Aviation News

July 26, 2011

Military Plane Crashes in Morocco, Killing 78

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By: Matt Molnar
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Nearly 80 people were killed on Tuesday morning when a Moroccan Royal Armed Forces C-130 Hercules transport aircraft crashed into a southern Morocco mountain during bad weather, state-run media reported. There were three survivors.

Moroccan C-130 parked at Stewart Airport SWF during the UN National Assembly in 2008

Moroccan C-130 parked at Stewart Airport (SWF) during the UN National Assembly in 2008. (Photo by Gordon Gebert Jr.)

The accident happened at around 9 a.m. local time when the plane crashed into a mountain about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) northeast of Guelmim, the capital of the Guelmim-Es Semara region in southern Morocco.

The state-run Maghreb Arab Presse (MAP) news agency, citing a statement from the RAF, said a total of 81 people were on board the aircraft. They consist of nine crew members, 60 military personnel, and 12 civilians.

MAP reported that three people survived the accident and were taken to a military hospital in a critical condition. More than 40 bodies were recovered from scene as of Tuesday afternoon, but rescuers do not expect to find other survivors and a total of 78 people were presumed killed.

The RAF statement said the accident happened during bad weather, but gave no other details.

Tuesday’s accident is the country’s worst since August 1975 when a Boeing 707 operated by Alia Royal Jordanian Airlines crashed into a mountain on approach to Inezgane Airport. All 188 people on board were killed.

In August 1994, Royal Air Maroc Flight 630 crashed about 32 kilometers (20 miles) north of Agadir, killing 44 people including a Kuwaiti prince. Officials ruled the plane was deliberately crashed by the pilot, although these findings have been disputed.

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    Folks mostly blame the pilot for such a accident. Yes, its duty of the pilot to save the traveler from any accident. However, sometime, pilot are good but they become helpless when weather create serious problems. However airline can do some more work by making training of pilot hard. Most of the airlines are using simulation systems for giving the training to the pilot. This is really required to make the perfect pilot.