I have just googled the so called “safe” plane the Deputy Prime Minister has referred to and have found an interesting history of accidents which I have cut and pasted from Wikipedia. What concerns me the most is the recent record from 2009 to well, last month – two accidents in one day.
· In January 2009, a MA60 operated by Zest crashed at Caticlan airport while trying to land on January 11, 2009. The aircraft caught fire and suffered extensive damage to its wing, landing gear, undercarriage and one engine. Several passengers were injured in that accident.
· In June 2009, a MA60 operated by Philippine carrier Zest Airways has overshot the runway while trying to land at Caticlan airport.
· On May 7, 2011, Merpati Nusantara Airlines Flight 8968 (with Indonesian registration PK-MZK) went into sea only 500 metres from the runway in bad weather with poor visibility on visual approach to Kaimana Airport, Kaimana, West Papua in Indonesia. It had left Sorong Airport with 21 passengers and 6 crew members on board. All passengers and crew were killed, making this the first reported fatal accident for the Xian MA60. On August 24, 2011, Indonesia’s Transportation Minister determined human error was to blame for Merpati Airline Disaster.
· On January 9, 2012, a TAM flight from Riberalta Airport to Guayaramerín Airport, Bolivia operated by FAB-96 landed with the undercarriage not deployed due to a fault, resulting in substantial damage to the aircraft. There were no injuries amongst the five crew and sixteen passengers.
· On May 16, 2013, a Myanma Airways flight from Heho Airport to Monghsat Airport in Burma, overran the runway on landing, resulting in two serious injuries and substantial damage to the aircraft. The MA60 allegedly suffered a brakes failure.
· On June 10, 2013, Merpati Nusantara Airlines flight MZ6517 from Bajawa to Kupang, with 50 people on-board crash-landed at Kupang airport in East Nusa Tenggara,Indonesia. Two passengers were injured. The plane, which has been damaged beyond repair, lay on its belly on the runway with its engines jammed face down into the tarmac and its wings bent forward.
· On June 10, 2013, Myanma Airways flight UB309 from Mawlamyine, Myanmar carrying four crew members and 60 passengers swerved off the runway upon landing at Kawthaung. The plane came to a stop in bushes about 200 feet to the west of the runway, with smoke coming from the left side propeller housing and the propellers on both wings damaged. There were no injuries.
A very, very concerned Tongan