Here are several stories about this week’s air traffic nightmares:
U.S. officials raise alarm about
new Venezuelan missiles
By Juan O. Tamayo | Miami Herald
Posted on Sunday, May 31, 2009
Venezuela’s recent purchase of the most lethal shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles in the Russian arsenal is sharpening U.S. concerns that parts of President Hugo Chávez’s massive weapons buildup could wind up in the hands of terrorists or guerrillas in neighboring Colombia.
Washington’s unease is well-founded, U.S. government officials say, because of credible evidence that three top Venezuelan officials offered Colombia’s FARC rebels weapons, money and contacts to buy anti-aircraft missiles in 2007…
AIR FRANCE DISASTER
And here’s a presumably unrelated story about an Air France jet (Flight 447 – an Airbus 330-200) that disappeared today somewhere in the vicinity of the Brazilian island archipelago of Fernando de Naronha en route to Paris from Rio. There were 228 souls aboard of various nationalities.
Shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles should generally not be a concern when traveling at altitudes of over 20,000 feet. Flight 447 was apparently flying at its intended “cruising altitude” of 35,000 feet.
I’m sure that authorities will have already checked the roster of small planes or jets that flew out of Naronha’s long-strip airfield yesterday. (At least, I hope they will have.)
UPDATE: June 1, 2009 – Plane wreckage found.
Missing and presumed dead in the crash are numerous business executives and Prince Pedro Luís de Orléans-Bragança, fourth in line to the Imperial Brazilian throne.
Just Last Week: Argentine Bomb Threat Against Air France.
Just five days before Flight 447 disappeared over the Atlantic during its Rio to Paris voyage, an Air France plane was delayed by a bomb threat as it waited to take off for Paris from Buenos Aires.
AND… Another presumably unrelated story about a plane over Texas that reported the lucky near-miss of a projectile at 13,000 feet.
Of course… there’s also the story about a possible attempt on the life of former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, who dropped out of the current presidential race to support Mir-Hossein Mousavi.
UPDATE: June 23, 2009 – Signals from Black Boxes Detected by Sub?