4 stars from aviation’s early days

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIVIA GENIUS)

 

4 stars from aviation’s early days

It is hard to believe it in this age of frequent flier miles and airplane trips across the world, but flying was once thought to be an impossible dream. People looked to the skies but didn’t know how to get there—until the late 1800s, when all of that changed forever. Here are four stars from the early days of aviation, who inspired people to believe that anything was possible.

Bessie Coleman (1892-1926)

Credit: neftali / Shutterstock.com

Bessie Coleman was both the first African-American woman pilot and the first Native American pilot. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, she grew up with 12 siblings, which is perhaps one of the reasons she was born with a desire to stand out among the crowd. When one of her brothers came home from World War I full of stories of French female pilots, a flame was lit inside of Bessie, and her dream became learning to be a pilot herself. Unfortunately, no schools in America would take her because of her race. She was determined to succeed, though, so when an African-American newspaper publisher named Robert Abbott offered to pay for her to attend flight school in France, she jumped at the chance. She learned to fly and became widely known for her trick flying, which she then refused to display in any segregated venues. It was her goal to inspire women and African-Americans all over the world, and she did just that, prompting many of them to become pilots themselves.

Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974)

Credit: AlexanderZam / iStock

Charles Lindbergh is one of the most famous aviators in history. In 1927, he made the first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, a feat that inspired fellow pilot Amelia Earhart to do it herself a few years later. Also known as “Lucky Lindy,” fans all over the world adored Lindbergh for his soft-spoken nature and his clear skill as a pilot. He earned this reputation, not just for that innovative flight, but for all the ones that came before it. He was the first in his class in military flight school and he won several prizes for his incredible flying talent. He also had an intriguing perspective on flying, describing the experience by saying “There were times in an aeroplane when it seemed I had escaped mortality to look down on earth like a God.”

Harriet Quimby (1875-1912)

Credit: emka74 / Shutterstock.com

Harriet Quimby was a rarity in her time: a bold, flashy woman who didn’t abide by the standard rules set for her gender. Having grown up as a “tomboy full of verve and spunk who was ready to try anything,” Quimby began her career as a newspaperwoman. She loved interacting with different people, and hearing different stories, but soon she became restless. She wanted to do more, be more, and find a bigger challenge. She found that challenge when she began covering aviation-related stories for the paper. Originally she was just writing about how women should dress for a flight, but soon she began to pursue aviation as a career in her own right, becoming the first American woman to earn a pilot’s license. She then went on to become the flashiest “aviator/cover girl” there was, decking herself out in a purple satin flying suit that made her look like everyone’s dream of the perfect flying woman. Eventually, though, it became less about looks and more about substance, as she wrote articles detailing how to ensure a safe flight for the other female pilots who would come after her.

Howard Hughes (1905-1976)

Credit: Dbenbenn / Wikimedia Commons

Rounding out our list of famous early aviators is Howard Hughes. Hughes was not just a pilot, he was also a manufacturer, a movie producer, and a director. He came from a wealthy family, whose riches came from his father’s invention of a rotary bit for drilling oil wells. After his parents died, Hughes took over his father’s tool company, eventually selling it for billions of dollars. He then went on to make many quirky movies in Hollywood, which is where he became intrigued by aviation. He founded the Hughes Aircraft Company in California and designed his own airplane, which he then used to set the fastest land speed record of 352.46 miles. Never one to do anything halfway, he also lowered the transcontinental flight time record to 7 hours and 28 minutes, then later flew around the entire world in a little over 91 hours. In addition to his own planes, he also bought shares of other aviation companies and became one of the richest aviators of all time before going into self-imposed seclusion for the rest of his life.

China: Shanghai 4th in world ports

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

Shanghai 4th in world ports

Shanghai ranks the fourth among international shipping centers, following Singapore, Hong Kong and London, according to the latest Xinhua-Baltic Exchange International Shipping Center Development Index on Thursday.

Singapore took top spot with three outstanding factors — port facilities, maritime services and overall environment. Dubai, Rotterdam and Hamburg are also in the top 10 list.

Shipping development in Shanghai and Dubai, two important cities in emerging economies, has increased greatly thanks to their rapidly developing modern maritime collection and distribution system, continuous rising shipping service ability, the driving power of free trade zones, and improved business environment, the index noted.

A total of 43 international port cities were evaluated.

Shipping centers in Asia are full of vitality in development, and their competitiveness is continuously growing, said Cao Zhanzhong, a chief economics analyst at the China Economic Information Service.

Shanghai remains the world’s busiest container port, with a guaranteed capacity of 100 million people and 5.2 million tons, and 110 air carriers had flights to Shanghai, with the airline network covering 297 cities around the world, the city government said last year.

The city is creating a sea and air hub featuring highly concentrated shipping resources, complete shipping service functions, a good shipping market environment and efficient logistics, according to a three-year plan on the city’s international shipping center construction by 2020.

Lifting the transit function of international air cargo and promoting operations of express delivery, cold chain logistics and cross-border e-commerce are on the agenda.

The 4th phase of the Yangshan Deep-Water Port was completed in December 2018, with a berthing capacity of 150,000 tons. The highest throughput of the port reaches 14,451 TEU (20ft equivalent unit) daily, and its yearly throughput is expected to surpass 2 million TEU.

London and Singapore lead in shipping services, said Cao. London is strong in shipping finance and law, while Singapore has advantages in shipping broker and ship management, he said.

China’s coastal cities had an overall good performance, with Zhoushan, Guangzhou, Qingdao and Dalian ranking 13, 16, 17 and 20, respectively.

The index was launched by China Economic Information Service, a subsidiary of Xinhua news agency, China Financial Information Center and the Baltic Exchange.

5 U.S. Cities with Multiple Airports

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

5 U.S. Cities with Multiple Airports (and Which Are the Best to Fly Into)

If you’ve ever planned a trip to a major city, you know that often there’s more than one airport you can choose (or if you’re going to somewhere remote, there might not even be any to choose from). And while this means you have more options, it can make planning your flight more difficult. Which airport should you pick? In truth, there’s no easy answer as it’s going to depend on your route, budget, and ability to access an airport. So check out this guide for five cities served by multiple airports.

New York City

Credit: helivideo / iStock

Airports: EWR, HPN, ISP, JFK, LGA

Of course, the city that never sleeps is first. There are only two airports that are within New York City limits. But three airports are directly associated with the Big Apple, and the remaining two are known only to locals as a smart alternative—depending on your travel routes. Of the three major airports, John F. Kennedy International (JFK) and LaGuardia International (LGA) are based in the extreme outskirts of Queens while Newark Liberty International (EWR) is located in New Jersey, 30 minutes outside of the city. But Westchester County Airport (HPN) and Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP) are two popular regional alternatives that also provide domestic service for select airlines—if you can figure out how to get there.

JFK and EWR are the easiest to reach via mass transit thanks to their air trains that connect directly to the NYC MTA Subway and New Jersey Transit trains that terminate at New York Pennsylvania Station respectively. If you don’t mind buses, the NYC MTA M60 bus will drop you off at LGA. But flight delays and long waits on the tarmac for your flight to take off might make you rethink this airport. To make it easy on yourself, select “NYC” as the airport code to get as many options as possible in your search results.

Chicago

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Airports: MDW, ORD

Chicago is serviced by two primary airports, Chicago Midway International (MDW) and O’Hare International (ORD). Of the two, O’Hare is far larger and manages more traffic—serving as a popular layover option for numerous domestic airlines like American and United. Typically, O’Hare is preferred for international flights while Midway is best known as a more convenient option for domestic flights thanks to shorter security lines.

Like many major cities, you can rely on mass transit to get to and from O’Hare. Both airports offer direct access to CTA rail lines for 24-hour service to Chicago and surrounding suburbs. If your trip is for farther beyond the Chicago city limits, the Metra is the commuter rail option for you from O’Hare.

Miami

Credit: lavendertime / iStock

Airports: FLL, MIA, PBI

Bienvenido a Miami! If your travels are taking you to one of the sexiest cities in the U.S., you have three airport options: Miami International (MIA), Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International (FLL), and West Palm Beach International (PBI). Unlike a lot of other cities, Miami’s busiest airport (MIA) is a short drive from the heart of the city. Within less than 20 minutes you can be on South Beach sunning yourself and enjoying the weather.

MIA is the nation’s third busiest airport, which means that while you’ll have the greatest number of flight options, you can also experience delays both on the runway and at the security checkpoint. FLL and PBI offer a more laid-back experience but fewer flight options depending on your airline. However, PBI is the only airport that’s accessible by train—the Tri-Rail system. All other airports must be accessed by taxi or rideshare service.

San Francisco

Credit: Bill_Dally / iStock

Airports: OAK, SFO, SJC

San Francisco is another popular destination for tourists and business travelers. Most people are aware of only their largest airport, San Francisco International (SFO). However, locals know that there are two alternate options, Oakland International (OAK) and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International (SJC). While SFO offers the most flights and variety of carriers, it’s not uncommon to experience delays—especially through security. Still, direct access to the city via their transit train line, BART, makes SFO an attractive option.

But if you don’t like the crush of crowds, SJC and OAK can be prime alternatives. OAK is specifically ideal if you aren’t planning a standard trip to San Francisco. For travels through nearby cities or even Napa or Sonoma, OAK is perfect. But if you want to stay in San Francisco but just avoid the pain of SFO, SJC is a great alternative south of the city that’s also serviced by the Caltrain.

Los Angeles

Credit: MoJoStudio / iStock

Airports: LAX, SNA, BUR, LGB, ONT

Finally, we round out this list with the city of angels. Los Angeles is a popular vacation and business destination that’s serviced by five airports. Los Angeles International (LAX) and Ontario International (ONT) are ideal for international travelers, with ONT offering less stress for immigration and from security lines.

If your plans don’t require international travel, skip the frustration of LAX and opt for the domestic-only airports: John Wayne (SNA), Bob Hope/Hollywood Burbank (BUR), or Long Beach (LGB). But be aware, LGB offers flights through only four carriers. Burbank (BUR) is the only L.A. area airport with direct rail access; all others can be accessed via taxi, rideshare or shuttle service. However, we’re fans of LAX because of the In-n-Out across the street where you can order their famed burgers off the secret menu, sit outside, and watch the planes land!

10 dead in plane crash in Texas

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

10 dead in plane crash in Texas

All 10 on the small aircraft were killed, officials said.

DGCA asks Indian airlines to avoid Iranian airspace

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

DGCA asks Indian airlines to avoid Iranian airspace

Indian carriers’ decision follows a warning by the American aviation regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration to a possibility that commercial aircraft can be mistakenly targeted in Iranian airspace.

INDIA Updated: Jun 22, 2019 23:06 IST

Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
New Delhi
DGCA,Iranian airspace,Indian flights
Amid rising geopolitical tensions between the US and Iran, India’s aviation regulator DGCA Saturday said Indian airlines have decided to avoid the “affected part of the Iranian airspace” and reroute their flight “suitably”. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

Aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), announced on Saturday that Indian airlines had been asked to avoid parts of Iranian airspace, a day after several countries imposed similar restrictions over a region where military tensions have been heightened since the downing of an American drone by Iran.

The region falls in the path of west-bound flights from India, a route that has already been constrained by the closure of Pakistani airspace since tensions spiked in February and the two countries carried out airstrikes on each other’s soil.

“All Indian operators in consultation with DGCA have decided to avoid the affected part of Iranian Airspace to ensure safe travel for the passengers. They will re-route flights suitably,” the DGCA said in a tweet.

Air India chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani said the move will not have a “substantial effect” on the airline’s flights. “Details being worked out for rerouting on incoming flights,” he said.

According to industry experts flights of Air India – the only Indian carrier flying long distances – will need to take a longer route to avoid the closed areas, which would add to its operating costs.

The airline is already spending an additional ₹6 crore per day due to the Pakistan airspace closure.

WATCH | Iran shows US drone debris, Trump says ‘we were cocked, loaded to retaliate’

Iran shows US drone debris, Trump says ‘we were cocked, loaded to retaliate’
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Some of the world’s leading carriers including British Airways, Qantas and Singapore Airlines on Friday suspended flights over the Strait of Hormuz, as US President Donald Trump confirmed that he backed down at the last moment from launching airstrikes on Iranian targets.

American carrier United Airlines also indefinitely suspended its flight between New York/Newark and Mumbai from Friday evening.

The suspensions announced on Friday will affect thousands of passengers.

Experts have raised concerns about flying over troubled regions since the 2014 downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which killed 298 people on board. The aircraft was shot down over Ukraine by rebel forces, who are believed to have mistaken it for a military aircraft.

The drone that Iran shot down using a surface-to-air missile had a wing span larger than a Boeing 737 aircraft – a commonly used jet by airlines – and had the capability to fly higher than altitudes typically used by commercial flights.

With agency inputs

First Published: Jun 22, 2019 17:03 IST

Plane crashed while on a skydiving excursion in Hawaii. All nine people aboard died

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

A plane crashed while on a skydiving excursion in Hawaii. All nine people aboard died

(CNN)A small plane crashed while on a skydiving excursion in Oahu and erupted into flames, killing all nine people aboard, Hawaii authorities said.

The King Air twin-engine plane went down Friday evening near Dillingham Airfield with no apparent survivors, the Hawaii Department of Transportation tweeted.
It was on a skydiving excursion when it crashed, Honolulu Fire Department Chief Manuel P. Neves said.
When firefighters arrived, the plane was engulfed in flames and they worked to extinguish them.Witnesses saw the plane coming inbound before it went down onto a fence line, away from the runway, Neves said.
“This is the most tragic aircraft incident that we had. We had some helicopters with the military but this is a civilian plane that went down and with that many people on board,” Neves told CNN affiliate KGMB.
The wreckage of an aircraft carrying nine people lies on the ground near a fence at Dillingham Airfield in Hawaii.

The names of the passengers have not been released. Some family members were at the airfield when the plane went down, Neves said.
“I am closely following the tragic developments out of Dillingham Airfield this evening. At this time our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell tweeted.
The Federal Aviation Administration will be taking over the investigation.
The airfield is a general aviation airport operated by the department under a 25-year lease from the US Army, Hawaii’s government website says. The state leases 272 acres of the 650-acre Dillingham Military Reservation and operates the single 5,000-foot runway primarily for commercial glider and sky diving operations.

The 7 Most Expensive Airports Ever Built

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

7 Most Expensive Airports Ever Built

7

Most Expensive Airports Ever Built

With lots of visitors and a desire to be a top-notch destination, some cities have quite the airport. After all, it’s the first thing many international travelers see when coming to your country. Some, of course, are costlier than others (and by a lot). Here’s a look at the most expensive airports ever built.

A quick note: This list includes only airports that are completely active, not those that don’t yet have passengers (though there are a couple of notables that will be mentioned within the article).

Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport

Credit: Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

$4.8 billion

It sits on 35,000 acres and is nearly twice the size of the next largest airport in America. It went $2 billion over budget, opening on Feb. 28, 1995. Shrouded in odd conspiracy theories, “surely something macabre must be hidden in those billions of extra dollars,” wrote New York Magazine. New World Order command bunkers or post-apocalyptic fallout shelters are among the many, many theories. Or maybe just government misspending. Whatever you believe, Denver’s is one big, expensive airport.

Dubai International Airport

Dubai International Airport

Credit: Fedor Selivanov/Shutterstock

$6 billion

DXB is the world’s busiest airport by international passenger traffic, and the third busiest overall in passenger traffic. More than 89 million passengers came through in 2018, and billions and billions were spent to make it all happen. The newer Terminal 3, completed in 2008 exclusively for the airline Emirates, cost $4.5 billion by itself.

Beijing Capital International Airport

Beijing Capital International Airport

Credit: TonyV3112/Shutterstock

$8 billion

Another airport with a recent terminal expansion that cost billions ($3.8 billion to be more precise), Beijing Capital International Airport comes in at around $8 billion total. The new terminal alone comes in a 3.2 million square feet of space. A new airport expected to come to Beijing later this year, Beijing Daxing International Airport, will be even more expensive at something like $12 billion. The Chinese capital is quickly becoming one of the busiest ports in the world.

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Al Maktoum International Airport

Al Maktoum International Airport

Credit: Philip Lange/Shutterstock

$8 billion

This airport opened to passenger traffic in 2013, but is nowhere near complete. Officially, its costs are put in the $8–12 billion range, but it could become the most expensive airport ever built as cost overruns and delays have plagued the full project. It’s three miles southwest of Dubai, and its completion has been postponed until at least 2027. Expected to handle 120 million annual passengers once finished, it could cost a whopping $36 billion when it’s all said and done.

London Heathrow Airport

London Heathrow Airport

Credit: Milosz Maslanka/Shutterstock

$10.5 billion

First opened in 1929, this airport in England has racked up about $10.5 billion in building costs over the years, the big chunk of it coming from a roughly $5.3 billion terminal expansion. It handled a record 80.1 million passengers in 2018, and therefore is planning further expansions to support more traffic, driving up the total cost some billions more.

Hong Kong International Airport

Hong Kong International Airport

Credit: Lee Yiu Tung/Shutterstock

$20 billion

Just over 20 years old, Hong Kong’s airport has spent about a billion bucks a year, on average. The total to build it, after all, was more than $20 billion. There were 225 construction contracts as a part of the project — split into 10 separate projects. The airport, built on reclaimed land between the two islands of Chek Lap Kok and Lam Chau, increased the land area of Hong Kong by 1 percent. That’s a pretty sizable airport!

Kansai International Airport

Kansai International Airport

Credit: Go_Legacy/Shutterstock

$20 billion

Opened in 1994 to relieve overcrowding at Osaka International Airport in Japan, Kansai was built in the middle of Osaka Bay on an artificially-made island. As you could imagine, this wasn’t cheap. It’s only the third busiest airport in Japan (30th busiest in Asia), but it’s the most expensive in the entire world, also at more than $20 billion.

Australian-Lebanese Ordered Released in UAE Airliner Bomb Plot

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Australian-Lebanese Ordered Released in UAE Airliner Bomb Plot

Saturday, 11 May, 2019 – 10:45
Police walk outside the international terminal as they patrol Sydney Airport. AFP file photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
The lawyer of an Australian-Lebanese dual citizen on trial for an alleged plot to bring down an Emirati passenger plane said Saturday that her client has been ordered released on bail by a Lebanese military court.

Joceline Adib al-Rai, lawyer of Amer Khayat, said the court’s decision was delivered a day earlier. Prosecutors can appeal.

Khayat has rejected the charges.

Lebanese authorities have held Khayat in detention since 2017. They have accused him of planning to blow up an Etihad airline flight that was supposed to travel from Sydney to the United Arab Emirates.

Khaled and Mahmoud, two of Khayyat’s brothers, are on trial in Australia for plotting to blow up the plane with bombs hidden inside a Barbie doll and meat grinder.

Australian authorities say Amer Khayyat had no knowledge of his brothers’ plot.

Khaled’s sentence hearing has been set for July 26. The charges carry a maximum punishment of life in prison. The jury is still deliberating a verdict for Mahmoud.

Another brother was unaware that he was carrying a bomb, disguised as a meat mincer, in his luggage, as he tried to check in at the airport, Australian police have said.

Age gap between pilots led to Air India Express plane ending up in open drain

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Age gap between pilots led to Air India Express plane ending up in open drain

A senior male pilot who was 30 years older to his female co-pilot and refused to heed her suggestions or warnings was one of the reasons for Air India Express flight IX 452 from Abu Dhabi to Kochi with 102 passengers ending up in an open drain following a landing in heavy rain on September 4, 2017

INDIA Updated: May 10, 2019 07:31 IST

Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Air India Express,India news,Crime
The incident left three passengers with injuries and serious damage to the aircraft, especially the front landing gear that collapsed.(File photo)

A senior male pilot who was 30 years older to his female co-pilot and refused to heed her suggestions or warnings was one of the reasons for Air India Express flight IX 452 from Abu Dhabi to Kochi with 102 passengers ending up in an open drain following a landing in heavy rain on September 4, 2017. The incident left three passengers with injuries and serious damage to the aircraft, especially the front landing gear that collapsed.

Now, to avoid a repeat of such an accident, aviation authorities have advised Air India Express to ensure pilots are not paired in a way that they have a wide age gap.

“There is not just one reason behind an accident. In the report, we tried to go to the exact details and found that probable cause of accident was incorrect judgement taken by PIC (pilot-in-command). Heavy rain and reduced visibility were contributory factors,” said a Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official, who asked not to be named.

According to the report, which has been seen by HT, the co-pilot told her senior that she could not see runway markings and asked him to go extremely slow.

Moments later, she insisted that a “follow-me” vehicle — used to guide aircraft in cases of low visibility — be summoned.

“However, there was no response from PIC. At 2112 UTC, the aircraft took a 90m early turn before the Taxiway ‘F’… and entered into open rain water drain. PIC applied throttle three times for aircraft to come out of the drain, but aircraft stuck in the drain. Co-pilot requested PIC not to apply throttle,” said the report by DGCA.

In the report, the DGCA has highlighted that there was an age gap of over 30 years and a difference of 13,000 hours in the flight experience between the two pilots, and that runway markers were , as the co-pilot said, barely visible

“…The coordination was lacking from PIC’s side. PIC was found alcohol-positive twice and his licence was suspended by DGCA for 3 months from 09.01.2016. The pilot had operated previous flight a day before and as per his statement, he reached hotel around midnight and was not able to sleep. In cockpit voice recorder, there is noise of PIC yawning in the flight,” the report points out.

The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has now recommended that Air India Express issue a circular related to crew coordination, and mentioned in its analysis that both PIC and co-pilot were operating together for the first time.

Detailing the sequence of events, the report said the aircraft entered the open rainwater drain and the nose landing gear collapsed. The aircraft moved deeper into the drain and the main landing gears too were in the run-off. The plane eventually rested on its engines and the rear belly, with the main landing gears hovering in the air.

According to experts, crew management trainings that are mandated for airlines include how to tackle problems that can arise from wide differences of age and experience between flight crew. “The airline is suppose to minimise the age gap between pilot and co-pilot and if pilot is not listening to the co-pilot, irrespective of the age gap, then it shows lack of training and also inefficiency of DGCA which must conduct an audit to find these loopholes,” said Mohan Ranganathan, an aviation safety expert.

An Air India Express spokesperson said the recommendations will be implemented. “Our top management has taken note of the recommendations made by AAIB regarding the incident involving aircraft VT-AYB at Cochin International Airport on 04.09.2017. AAIB has made safety recommendations which are to be implemented by various agencies including DGCA, Cochin International Airport Limited, AAI and Air India Express. Out of the 10 safety recommendations, two relate to Air India Express and these shall be duly implemented,” said PG Prageesh, chief of corporate communications, Air India Express.

First Published: May 10, 2019 06:56 IST

41 People confirmed dead in plane fire in Moscow’s airport

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S SHINE NEWS NETWORK)

 

41 people confirmed dead in plane fire in Moscow’s airport

Xinhua

Video from AFP.

Russia’s Investigative Committee confirmed Monday that 41 people were killed after an SSJ-100 passenger plane en route to the northwestern Russian city of Murmansk caught fire before an emergency landing Sunday at the Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow.

“41 people died,” Elena Markovskaya, representative of the committee’s Moscow Interregional Investigation Department for Transport, was quoted by Tass news agency as saying.

The committee reported 37 survivors from the 78 people aboard the airliner in an earlier statement.

The plane reportedly took off from the Sheremetyevo Airport at 6pm local time (1500 GMT) and made an emergency landing after circling over the Moscow region for about 40 minutes.

It was “engulfed in flames” before the emergency landing, Tass news agency quoted a source as saying.

It was previously reported that the fire could be caused by lightening strike.

The committee has opened a criminal case on violation of safety regulations for air transport and started further investigation of the accident, according to the statement.

Investigators began to interview the victims, eyewitnesses, airport staff and the airline carrier, as well as others responsible for the operation of the aircraft, it said.

The causes and circumstances are being verified and an explicit conclusion will be made after a comprehensive study of the data and documentation is completed, the committee said.

Xinhua

An SSJ-100 passenger plane catches fire at Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow on May 5.

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