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Air Algerie Flight AH5017 Crashes In West Africa

July 24, 2014 - An Air Algerie Flight AH5017 has crashed in West Africa. All 116 onboard (110 passengers and a crew of 6) were killed. The McDonnell Douglas MD-83 commercial jetliner which was operated Spain based Swiftair had departed Ouagadougou Airport, Burkina (West Africa) at 0117 GMT for Houari Boumediene Airport, Algiers, Algeria (North Africa); it was to land at 0510 GMT. 

Flight AH 5017 (registration EC-LTV) had departed West Africa early today, enroute, over northern Mali, air traffic control lost radar contact with the jetliner about 50 minutes after takeoff.

Burkina Faso Transport Minister, Jean Bertin Ouedrago said the pilot had requested from air traffic control a change in its route due to a storm in the area. "I can confirm that it has crashed." It's has been reported that the flight path Flight AH 5017 took had encountered a powerful sandstorm overnight. This crash marks the third major aviation disaster involving a commercial airliner in a one week span, following the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014 and the crash of TransAsia Airways Flight GE222 on July 23, 2014.

The FAA has warned aircraft against flying over Mali due to the Northern Mali conflict. (Insurgent groups fighting the Malian government for independence in Azawad a territory in northern Mali for the Tuareg people). The specific threat to aircraft includes anti-aircraft missiles, rockets, and rocket-propelled grenades. 

The FAA had sent out a notice requiring U.S. operators and airmen planning to fly into, out of, within, or over Mali at or below FL240 that they must obtain current threat information; comply with all applicable FAA regulations, operations specifications, management specifications, and letters of authorization and provide advance notice of planned operations to the FAA.



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