2009 Airline safety and security review

This review includes important safety or security related occurrences from 2009. 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

TSA Secrets Revealed

One of the more significant airline safety and security event during 2009 was the accidental release of some highly sensitive information by the TSA. This event was covered in depth by AirSafeNews.com, but if you just want to see these procedures manuals, you can download the full, unredacted version, or the version with the sensitive areas blacked out.

List of Fatal and Significant Events

    15 January 2009; US Airways A320-200, N106US; flight 1549; New York, NY: The aircraft was on a scheduled passenger flight from New York (LaGuardia) to Charlotte, NC The aircraft struck a flock of birds shortly after takeoff and experienced a loss of power to both engines. The crew was able to successfully ditch the aircraft in the Hudson River near midtown Manhattan. The aircraft reached an maximum altitude of about 3200 feet before it began to descend. After ditching, all five crew members and 150 passengers evacuated the aircraft. One passenger sustained serious injuries. This event is not numbered because it is considered a significant event as defined by AirSafe.com. The following pages have background information about the airline, the aircraft model, and other issues related to this crash:
    Additional details on this accident
    Previous US Airways crashes
    Other significant A320 events
    Bird Strike Hazards to Aircraft
    Jet airliner ditching events
    Bird Strike Videos
    Bird strike study from the AirSafe.com Foundation

    Podcasts About the Event
    Audio: MP3 | VideoiPod/MP4 | WMV

  1. 7 February 2009; Manaus Aerotaxi Embraer Bandeirante; near Santo Antonio, Brazil: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Coari. The crew reportedly encountered heavy rain and was attempted to turn back about an hour into the flight. The plane crashed into the Manacapuru River, killing both crew members and 22 of the 26 passengers. Eight of the passengers were small children.
    Bandeirante plane crashes

  2. 12 February 2009; Continental Connection (Colgan Air) Dash 8 Q-400; Flight 3407; near Buffalo, NY: The aircraft, a scheduled flight from Newark, NJ and operated by Colgan Air, crashed in a residential area about seven miles from the airport. At least one house on the ground was destroyed. All 45 passengers and four crew members were killed, along with one person on the ground.
    Additional Accident Details
    Other information about this crash
    Other Dash 8 crashes

    Initial report about the crash
    Audio: MP3 | VideoiPod/MP4 | WMV

    Fox News interview about the crash

  3. 25 February 2009; Turkish Airlines 737-800; Flight 1951; Amsterdam, Netherlands: The aircraft, on a scheduled international flight from Istanbul, Turkey, to Amsterdam, Netherlands crashed in a field about a mile (1.6 km) short of the runway. Four of the seven crew members, including both pilots, were killed, as were five of the 128 passengers.

    Preliminary reports from the Dutch accident investigators suggest that a malfunctioning altimeter may have led the flight control system to command a reduction in thrust, as well as a significant drop in airspeed and altitude, during final approach.
    Turkish Airlines crashes
    737 Plane Crashes
    Other information about this crash

    Podcasts About the Event
    Audio: MP3 | VideoiPod/MP4 | WMV

    22 March 2009; Pilatus PC-12; Butte, Montana: The aircraft was on an unscheduled flight from Orville, CA to Bozeman, MT. The pilot changed the flight plane to Butte, MT, and the aircraft crashed about 500 feet (150 meters) from the airport. All 14 on board were killed, several of them children.

    This plane crash involved a non-airline flight, and is not a fatal event as defined by AirSafe.com, but is included because of the seriousness of the event. According to the NTSB, there have been at least six previous fatal accidents in the US involving the Pilatus PC-12.

    23 March 2009; FedEx Express (FedEx) MD-11F; near Tokyo, Japan: The aircraft was on a cargo flight from Guangzhou, China to Narita Airport near Tokyo, Japan. The aircraft bounced on landing, and contacted the runway a second time nose wheel first before rolling to the left, contacting the runway with its left stabilizer and wing, and catching fire. The aircraft ended up in an inverted position. Both crew members were killed. (Note: Event dates are determined by the date at the location of the event.)

    This plane crash was a cargo flight, and resulted in no fatalities, and is not a fatal event as defined by AirSafe.com, but is included because of the seriousness of the event.
    FedEx Express Plane Crashes
    MD-11 Plane Crashes

    Podcasts About the Event
    Audio: MP3 | VideoiPod/MP4 | WMV

  4. 1 June 2009; Air France A330-200; Atlantic Ocean: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Paris, France. The aircraft crashed in the Atlantic Ocean in an area roughly 390 miles (650 kilometers) northeast of Brazil's Fernando de Noronha islands, which are about 220 miles (354 kilometers) off the northeast coast of Brazil. Debris from the aircraft was found near the estimated position of its last radio communication. All 216 passengers and 12 crew members, together representing over 30 nationalities, were killed in the crash.
    More on this event
    Fatal Events for Airlines from Europe
    Air France plane crashes

    Podcasts About the Event
    Audio: MP3 | VideoiPod/MP4 | WMV

    18 June 2009; Continental Airlines 777; Flight 61; en route from Brussels to Newark: The captain of Continental Airlines Flight 61, a 777 en route from Brussels to Newark, died while the aircraft was in flight over the Atlantic. The captain was replaced by a reserve first officer and the crew declared an emergency. The aircraft landed without further incident. There were 247 passengers on board, and there were no other injuries to passengers or crew.
    Visit the AirSafe.com News for more information.
    Other Continental Plane Crashes
    Other 777 Plane Crashes

  5. 30 June 2009; Yemenia Airlines; A310-300; Flight 626; near Moroni, Comoros Islands: The aircraft was on a flight from SanaĠa, Yemen to Moroni, Comoros Islands with 142 passengers and 11 crew on board. The aircraft crashed in the sea near the town of Mitsamiouli, which is on the main island of Grande Comore, in the early morning hours of June 30th. One passenger, a twelve-year-old girl named Bahia Bakari, was rescued about 10 hours after the crash, and is the sole survivor of this plane crash. The girl's mother was also killed in the crash. All 11 crew members and the 141 other passengers were killed.
    More Accident Details
    Fatal Events for Airlines from Africa and the Middle East
    Fatal A310 Plane Crashes
    Sole survivor plane crashes

  6. 15 July 2009; Caspian Airlines Tu154M, Flight 7908; near Jannatabad, Iran: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Tehran, Iran to Yerevan, Armenia, and crashed near a village in the Qazvin region of Iran about 16 minutes after takeoff.

    The aircraft was completely destroyed in the crash, and all 153 passengers and 15 crew members were killed. Among the victims were members of Iran's youth judo team, including eight athletes and two coaches.

    This is the first fatal crash for Caspian Airlines, and the 19th fatal passenger crash involving the Tu154 since 1990. The most recent fatal Tu154 crash was an Iran Air Tours crash in September 2006. The Caspian Airlines crash represents the fourth fatal Tu154 airliner crash involving an Iranian airline. the previous three were all with Iran Air Tours.

    More Details at AirSafeNews.com
    Crashes for Airlines from Africa and the Middle East
    More on this event

  7. 24 July 2009; Aria Air Ilyushin 62M, Flight 1525; Mashhad, Iran: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Tehran, Iran to Mashhad, Iran. After landing, there was a tire burst and the aircraft skidded on the runaway, hitting an airport fence and an electricity pylon.

    The normal landing speed for an Ilyushin 62 would have been between 145 and 165 mph, but this accident aircraft reportedly landed at a speed of 197 mph. The airplane ran off the runway and collided with a wall located about a kilometer from the runway.

    The front section of the aircraft was completely destroyed in the crash, and there were 16 fatalities among the 153 passengers and crew members.

    This is the first fatal crash for Aria Air, and the 12th fatal passenger crash for the Ilyushin 62 since it began passenger service in the 1960s. crash comes less than ten days after the last fatal plane crash in Iran. All 168 passengers and crew on that Caspian Airlines flight were killed.

    Shortly after the accident, the airline's flight certification license was revoked by the Iranian civil aviation authorities.

    More Details at AirSafeNews.com
    Fatal Events for Airlines from Africa and the Middle East
    Aria Air Wikipedia page

    4 August 2009; Bangkok Airways ATR 72; Koh Samui, Thailand; Flight 266: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Krabi to Koh Samui, Thailand. After landing, the aircraft skidded off the runway and struck an airport control tower building. All 68 passengers survived, though four were severely injured, and one of the four crew members were killed.

    8 August 2009; Eurocopter and Piper Saratoga, Hudson River, near New York City:A single-engine aircraft and a sightseeing helicopter collided early Saturday afternoon over the Hudson River near Manhattan. Three people were aboard the single-engine Piper PA-32R-300 (N71MC), and the flight plan indicated the aircraft was heading from Teterboro Airport in Teaneck, New Jersey to Ocean City, New Jersey. The Saratoga took off from Teterboro shortly before noon local time. On board were a pilot and two passengers, including one child. The Liberty Harbor Sightseeing Tours helicopter, a Eurocopter AS350 (N401LH), took off from Pier 30 in Manhattan, near West 30th Street, and reportedly had one pilot and five Italian tourists on board. All nine occupants were killed.
    More information on this event
    Fatal midair crashes

    9 October 2009;CASA-212, near Fonds-Verrettes, Haiti:The aircraft was on a routine surveillance flight near the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, when it crashed in a mountainous area about 12 miles (20 km) west of the village of Fonds-Verrettes, Haiti. All 11 personnel, which included military members from Jordan and Uruguay, were killed. The aircraft flight had been supporting the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, or MINUSTAH.

  8. 12 November 2009; RwandAir CRJ-100ER; Flight 205; Kigali, Rwanda: A RwandAir CRJ-100ER was on a scheduled flight from Kigali, Rwanda to Kampala, Uganda, ran into a terminal at the Kigali airport. The aircraft reportedly had and unspecified engine problem shortly after taking off and the crew returned to the airport. According to eyewitnesses, the plane first taxied to a parking position on the apron, but then accelerated, knocked over blast fences, and hit the the concrete wall of the airport building containing the VIP lounge. The nose gear collapsed and the forward portion of the aircraft penetrated the building up to about the position of the forward passenger doors. One of the three crew members and one of the 10 passengers were killed.
    Additional accident information and photos
    Canadair Regional Jet Crashes

    28 November 2009; Avient Aviation MD-11F; Flight 324; Shanghai, China: The aircraft was on was on an unscheduled cargo flight from Shanghai, China to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan when it crashed. Reportedly, one eyewitness, who is a pilot based in Shanghai, stated that the main gear left the ground just before the end of the runway, with the aircraft gaining very little altitude, before impacting approach lights and antennas and falling back onto the ground. Another report indicated that the aircraft's tail struck the runway one or more times during takeoff. Three of the seven crew members were killed.

    This plane crash was a cargo flight without passengers, and is not a fatal event as defined by AirSafe.com, but is included because of the seriousness of the event.
    Additional crash details

    22 December 2009; American Airlines 737-800 (N977AN); Flight 331; Kingston, Jamaica:The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Miami, FL to Kingston, Jamaica. The aircraft landed during a rainstorm, and was unable to stop on the runway. After departing the runway, the aircraft went beyond the airport fence, and crossed a road before coming to rest on a beach. The landing gear collapsed, both engines separated from the wings, and there were two major breaks in the fuselage, but all 148 passengers and six crew members survived. The landing was carried out with a slight tail wind

    This plane crash resulted in no fatalities, and is not a fatal event as defined by AirSafe.com, but is included because of the seriousness of the event.
    American Airlines plane crashes
    Other 737 crashes
    Additional accident details

    25 December 2009; Northwest Airlines A330-300 (N820NW); Flight 253; near Detroit, MI: A passenger on a Northwest Airlines A330-300(N820NW) apparently attempted to detonate an explosive device while the aircraft was approaching Detroit. Flight 253 was an international flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, and early reports are that a passenger, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian national, allegedly had the device strapped to one of his legs, and that the device was triggered during descent (about 20 minutes before landing) and started a small fire.

    The flight, operated by Northwest Airlines using an Airbus 330-300 aircraft with 278 passengers and 11 crew members on board, landed safely, and the suspect, the only person injured, was transported to a local hospital for treatment of serious burns.

    This plane crash resulted in no fatalities, and is not a fatal event as defined by AirSafe.com, but is included because of the seriousness of the event.
    Other Northwest Airlines plane crashes and serious incidents
    Other A330 crashes and serious incidents
    Wikipedia page on this accident

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2009 Airline safety and security review
http://www.airsafe.com/plane-crash/review-2009.htm -- Revised: 28 January 2011