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Category: Air transport

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Emiliano Sala plane fell thousands of feet in seconds – investigators

AAIB also queries whether pilot David Ibbotson was licensed to carry footballerThe plane that crashed in the Channel carrying the Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala fell thousands of feet in the space of 20 seconds after making a 180-degree turn, mi…

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Family of pilot David Ibbotson determined to find his body

‘We can’t leave him out there,’ says wife of pilot of plane carrying Emiliano SalaThe family of David Ibbotson, the missing pilot of the plane carrying the footballer Emiliano Sala, have spoken of their determination to find and recover the body of a m…

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Body recovered from wreckage of Emiliano Sala’s plane

Authorities yet to confirm if remains are that of missing footballer or pilot David IbbotsonA body has been recovered from the wreckage of the plane which crashed with footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board.The Air Accidents Investi…

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Emiliano Sala’s ‘body could be found among plane wreckage’

Premier League footballer and pilot may be among debris on seabed, shipwreck expert saysThe wreckage of the plane carrying the footballer Emiliano Sala was surprisingly intact when it was found and it is possible that his body, and that of the missing …

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Emiliano Sala: missing Premier League footballer’s plane found

The plane carrying the missing Cardiff City player and pilot David Ibbotson has been foundThe wreckage of the plane that vanished with the footballer Emiliano Sala on board has been found within hours of a search starting in the sea off the Channel Isl…

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Search for Emiliano Sala resumes after crowdfunding effort

Two boats go out looking for Cardiff City footballer after £259,000 raised online A new search for missing Cardiff striker Emiliano Sala has been launched after more than £250,000 was raised to fund the operation.An official search and rescue operation…

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Emiliano Sala: search for footballer and pilot called off

Guernsey harbourmaster says chances that men survived after plane disappeared ‘are extremely remote’The search for the missing plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala and his pilot has been called off and “the chances of survival at this stage are extr…

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Basketballer caught flying into Australia with pet bulldog in hand luggage

Lamar Patterson, who has been recruited to play for the Brisbane Bullets, arrived without anyone realising Kobe was tucked away in a bagAn American basketballer who flew into Brisbane with his pet bulldog stashed in his hand luggage is about to feel th…

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Liverpool to refund cup final tickets for fans with cancelled flights

Club will reimburse 650 people who cannot make Champions League match in KievLiverpool have offered full refunds on tickets for the upcoming Champions League final in Ukraine to 650 fans whose flights were cancelled, as ticket-holders called the travel…

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Chapecoense play first game since air disaster – video

Brazilian football team Chapecoense played champions Palmeiras on Sunday in their first match since an air disaster claimed the lives of 71 people, including 19 players and 24 other club members. The match, which finished 2-2, was attended by around 20…

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Airline apologises for barring Paralympian’s prosthesis from flight

South African medallist Tyrone Pillay kept from boarding by country’s national airline while carrying spare prosthetic leg

South Africa’s national airline has apologised to Tyrone Pillay, the country’s medal-winning Paralympic shot-putter, after he was prevented from boarding a flight with his spare prosthetic leg, a spokesman has said.

The incident happened on Tuesday as Pillay was returning from the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he won a bronze medal.

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‘Jetmen’ Yves Rossy and Vince Reffet fly over Dubai’s Palm Island – video

Former Swiss pilot Yves Rossy, known as ‘Jetman,’ reportedly the first man in the world to fly a jet-fitted wing, and his new protege Vince Reffet fly over Dubai’s Palm Island, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday. Rossy and Reffet perform tricks and stunt…

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Swedish football team avoids fatal flight 4U9525 after last-minute change of plan

Dalkurd FF had planned to take Germanwings flight but made decision to take alternative routes to avoid long stopover

An extraordinary stroke of good fortune and impatience to get home saved a Swedish football team from death on Germanwings flight 4U 9525 when they chose to fly alternative routes over the Alps from Barcelona.

After a week’s training in Spain, it was time on Tuesday for Dalkurd FF, a third-division Swedish side, to return to Stockholm.

Vi sänder våra djupaste kondoleanser till alla de drabbade av dagens hemska tragedi i Frankrike. Må ni vila i frid. #4U9525

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‘Holy grail’ of ballooning: Pilots beat record in 7,000-mile trek across Pacific

The Two Eagles team started off in Japan in helium-filled balloon and landed safely off the coast of Mexico early on Saturday Continue reading…

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Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: what we know – and what we don’t

Confusion surrounds details of missing plane, with discrepancies over time and last position, and odd reference to Mario Balotelli

Finding missing aircraft can take days or months; unravelling what went wrong can take years. But accounts from Malaysian authorities and others involved in the search operation and investigation into flight MH370 have been particularly confusing and, in some cases, contradictory.

Has any trace of the plane been found?

Several sightings of debris and oil slicks have been reported but they have so far proved to be unrelated to MH370. Crews are searching a vast area of sea and are bound to spot flotsam and slicks from vessels; establishing that they are connected to the missing flight is another matter.

Where and when was the plane last detected?

This is perhaps the most confusing aspect of all. Malaysia Airlines repeatedly said that Subang air traffic control – which covers Kuala Lumpur airport – lost contact with the aircraft at 2.40am, almost two hours after takeoff, but later revised its last known contact to 1.30am.

That appeared to make more sense, since its last recorded position was 120 nautical miles off Kota Bharu on the east coast and online flight data showed it at that spot about 40 minutes into the flight, at roughly 1.20am, heading towards Vietnam across the South China Sea. The pilot of another aeroplane closer to Vietnam said that just after 1.30am he relayed a call to MH370 at the request of Vietnamese air traffic control and heard mumbling at the other end but then lost the connection.

There are also two unconfirmed sightings of a low-flying plane off the east coast at about 1.30am, though Les Westbrooks, associate professor of aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, warns: “Eyewitness accounts are notoriously bad.”

Officials said the plane might have turned back and there is a report that Singaporean authorities detected a rapid descent – which could have affected whether it was picked up on radar screens. Flightradar24.com said its coverage was limited to 30,000 feet (9,100 metres) in that area.

But it was still unclear why search teams were combing the Malacca Strait, on the western side of the peninsula, until the air force chief told local media on Tuesday that military radar had picked up a signal showing the plane near the tiny island of Pulau Perak off the west coast – hundreds of kilometres north-west of Kuala Lumpur – at 2.40am; the time initially indicated by Malaysia Airlines.

It is possible that officials were, and remain, uncertain as to whether they really detected MH370.

Westbrooks noted that if the aeroplane was experiencing problems, its instruments might not have been able to respond to the radar. He said that given the size of a 777, the radar would be able to identify the presence of an object even without a response.

Who were the four passengers with suspect identities?

Only two are known to have been travelling on stolen passports. Both are thought to be Iranian, probably seeking asylum in Europe, Interpol’s secretary general has said.

There was confusion earlier because the Malaysian home minister had described them as appearing to be Asian but was then contradicted by the civil aviation chief, who appeared to suggest that one of the men looked like the black Italian footballer Mario Balotelli. Most journalists present took that to mean that he was black, although the Ministry of Transportation later clarified that the civil aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, had been trying to emphasise that ethnicity did not indicate nationality.

The Malaysian transport and defence minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said this week that authorities were looking at two more possible cases of suspicious identities, telling reporters: “All the four names are with me.”

Malaysian authorities have not given any further information since then. Chinese state media said one of the passport numbers on the manifest belonged to a man from Fujian, eastern China, who was safe and well – but a different name, also Chinese, was listed alongside the number. The man told police that his passport had not been lost or stolen.

What about people who checked in but did not board the flight?

On Monday, the civil aviation chief said five people checked in but did not board and their baggage was removed accordingly. On Tuesday, the inspector general of police said that everyone who was booked on to the flight had boarded – though he then contradicted himself by saying one person had missed the flight because they got the wrong day. Malaysia Airlines says that four people were booked but never checked in.

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Passenger tries to hijack plane bound for Istanbul and divert it to Sochi

Official from Turkey’s transport ministry says passenger claimed bomb was on board flight from Kharkov in Ukraine

A major security operation was sparked after a passenger on board a plane bound for Turkey attempted to hijack it and demanded that it be diverted to Sochi, where the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics was taking place.

The flight, which had taken off from Kharkov, Ukraine, and was en route for Istanbul with 110 passengers, subsequently landed safely at Sabiha Gokcen airport, one of the Turkish city’s international airports.

There was confusion about what happened next, with some reports stating that Turkish special forces boarded the plane and seized the would-be hijacker, while at least one other report stated that attempts were being made to get him to give himself up.

Turkish authorities had earlier scrambled an F-16 fighter plane as soon as the pilot of the Pegasus Airlines flight signalled that there was a hijack attempt.

Russia’s Interfax news agency cited the Ukrainian security service as saying the passenger who tried to hijack the plane was in a state of severe alcoholic intoxication. It also said he had been pacified, and no weapons or explosives were found on him.

An airport official was quoted by Reuters as saying: “People are still inside but the pilot called security and gave them a signal that they can enter the plane. There is a translator – a Turkish man near the Ukrainian to calm him down.”

Habib Soluk, Turkey’s transport ministry undersecretary, told a Turkish television channel that the man rose from his seat, shouted that there was a bomb on board and tried to enter the locked cockpit. The pilot signalled that there was a hijack attempt and the airport was placed on high alert.

“The man was made to believe the plane was heading to Sochi,” he said. “We are hoping that the passengers are evacuated without even a nose-bleed.”

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