox News that the Air Algerie jet carrying 116 people that vanished from radar shortly after takeoff late Wednesday night has crashed in Mali, and that two French fighter jets have located the wreckage.

Air navigation services lost track of the Swiftair MD-83 roughly 50 minutes after takeoff from Ougadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, at 9:55 p.m. ET Wednesday, the official Algerian news agency said. That means that Flight 5017 had been missing for hours before the news was made public.

France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, told The Associated Press that the flight “probably crashed.”

The French Ministry of Defense official told Fox News that the plane went down near the Malian city of Gao.

Swiftair, a private Spanish airline, said the plane carrying 110 passengers and six crewmembers – including two pilots and four cabin staff — departed Burkina Faso for Algiers at 9:17 p.m. ET Wednesday, but had not arrived at the scheduled time of 1:10 a.m. ET Thursday.

Swiftair said it was unable to make contact with the plane.

“In keeping with procedures, Air Algerie has launched its emergency plan,” the APS news agency quoted the airline as saying.



Here is what we know so far:

• Swiftair, the Spanish airline operated by Air Algerie, said it lost contact with MD83 aircraft — with 110 passengers and six crew members — about 50 minutes after takeoff from Ougadougou, the capital of the west African nation. The four-hour flight was scheduled to arrive in Algiers at 5:40 a.m. local time.

• Agence France-Presse reports that the plane was “not far from the Algerian frontier when the crew was asked to make a detour because of poor visibility and to prevent the risk of collision with another aircraft on the Algiers-Bamako route.”

• Burkino Faso Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedrago told Reuters the aircraft was asked to change its route because of a storm in the area. Northern Mali was hit with a powerful thunderstorm overnight.


Allegiant Flight 863 Makes Emergency Landing at Albany, Smoke in Cargo [VIDEO]

Allegiant Air MD-83
Allegiant Air MD-83 (file)

An Allegiant Air flight headed to St. Petersburg/Clearwater Airport diverted for an emergency landing at Albany Airport Sunday night after pilots received a fire warning in the cargo area.

Allegiant Flight 863, an MD-80 jet with 155 passengers and 6 crew (according to the airline), landed at the nearest airport they could and passengers were evacuated via emergency slides.

‘The ride down an inflatable escape slide was a frightening finish for passengers on Allegiant Air flight 863 at about 9 o’clock Sunday night.

The evacuation came after an emergency landing at a shut-down airport.

“Our tower was closed, our airline had gone home, TSA has gone home, everyone has gone home—so our public safety officers responded to the scene,” said Yvette Aehle, director of Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.

Despite the unexpected and scary landing, passengers said the airline and airport staff did everything they could to make the situation as safe as possible.

“The people helped, the EMT’s, the firemen, the [flight attendants] were excellent. I commend them on a great job, we’re alive because of them,” a passenger said.

Safe on the ground in Albany, Georgia, the passengers were relieved to learn an inspection showed no evidence of any fire on the plane — and were treated to some small-town Southern hospitality.

“We’re expecting the American Red Cross to appear here anytime, we’ve got pizzas on the way,” the airport’s director said. “We’re trying to make them as comfortable as we possibly can.”‘

There were no injuries reported in the incident.

Buses are taking the passengers to St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (their original destination) Monday morning.

The aircraft is under inspection.