Second aircraft involved in Lebanon ET409 crash – Examiner

February 17th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

An Ethiopian woman, a friend of passengers of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed in the sea on January 25, holds candle at Rafik Hariri University Hospital as the Ethiopian consulate receive the recovered bodies of five nationals who were killed in the plane. (more…)

An Ethiopian woman, a friend of passengers of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed in the sea on January 25, holds candle at Rafik Hariri University Hospital as the Ethiopian consulate receive the recovered bodies of five nationals who were killed in the plane.

The Airlines/Airport Examiner has received exclusive information confirmed by four separate sources and reported by a Swedish journalist for the Lebanese Arabic language newspaper Al-Akhbar that a second aircraft on final approach to landing at Beirut may have played a role in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET409 on January 25, 2010.

Statements made anonymously by Lebanese airport sources report that Captain Habtamu Benti, the pilot in command (PIC) of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 encountered engine problems, perhaps a flame out, during takeoff, and requested permission to abort the flight and return to Beirut. He was given clearance to do so, but another aircraft, a Etihad Airlines flight from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates was in the process of landing and could have interfered with his emergency maneuvers. Exactly what happened under this scenario is as yet unknown.

There may have been miscommunication in vectoring both aircraft, possible oversights by flight controllers, or other circumstances that are still to be determined. What is clear is that the issue of blame has nothing to do with national pride or skin complexion, but rather with the color of money. Maneuvering and spin control by the Government of Lebanon appear based on issues of liability for the crash, and subsequent financial responsibility and payment to the families of the victims.

Also on Monday, February 15, Lebanese marine commandos have recovered a critical missing part of the cockpit voice recorder from Ethiopian Airlines flight ET409. The Boeing 737-800 crashed five minutes after taking off from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY) on January 25. All 90 persons aboard perished.

The missing component, the recorder’s solid state memory drum, was found close to where the aircraft’s other black box, the flight data recorder, was located in about 150 feet (45 meters) of water off the coastal village of Naameh, south of Beirut. It was turned over to BEA, the French government agency in charge of the technical analysis of the crash.

The Government of Lebanon Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi announced this news at a media conference yesterday.

Whatever develops, there’s much more information that is starting to unravel and reveal itself. We will continue to update this story. Our heartfelt appreciation go out to our many readers around the world for their encouragement and assistance.

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