August 22, 2006


Russian jet with 171 aboard crashes in Ukraine (MSNBC, 8/22/06)

An airliner flying from southern Russia to St. Petersburg crashed on Tuesday in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry said.

The ministry said helicopters circling the site about 30 miles north of the regional town of Donetsk saw the aircraft, a Russian-made Tupolev 154, in flames.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 22, 2006 9:54 AM

You've got to admit that, even for those who championed the glories of Soviet technology, the reputation of the Tupalevs went down in flames at the same time their SST went down in flames 33 years ago at the Paris Air Show. The lack of safety precautions in the Russian jets has been a given in the public's mind since then.

Posted by: John at August 22, 2006 10:47 AM

As a public service announcement on behalf of OJ, please be careful when flying US Air or Republic Airways:

INDIANAPOLIS--July 24, 2006--Republic Airways Holdings (NASDAQ:RJET), the parent company of Republic Airlines, today announced that its Republic Airlines subsidiary has signed an amendment to its jet services agreement with US Airways (NYSE:LCC) which calls for Republic to operate thirty 86-seat Embraer 175 aircraft as US Airways Express. These aircraft are in addition to the twenty-eight 72-seat Embraer 170 aircraft currently in service. The new Embraer 175s will replace 20 existing 50-seat Embraer 145s operated for US Airways Express by Republic Airways Holdings' Chautauqua Airlines subsidiary. The remaining 10 Embraer 175 deliveries will either replace other retiring regional aircraft or be used for possible growth in 2008.

I'm flying in one of these from Philly to Chicago next week so pray for me!

Posted by: Rick T. at August 22, 2006 11:34 AM

Exactly the point.

Posted by: oj at August 22, 2006 11:46 AM

I'll bet that the Tupolev would have been a fine plane, if had been serviced and maintained in the West.

Most of OJ's nonsense about Third-World design is misdirected - it's the Third-World airlines that deserve the opprobium. For example, how many 737 crashes have there been in the US vs. Asia & Africa & South America? I would say probably at least 20 times more overseas (there have been just over 100 crashes of 737-200s world-wide, and three crashes of full 737s in just the past year, in Greece, Africa, and Egypt).

Offhand, I can think of only three relatively recent 737 crashes in the US - Colorado Springs (United), Pittsburgh (US Air 428), and LAX (US Air landing collision).

So, is it the Boeing, or is it the airline?

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 22, 2006 1:05 PM

It's the mechanics.

Posted by: Bartman at August 22, 2006 2:01 PM

Mysteriously corkscrewing 737's, anyone? How's about failed 747 cargo doors? Not to mention the early DC-10 catastrophes, since Boeing had not yet bought out McDonnell-Douglas.

Posted by: ghostcat at August 22, 2006 2:36 PM

Now John, don't encourage the man. He's clueless enough about aviation as it is, so you can't possibly expect him to understand the difference between a Russian jet that really was manufactured and maintained in a third world nation, and an Embraer E-Jet that is as well made and safe as anything Boeing has ever built.

Posted by: Robert Modean at August 22, 2006 5:21 PM


You're tiptoeing towards wisdom. Ask a few friends to list countries in order of technological development and see how many rank Brazil highly. It's not a matter of aviation.

Posted by: oj at August 22, 2006 5:26 PM