It’s official, Air Algerie flight 5071 that vanished from radar earlier today, Thursday, July 24, did crash. According to CNN, Reuters and other Internet sources, Algeria’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita confirmed that wreckage of the MD-83 was discovered in a remote area "between Aguelhoc and Kidal" in a desert region in northern Mali.
The flight was carrying at an estimated 116 people when it departed Burkina Faso for Algeria. It disappeared from ground control tracking after diverting from its planned course due to bad weather, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters. About 50 passengers were French with 24 from Burkina Faso; eight Lebanese; six Algerians; five Canadians; four Germans; two from Luxembourg; one from Mali; one Cameroonian; one Belgian; one Ukrainian; one Romanian; one Swiss; one Nigerian; and one Egyptian.
All reports indicate that radar contact with flight deck was lost 50 minutes after takeoff from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, at 1:47 a.m. Thursday, July 24. The aircraft was bound frt Algiers' Houari Boumediene Airport.There were unconfirmed reports that one region along the flight path was rife with thunderstorms and sandstorms and that the pilot wanted to change course because of the bad weather conditions.
All six crew members on board the plane, which belongs to Swiftair, were Spanish, Houaoui said. Although the equipment was owned by Swiftair, a private Spanish company, it was being operated by Air Algerie. According to the Wall Street Journal Swiftair had a "relatively clean record."
The McDonnell Douglas MD-80 is a family of twin-engine, short- to medium-range, single-aisle commercial jet airliners which were lengthened and updated from the DC-9 according to Wikipedia.Air Algerie is the national airline of Algeria. It offers flights to 28 countries.
The crash of Flight 5071 happened one week a Malaysia Airlines plane was brought down by an alleged surface to air missile in Ukraine killing all 298 people on board, and five months after Malaysia Air went missing seemingly forever. This is a lot to swallow for the aviation industry which has been boasting one of its best safety records, especially in the U.S. The trio of tragic events plus a Taiwanese jet that went down recently is making white knuckle flyers even more jittery and causing apprehension even among cavalier passengers.