Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 Crashes Off The Cost Of Beirut <





Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 Crashes Off The Cost Of Beirut

By Mike Mitchell

January 26, 2010 (Update) –The search and rescue work that had been temporarily suspended due to bad weather last night has been resumed today since 6:00am Beirut local time. We have also received a report indicating that a US navy carrier and a special purpose vessel has already arrived on the scene to help with the rescue operation. This will facilitate an earlier recovery of the black box and data voice recorder. It will also help to find and lift the main fuselage of the aircraft. So far, part of the wreckage and some life rafts has been recovered from the area.

The National Transportation Safety Board has dispatch an aviation investigator to assist the government of Lebanon in its investigation of the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines B- 737-800 (ET-ANB) off the coast of Lebanon.NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman has designated senior investigator Dennis Jones as the U.S. Accredited Representative. His team will include technical advisors from the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing.


January 25, 2010 – One of Africa’s largest airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Flight 409, crashes off the cost of Beirut today. Ethiopian Airlines, Flight 409 departed from Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport at about 2:35 AM, the Boeing 737-800 was carrying 83 passengers and 7 crewmembers on board under heavy rain and thunder storms for Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. About 2:40 AM the jetliner disappeared from radar and crashed into the sea in what witnesses described as a ball of fire. The recharge site is two miles west of the coastal village of Na'ameh, Ghazi Aridi, six mile south of Beirut. 

The fate of those onboard Flight 409 remain unknown. Emergency crews were ordered to begin what the minister described as a "search and rescue" operation. Lebanese army patrol boats and UN peacekeeper were searching the water and land for survivors.

Ethiopian Airlines is the largest airline in Africa by number of passengers. Ethiopian Airlines serves over 50 destinations worldwide and over 35 destinations within Ethiopia. Ethiopian Airlines is an airline headquartered on the grounds of Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is the national airline of Ethiopia, operating scheduled international passenger and freight services to over 50 destinations worldwide, as well as domestic services to 32 destinations and passenger and cargo charter flights. Its main hub is Bole International Airport.  

A team of experts from Ethiopian has arrived in Beirut and has reported that the Lebanese government and its army together with the UN security forces in Beirut are aggressively engaged in the search efforts for survivors at the accident scene. It has been established that 25 bodies have been recovered. 14 have been identified as six Ethiopians and eight Lebanese nationals. The Ethiopian team is working closely with all concerned offices to provide assistance and support to the family and friends of victims affected by the unfortunate accident. “The Lebanese Government has formed a rescue team lead by the Ministry of Transport. Also taking part in this rescue mission are the Lebanese Defense force including the Navy and the UN peace keeping force in the region.” 


Ato Girma also reported that a team of Aircraft Accident Handling and Crisis Management experts will be traveling to Beirut from London. The team consisting of 8 people from BLAKE Emergency services is proceeding from London to Beirut today to assist with the rescue mission and establish a family assistance center to help the families.  

The pilot of flight ET409 was a career flight professional with over 20 years of experience flying various aircraft over the expanded network of the airline. The aircraft B737-800 with registration number ET-ANB involved in the accident has had its regular maintenance service as recently as December 25, 2009 at the maintenance facilities of the National carrier and was declared safe and fit to fly. The airline’s maintenance service holds excellent safety records.

On 15 September 1988, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 604, a Boeing 737-200 registered ET-AJA, ingested pigeons into both engines shortly after take off from Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. One engine lost thrust almost immediately and the second lost thrust during the emergency return to the airport. During the crash landing, 31 of the 105 passengers were killed. 

On 23 November 1996, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961, a Boeing 767-200ER registered ET-AIZ, was hijacked by three hijackers. The flight was on its first leg of an Addis Ababa-Nairobi-Brazzaville-Lagos-Abidjan route. The hijackers instructed the pilot to fly to Australia. Flying south along the African coast, the controller of Nairobi advised them to land at Mombasa. Fuel ran out and one of the plane's engines stopped. While attempting a landing into shallow waters 500 meters from shore near Le Galawa Beach (near Moroni in the Comoros Islands), the aircraft ran out of fuel and ditched. 123 of the 175 passengers and crew died, including Kenyan photojournalist Mohamed Amin and all of the hijackers. The aircraft was destroyed.  

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