2008 Airline safety and security review

This review includes important safety or security related occurrences from 2008. There are two types of events in this review, numbered events and significant events. Numbered events must meet the following criteria:

  • There is at least one passenger fatality,
  • The flight was open to the general public, and
  • The aircraft was a large jet or turboprop driven model that is typically used in airline service.

Significant events are those that don't meet the criteria for a numbered event, but would likely be of interest to airline passengers and the aviation safety and security community. These events may include non-fatal airline accidents, events unrelated to an airline flight, hijackings, military actions, criminal activities, or acts of sabotage.

Definitions used by AirSafe.com

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    2 January 2008; Iran Air Fokker 100; Tehran, Iran: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Tehran to Shiraz, Iran. The aircraft skidded off the runway during takeoff attempt. There was reportedly landing gear damage and a post-crash fire, but all six crew members and 53 passengers were able to escape. It was snowing at the time of the takeoff.
    Fatal Fokker 100 Events
    Fatal and Significant Iran Air Events

    4 January 2008; Transaven Let 410; near Los Roques, Venezuela: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Caracas to Los Roques, Venezuela, The crew reported engine failure in the vicinity of the Los Roques archipelago, after which contact with the aircraft was lost. There were two crew members and 12 passengers on board, and they are missing and presumed lost.
    More information on this crash

    Report on Iran Air and Transaven crashes

    10 January 2008; Air Canada A319; near Cranbrook, Canada: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Victoria, BC to Toronto, ON. The aircraft had a possible encounter with moderate to severe turbulence while in the vicinity of the Canadian Rockies. The crew diverted to Calgary, where injured passengers and crew members were treated for minor injuries. The aircraft was not seriously damaged, and there were no fatalities among the five crew members or 83 passengers.
    Turbulence Risks
    Boeing 767 crashes
    Air Canada crashes

    Report about this Air Canada Incident
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    12 January 2008; Senator Barack Obama; Gulfstream 2; Chicago, IL: United States Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama was a passenger in a Gulfstream 2 aircraft that collided with another aircraft on the ground at Midway Airport in Chicago. Senator Obama, members of his campaign staff, and Secret Service agents had just flown in from Nevada, where he had been campaigning. The left wingtip of the Gulfstream hit the right wingtip if a parked and unoccupied Cessna 208 aircraft. The impact was so minor that no one on the plane noticed any damage until later.
    Additional details about the event

    Report on this Sen. Obama incident
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    17 January 2008; British Airways 777; G-YMMM; flight 38; London, England: During final approach to London's Heathrow, the aircraft engines from Beijing, China, at 720 feet agl, the right engine of G-YMMM ceased responding to autothrottle commands for increased power and instead the power reduced on both engines. This reduction led to a loss of airspeed and the aircraft touched about1000 feet (330m) short of the runway The aircraft skidded just over 1000 feet, tearing off its landing gear and coming to rest on the tarmac just to the right of the end of the runway. This was a scheduled international flight that was arriving from Beijing, China. There were 16 crew members and 136 passengers on board, and one passenger sustained a serious injury.

    This was the first serious accident for the 777 since it began commercial service in 1995. The loss of engine control was due to a fuel system blockage caused by ice that formed in the fuel system.
    More information on this event
    Other British Airways plane crashes

    28 January 2008; Air Canada 767-300; over Atlantic Ocean en route Toronto to London: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight between Toronto, Canada and Heathrow Airport in London, carrying 146 passengers and nine crew members. While over the Atlantic, the first officer experienced some sort of mental or psychological breakdown, and had to be physically removed from the cockpit.

    After the removal of the first officer, the captain with the assistance of a flight attendants who held a commercial multiengine license, diverted to Shannon, Ireland without further incident.
    Boeing 767 plane crashes
    Air Canada plane crashes
    Podcast about the event
    Incident report from the Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit

  1. 21 February 2008; Santa Barbara Airlines ATR 42; near Merida, Venezuela: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Merida to Caracas, Venezuela. It crashed into a mountain about six miles (10 km) from the airport, at about the 12,000 foot level of the mountain. All 43 passengers and three crew members were killed.
    Wikipedia Entry for this Plane Crash
    Fatal events involving the ATR 42 and ATR 72

    3 April 2008; Blue Wing Airlines Antonov AN28; near Benzdorp, Suriname: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Paramaribo to Benzdorp, Suriname. It crashed into a hillside during its second landing attempt. There was light rain in the area at the time of the crash. The 17 passengers and both crew members were all killed.
    More information on this crash

  2. 15 April 2008; Hewa Bora Airways DC9-51; Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo): The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Goma to Kisangani, DR Congo. The aircraft developed a problem during takeoff, and reportedly departed the runway and collided with several buildings in a nearby neighborhood. There were eight crew members and 86 passengers aboard the aircraft, and three of the passengers were killed. There were also 37 fatalities on the ground.
    Fatal events involving the DC9
    More information on this crash

  3. 30 May 2008; TACA A320-200; Tegucigalpa, Honduras: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from San Salvador, El Salvador, to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The aircraft landed, overran the runway, went down an embankment, and struck several vehicles. One of the six crew members and two of the 118 passengers were killed. Two people outside the aircraft were also killed.
    Airbus A320 crashes
    TACA plane crashes
    More information on this crash
    Podcast about the Accident

    7 June 2008; Patagonia Airlines Cessna Caravan; en route Puerto Montt to La Junta, Chile The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Puerto Montt to La Junta, but crashed while en route. All of the occupants survived the crash, but the pilot died of his injuries two days later. The nine passengers were all rescued several days later.

  4. 10 June 2008; Sudan Airways A310-300; Khartoum, Sudan: The aircraft was on an unscheduled domestic flight from Port Sudan to Khartoum. The aircraft had been on a scheduled international flight from Damascus, Syria to Khartoum, but had earlier diverted to Port Sudan due to weather conditions in the Khartoum area. The aircraft landed, and then overran the far end of the runway by about 230m (750ft), coming to rest on rough ground slightly to the left of the extended centreline. The right engine and right side of the aircraft caught fire, and the fire quickly spread to the rest of the plane and destroyed the aircraft. One of the 14 crew members was killed, and at least 30 of the 203 passengers were killed.
    Airbus A310 crashes
    Sudan Airways crashese
    More information on this crash

    7 July 2008; Kalitta Air; 747-200F; N714CK; Bogota, Colombia: The aircraft was on an international cargo flight from Bogota, Colombia to Miami, Fl, and crashed shortly after takeoff about 8 km (5 mi) from the airport. The aircraft crashed into a farm, and although all eight crew members survived, three people on the ground were killed.

    19 July 2008; Sikorsky S92 helicopter; near Seoul, South Korea: The head of the Unification Church, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, was one of 16 occupants in a Sikorsky S-92 helicopter that crashed about a mile short of its destination. Everyone on board was able to escape the helicopter before it burst into flames. Rev. Moon's wife and at least three grandchildren were also on the aircraft. According to a statement from the Unification Church, the nonschedueld flight was on its way from Seoul to the Cheon Jeong Goong Museum, located in Seorakmyeon, about 35 miles from Seoul.

    The helicopter encountered inclement weather conditions about 20 minutes after takeoff, and made an emergency landing on a hillside. At the time of the crash, heavy rainfall and fog blanketed the area.
    Wikipedia Entry for the Sikorsky_S-92

    25 July 2008; Qantas 747-400; near Manila, Philippines: The aircraft was on an scheduled international flight from Hong Kong, China to Melbourne, Australia. The aircraft experienced an explosive decompression over the South China Sea about 200 miles from Manila. The crew descended about 20,000 feet and successfully diverted to Manila. A portion of the fuselage just forward of the wing root was found missing after the aircraft landed. None of the 19 crew members or 346 passengers were injured.
    Other Significant Qantas Events
    Boeing 747 plane crashes
    More information on this event

    Podcasts About the Event
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    Podcast Transcript

  5. 20 August 2008; Spanair MD82; Madrid, Spain: The aircraft crashed shortly after attempting a takeoff for a scheduled domestic flight from Madrid to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. Early reports indicate that one of the engines caught fire during the takeoff, the aircraft became airbore, and that the crew set the aircraft down in a area to the right of the departure runway. The aircraft broke up and caught fire.

    All six crew members and 148 of the 166 passengers were killed. Among the passengers were 20 children and two infants. This was also a code share flight with Lufthansa, and that airline reported that seven of their passengers were checked in for the flight.
    MD80 crashes
    Spanair crashes
    More information on this event

    Podcasts About the Event
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    Podcast transcript

  6. 24 August 2008; Itek Air 737-200; Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, to Tehran, Iran. About 10 minutes after takeoff, the crew turned back to the departure airport and also reported some kind of technical problem, crashing short of the runway. There were about 83 passengers and seven crew on the aircraft, including 17 members of Kyrgyzstan's national basketball youth team. Seven team members reportedly survived. At least 65 of those on board, including five of the seven crew members, were killed.

    Itek Air had been banned from operating in the EU according to a list published on 24 July 2008. This particular flight was operated on behalf of Iran Aseman Airlines.
    More information on this event
    Itek Air crashes
    Boeing 737 crashes

    Podcasts About the Event
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    Podcast transcript

    24 August 2008; Aéreo Ruta Maya Cessna Caravan; near Cabañas, Guatemala: The aircraft was on an unscheduled domestic flight from Guatemala City to El Estor. About 45 minutes into the flight, the crew indicated that the aircraft was experiencing engine problems. The aircraft crashed near the town of Cabañas, about 60 miles (96 km) east of Guatemala City, killing both crew members and nine of the 12 passengers. The passengers were traveling to El Estor to do work on behalf of the group CHOICE Humanitarian. Many of the occupants had survived the initial impact, but were killed by a post crash fire.
    More information on this event

  7. 14 September 2008; Aeroflot-Nord 737-500; near Perm, Russia: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Moscow to Perm, Russia. Contact with the aircraft was lost shortly before landing when the aircraft was about 3,600 feet, or about 1100 meters, above the ground. The aircraft was completely destroyed in the crash, coming down outside of the city of Perm and near the tracks of the Trans-Siberian Railway. All 82 passengers and six crew members were killed in the crash. There were seven children, including one infant, among the passengers.
    More information on this event
    Crashes of airlines of the former Soviet Union

    Podcasts About the Event
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    19 September 2008; Global Exec Aviation Learjet 60; Columbia, SC: Travis Barker, former drummer for the music group Blink-182, Adam Goldstein, more widely known as DJ AM, and two other passengers were in a Learjet 60 aircraft that was on a chartered flight from Columbia, South Carolina to Van Nuys airport in Los Angeles. The crash, which happened shortly before midnight, occurred during takeoff. The crew was unable to stop the aircraft before it departed the runway. The plane struck a series of antennas and lights, crashed through a fence, crossed a nearby highway, and came to rest on an embankment where it burst into flames. The crash and subsequent fire killed both flight crew members and two of the four passengers.
    More information on this event
    Celebrity plane crashes

    Podcasts About the Event
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    7 October 2008; Qantas A330-300; near Learmonth, Australia: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Singapore to Perth. While in cruise, the aircraft reportedly experienced some type of sudden and unexpected altitude change. The crew issued a mayday call before diverting the aircraft to the airport at Learmonth, near the town of Exmouth, about 1100 kilometers or 680 miles north of its intended destination of Perth.

    About 36 passengers and crew members were injured, with over a dozen severe injuries. Reportedly, several occupants were slammed into the ceiling during the event. Most of the injuries were to passengers and crew in the rear of the aircraft, and at least one person was carried off the plane in a stretcher.

    About 13 of the most seriously injured were flown to Perth by four aircraft from the Royal Flying Doctor Service. One flight attendant was hospitalized with suspected head and spinal injuries. Other serious injuries included fractures, lacerations, and a concussion.
    Other Qantas Events
    A330 Safety Events
    More information on this event

    Podcasts About the Event
    Passenger Interview 10 October 2008
    Initial Podcast 7 October 2008
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    27 November 2008; XL Airways Germany A320-200; near Perpignan, France : The aircraft had been leased to XL Airways Germany and a flight test crew, along with an New Zealand civil aviation inspector, were conducting a test flight prior to the aircraft being returned to its owner, Air New Zealand. On approach into Perpignan, the aircraft was seen to enter a rapid dive before it crashed in the Mediterranean Sea just off the coast. All seven occupants were killed.

    8 December 2008; USMC F/A-18D; Near San Diego, CA: A US Marine Corps F/A-18D jet based at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station crashed during approach about two miles short of the runway. The pilot successfully ejected, but four people, two children, their mother, and grandmother were killed in one of the two houses destroyed by the jet. No one else on the ground was injured. More details are available on AirSafeNews.com.
    About the F/A-18
    More about this crash

    Podcasts About the Event
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    20 December 2008; Continental Airlines 737-500; Denver, CO: The aircraft, which was on a scheduled flight to Houston's Intercontinental Airport, departed the runway during takeoff and skidded across a taxiway and a service road before coming to rest in a ravine several hundred yards from the runway. The aircraft sustained significant damage, including a post crash fire, separation of one engine and separated and collapsed landing gear. There were about 38 injuries among the 110 passengers and five crew members, including two passengers who were seriously injured.
    Other Continental Events
    Wikipedia Entry for this Plane Crash

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2008 Airline safety and security review
http://www.airsafe.com/plane-crash/review-2008.htm -- Revised: 19 June 2015