Bek Air grounded after fatal Fokker 100 accident at Almaty
December 30, 2019
Kazakhstan’s government has suspended flight authorisation for local operator Bek Air in the aftermath of the fatal Fokker 100 accident at Almaty. The aircraft had been operating flight Z92100 to the capital, Nur-Sultan, when it lost height after take-off and crashed into a concrete wall, says the Kazakh ministry of industry. It confirms the identity of the aircraft as UP-F1007, a 23-year old airframe, adding that an airworthiness certificate for the Rolls-Royce Tay-powered twinjet was issued in May this year, and was valid until May 2020. The jet was placed on the Kazakh registry in July 2013. The ministry says the aircraft subsequently collided with a two-storey building in the Guldala region of the Talgar district of Almaty. It indicates that the aircraft came to rest some 500m to the right of the centreline, and at the far end, of runway 05R. Meteorological data from Almaty airport at the time of the accident, 07:22, indicate reduced visibility as a result of mist and a slight crosswind from the south-east on the departure runways. Temperatures were around minus 12C. Two pilots, both with valid certificates, and three cabin crew were on board, as well as 93 passengers. Preliminary information, says the government, indicates that the accident has resulted in 12 fatalities. “Details on the circumstances and causes of the accident will be established,” it adds. The government says that Bek Air’s flight certificate and operating authorisation have been “suspended” as of 27 December, until further notice, by the country’s civil aviation administration. Bek Air has nine Fokker 100s, it states. Kazakhstan had been the subject of a long blanket blacklisting by the European Commission, which commenced in 2009 and ended just three years ago after intense efforts by the government to bring safety oversight up to international standards. During the blacklisting only Air Astana had been approved to continue operations to European destinations. The Kazakh Civil Aviation Committee, the air transport regulator, undertook an in-depth overhaul of regulations and safety-management processes. This was recognised by the European Commission and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and the progress was rewarded with the lifting of the ban in late 2016.
Russian investigators to analyse Bek Air F100’s flight recorders
December 30, 2019
Russian investigators are to analyse the flight recorders from the Bek Air Fokker 100 which crashed during take-off from Almaty on 27 December. The recorders have been retrieved from the wreckage, says Kazakhstan’s ministry of industry, and they will be transferred to the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee for analysis in Moscow. Kazakh prime minister Askar Mamin, who is chairing the investigation commission, says the inquiry aims to present preliminary findings by 10 January. The aircraft lost altitude during take-off at 07:21, the prime minister’s office states, as it commenced the Z92100 service to Nur-Sultan. Kazakhstan’s air navigation service has indicated that a problem occurred at 07:22, when radar contact was lost, and the alarm was raised. Emergency services located the aircraft 1.8km from the runway on the outskirts of the Guldala settlement, the office adds. Ninety-eight occupants were on board, including five crew members, and the accident has resulted in 12 fatalities. Another 53 people have been hospitalised, with 17 in critical condition. Kazakh carriers Air Astana, Qazaq Air and SCAT have stepped in to assist passengers affected by cancellations and schedule disruption after Bek Air was grounded in the aftermath of the crash.
Boeing board's legal advisor retires
December 27, 2019
The counselor and senior advisor to Boeing's board of directors, J. Michael Luttig, has retired, effective 31 December. Luttig has been managing for the board legal matters associated with the fatal crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, both of which operated Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Luttig was Boeing's general counsel from 2006 through May 2019, when he began advising the board of directors. He joined Boeing after serving 15 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. "Judge Luttig is one of the finest legal minds in the nation and he has expertly and tirelessly guided our company as general counsel, counselor and senior advisor," interim Boeing president and chief executive Greg Smith states. Smith, who had been serving as Boeing's chief financial officer, assumed interim chief executive duties on 23 December upon the resignation of Dennis Muilenburg. Board chair David Calhoun will take Smith's place as chief executive 13 January 2020.