Archive for August 16th, 2007

Update: Air Moorea Flight 1121

As it is known, all on board Air Moorea Flight 1121 have been killed last Thursday.

There are some updates available by now, mostly about the cockpit flight recorder, which has been located by the search teams. Authorities said they would need specialist deep-water equipment to recover it, so it will probably take some time before the investigators (and hopefully us) learn what exactly happened in the cockpit before the DHC-6 Twin Otter and why the aircraft came down with 19 passengers and a pilot after taking off from the island Moorea on it’s short hop to the local capital, Papeete.

Local authorities in Papeete said none of their vessels was stable enough to provide a platform for the underwater robot being sent from Paris to recover the recorder, discovered at a depth of around 430 metres (!). The plane climbed up to about 500 feet (~150 m) according to eyewitnesses before it went down, and according to this report, it sank almost three times deeper than how high it was flying…

Fourteen bodies have been recovered but six people remain missing and authorities hold out no hope of any survivors. Senior official Anne Bocquet said teams would continue to search for wreckage and bodies for a further two weeks and had asked local fishermen to report objects found at sea.

Moorea is one of around 118 islands scattered across an area the size of Europe in the South Pacific that make up France’s overseas territory of French Polynesia and is a very popular tourist destination only a 10 minutes flight away from the more famous city of Papeete.

by balint01

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Vatican Airways

“- coffee, tea, holy water?”

“Air Bigot”

“How bad the name Virgin Airlines has already been taken”

“You can join the Heavens High Club”

These were the first comments on websites about the following news:

“The Vatican is bringing the faithful nearer to heaven – by setting up its own charter airline to fly pilgrims to shrines and holy sites across the world.

The planes will be leased Boeing 737s painted in the Vatican colours of yellow, blue and white, and will have the slogan: ‘Looking for your face, Lord’ painted on the fuselage. The debut charter flight later this month will fly to the shrine of Lourdes in France.

Mistral Air plans to shuttle Catholic pilgrims around the globe to holy sites, including the shrine of Fatima in Portugal and the shrine of the Madonna of Guadalupe in Mexico.

‘The spirit of this new initiative is to meet the growing demand by pilgrims to visit the most important sites for the faith’ Father Cesare Atuire at the Vatican pilgrimage office, the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, told La Republica.

The aircraft will be operated by Italy’s postal service.”

Nice initiation. I wonder though how Italy’s postal service will manage such a business, but I have no doubt there is a demand for this type of service. The quotes from the comments were the funnier ones, there were some more cynical comments as well. I hope I did not hurt anyone’s feelings with them. They just show how weird it is for people that a state governed by the church starts such a business. Religion and business are conflicting according to many people. And those who say the painting “Looking for your face, Lord” on the fuselage is really weird are right. We can however acknowledge that Vatican as a state and the church are not the same entities. Besides that it is now common and accepted that Vatican, the state even has its own football championship. Anyway, I am happy that nowadays the catholic church is open for such initiatives.

By Szafi

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