Saturday, 19 May 2018

114 Dead in Cuban crash

A Cuban passenger jet travelling from Havana-José Martí International Airport (HAV/MUHA) to   Holguín-Frank Pais Airport (HOG/MUHG) has crashed shortly after take-off leaving more than 100 people dead in an accident that highlighted the precarious state of the country’s commercial aircraft fleet. The plane, a Boeing 737-200 leased from Global Air and operated by Cubana de Aviación, veered to the right just after take off and went down in a field within a couple of miles of Havana’s José Martí International Airport smashing into a house, trees and a railway track. Cuban media reported that as many as 105 passengers and 9 foreign crew members have all been killed.  Three people survived the crash, which occurred at 12:08 Eastern time. It said the three passengers, all females, were rushed to a hospital in critical condition. It is reported that apart from the crew and five foreign passengers, the people on board were Cuban citizens. It said five children were among the passengers, including an infant under 2 years old. There was no immediate information on the cause of the crash. The Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportation identified the cockpit crew members as Captain Jorge Luis Nunez Santos and First Officer Miguel Ángel Arreola Ramírez, both Mexicans.
Boeing’s 737-200 first entered service in 1968 and was last manufactured 30 years ago. It has been confirmed that the plane was 38 years old. A history search of the aircraft showed that it had changed hands at least 10 times, beginning its career in June 1979 with Piedmont Airlines as N769N. It has since then flown with airlines like US Air as N227AU, US Airways as N227AU, Royal Airlines as C-FRYH, Canada 3000 as C-FRYH, Magnicharters as XA-MAK, Avolar Aerolinears as XA-UHZ, Easy Sky Airlines as XA-UHZ and Global Air. It was also flown by the U.S. Navy for almost five years as N227AU.

Aircraft Information
Aircraft: Boeing 737-201
Operator: Cubana  de Aviacion
Flight Number: CU 972
Registration: XA-UHZ
Serial Number: 21816
First Flew: 15th July 1979
Age: 38 Yrs 8 Mts

Thoughts and prays go out to the immediate families and their friends and of course the staff at Cubana de Aviacion.

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