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Russian Plane Crashes, Another Missing
August 24, 2004 4:30 PM   Subscribe


 
Two planes have disappeared from radar nearly simultaneously in separate incidents in Russia Tuesday night, and one was confirmed to have crashed, the Russian Emergency Ministry said.
posted by johnnydark at 4:34 PM on August 24, 2004


Aeroflot strikes again.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:36 PM on August 24, 2004


Very funny, krrrlson. Plane crashes are comedy gold.

I'm guessing this was posted because it suggests terrorism, and I have to say I wouldn't bet against it. The Chechens are extremely eager to show they haven't been defeated, and this would be a "good" way of showing it. The world is getting more and more depressing.

Next up: random arrests and expulsions of "blacks" from the Caucasus in Moscow and St. Pete, and vicious reprisals (more or less indistinguishable from normal activities) by Russian troops in Chechnya. And so it goes.
posted by languagehat at 5:03 PM on August 24, 2004


My comment was more bitter than trying to be funny. Given Aeroflot's dismal state and history, it is unsurprising that the terrorist option only occurred to me after I had already posted.

As far as I know, though, air terrorism has never been the choice of Chechens before. On the other hand, there's an election coming in Chechnya. Hmm.
posted by Krrrlson at 5:16 PM on August 24, 2004


We're guessing in advance of the facts, no?

It was maybe a little soon to post this.
posted by orange swan at 6:54 PM on August 24, 2004


A history of Russian air terrorism 1958-1996...
posted by longbaugh at 6:54 PM on August 24, 2004


We either flights Aeroflot? Details are very sketchy, but combining multiple sources seems to suggest that the first flight, that crashed near Rostov-on-Don, was a Sibir plane, while the second flight, to Sochi, was Siberian Air.

Now there are reports of a bomb exploding in Moscow as well.
posted by sohcahtoa at 7:04 PM on August 24, 2004


Neither flight was Aeroflot. One belonged to Volga-Aviaexpress (a Volgagrad-based airline) and the other to Sabir. Aeroflot has a very good safety record over the past few years.

kkkrlson, it takes a real man to laugh at a plane crash. Call me on the creative misspelling of your name. I'll make an weak false claim that it was an accident.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:18 PM on August 24, 2004


This just in:
Prison Abuse Report Cites Top Commanders
Bin Laden's Driver Charged at Guantanamo
Iraqi Soccer Team's Quest for Gold Ends
posted by Nelson at 7:31 PM on August 24, 2004


Second plane found.

CNN post, but this is newsfilter already, so...
posted by Ynoxas at 8:19 PM on August 24, 2004


Here's a link to Russia's main TV, which you can watch using Windows Media Player. It'll be on on-air in an hour or so - the station apparently doesn't broadcast overnight. Who wants to bet that they'll just show baddly dubbed kid's cartoons when they start transmitting?
posted by tapeguy at 8:21 PM on August 24, 2004


We're guessing in advance of the facts, no?

Two planes down within minutes? That would be a hell of a coincidence. (At first I thought they had crashed into each other, but no.)

Since most of the news seems to be coming from Itar-Tass, I went there and found this story quoting a virus expert saying "internet terrorists" are going to try to take down the net Aug. 26. Wha?
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:41 PM on August 24, 2004


Russian jet sent hijack signal before disappearing from radar.
posted by Ljubljana at 8:55 PM on August 24, 2004


Great, maybe I'll be able to get some work done on the 26th...
posted by PigAlien at 8:59 PM on August 24, 2004


Since most of the news seems to be coming from Itar-Tass, I went there and found this story quoting a virus expert saying "internet terrorists" are going to try to take down the net Aug. 26. Wha?

Not only a virus expert, but a Russian virus expert speaking at a Russian information agency conference in Russia. Hmmm. Two more reports on this, but google news is picking up absolutely nothing else right now.
posted by tapeguy at 9:08 PM on August 24, 2004


Let the terrorist Olympics begin!
posted by PigAlien at 9:10 PM on August 24, 2004


Well with Russia and the Russian mafia (and the corruption, etc.) I hold that it could be something more farfetched like an elaborate assasination.

If it was a 9/11 style-plot, it did say one has crashed near Tula (165Km south of Moscow). Tula itself seems borrowing, just a major industrial city. Of course could there have been something worth aiming for in Tula? Perhaps a nuclear facility?

For some reason I have a feeling this will be big for a little while and die off. It seems news that appears to be big really dies down quickly (like that massive train explosion in North Korea).
posted by geoff. at 9:19 PM on August 24, 2004


In Mother Russia the planes hijack themselves!
posted by wfrgms at 10:35 PM on August 24, 2004


This Fark thread has some more zingers and zany one-liners.
posted by Ljubljana at 11:59 PM on August 24, 2004


Call me naive, but it took a couple hours for me to make a connection between the FPP and the idea that it might be terrorists.

I had basically the same reaction as Krrlson: they're Russian airliners, no surprise they fall out of the sky. I suppose that's a terribly unfair stereotype. [shrug]

If it was terrorism, there are innumerable candidates for the culprits.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:00 AM on August 25, 2004


Whoa, the amount of crass one-liners must be a record of some kind.

There is very little doubt that these were intentional incidents, because of the synchronous explosions. The hijack transponder code could have been set after the explosion - we won't know until the black boxes are read out - but these were synchronous explosions.

they're Russian airliners, no surprise they fall out of the sky

Screw you, FFF.

Hull losses by passenger aircraft model
Boeing 727 4,8
Boeing 747 2,7
Boeing 757 0,5
Boeing 767 0,7
McDonnell Douglas DC-10 5,8
Airbus A.320 0,8
Airbus A.330 1,0
Airbus A.340 0,5
Tupolev 134 6,1
Tupolev 154 5,9
Ilyushin 76 9,3
Ilyushin 86 1,0
Ilyushin 96 - no hull losses


Considering the lack of money, fleet age, harsher operating conditions, and operations by minor airlines with incompetent pilots and technicians, Tu and Il (Russia's flagship passenger design bureaus) have an excellent service record. Il-76 is a notable exception, but I believe it's no longer used in passenger fleets (or at least being quickly phased out) and the last passenger flight crash - the Iranian National Guard one - has ironically been blamed by Iran on the United States, for the trade restrictions which prevent Iran from getting the materials to service their planes.

posted by azazello at 2:16 AM on August 25, 2004


incompetent pilots and technicians
(to clarify, the pilots on both of these flights were anything but incompetent)

posted by azazello at 2:54 AM on August 25, 2004


I will practically guarantee you this is Chechen Muslims. Without religion, from the Japanese faith in their emperor till today's Muslim jihad, there are no suicide bombings and no suicide hijackings. It takes the absurd belief that one will go to Paradise to cause people to commit such suicidal evil. I believe many terrorists are good, ordinary people, who have become morally obliged to murder because of their faith. These people mean well for the world, but their minds are poisoned by the lies of religion.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:13 AM on August 25, 2004


to clarify, the pilots on both of these flights were anything but incompetent

You knew them? I think the comments in this thread suck, but defending without the facts is just as bad as attacking without the facts.

Also, azazello, you conveniently left this description out of your quote: "This list shows the percentage of aircraft damaged beyond repair in accidents. Please note that this table does not say anything about the safety of an aircraft type."
posted by jpoulos at 5:54 AM on August 25, 2004


This Washpost story is very skeptical of terrorism and seems to suggest the early thinking is that it was coincidence.

Sergei Ignatchenko, chief spokesman for the Federal Security Service, the domestic successor to the KGB....added that there was no confirmation of any distress call sent by the second plane.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:07 AM on August 25, 2004


It takes the absurd belief that one will go to Paradise to cause people to commit such suicidal evil.

Indeed! Just yesterday I was reading my Bible and when I read the verse "Love your neighbor as you love yourself," I was immediately seized by the desire to become a suicide bomber, hijack planes, and fly them into buildings.
posted by brownpau at 7:10 AM on August 25, 2004


I think the point is that athiests tend not to fly planes into buildings, rather than being religious means you will.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:20 AM on August 25, 2004


jpoulos: no, I didn't know them. On the Tu-134 there were two Class 1 pilots (top designation by amount of flying hours) and a second pilot (FO) (so 3 pilots in total). On the 154 the commander was also supposedly Class 1 qualified and 48 years old while the FO was 34 years old and a navigator/flight engineer were also present. Both airlines say that these were some of their best pilots and best planes, the commander pilots acquired their experience long before the USSR broke down, were clearly familiar with the aircraft types, and the planes recently underwent maintenance.

you conveniently left this description out of your quote

That's a nice disclaimer, but the hull loss percentages do say something about the safety of an aircraft type. Right - the final effect depends on many factors. What other facts would you respond with to FFF's troll? This is the best objective metric you will find.
posted by azazello at 7:36 AM on August 25, 2004


(The other factors are not nearly as easily quantifiable - how do you quantifiably judge all of the negative effects I cited that are suffered more by Russian jets? Also, if anything, the disclaimer you cited destroys FFF's statement more completely by questioning any value judgment on an aircraft model's safety. But I'm pretty sure FFF didn't mean it in any technical way - just as either a troll or a nice display of his capacity for uninformed judgment.)
posted by azazello at 7:51 AM on August 25, 2004


Brownpau, there are plenty of people who use their belief in the Christian paradise as an excuse for killing others.

"Deus lo volt!"
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:09 AM on August 25, 2004


Indeed, Sidhe! After reading the verse that said, "Love thy neighbor," I was seized by an intense desire to kill black people. Further proof of the evil of religion.
posted by brownpau at 8:51 AM on August 25, 2004


I liked that bit too brownpau. Also, "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." [Leviticus 20:13, NIV]
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:52 AM on August 25, 2004


Neither flight was Aeroflot. One belonged to Volga-Aviaexpress (a Volgagrad-based airline) and the other to Sabir. Aeroflot has a very good safety record over the past few years.

Both were Russian planes, and as a result both likely used to belong to Aeroflot, no? It is Aeroflot's legacy, so I stand by my comment. Same planes, and I would think many of the same employees. And here are some of the disasters that Aeroflot's former planes have been involved in "over the past few years."

kkkrlson, it takes a real man to laugh at a plane crash. Call me on the creative misspelling of your name. I'll make an weak false claim that it was an accident.

Leave it to you to tell me which of my claims are false. Big words from someone who clearly places his animosity towards a nation above a human life.

P.S. It was not really creative.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:26 AM on August 25, 2004


Brownpau, I'm not getting your point.

There's shiny happy lovey stuff in the Bible and the Quran and the Bhagavad-Gita and the Book of Mormon and every other religion's scripture--there's "kill the people who disagree with us" and "our sword is a sword of truth" stuff in the Bible and the Quran and the Bhagavad-Gita and the Book of Mormon and every other religion's scripture as well.

To suggest that the Quran is alone in having bloodthirsty stuff in it is just plain wrong. And childish, too.

Hey, I go to a Christian church myself. But that doesn't mean that I don't see the bloodthirsty stuff in the Christian Bible--I just choose to focus on the more positive stuff, just as the people at the mosque down the block choose to focus on the more positive stuff in the Quran and the people at the synagogue across town choose to focus on the more positive stuff in the Torah.

I like the Jesus who says "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8:1-11) a lot more than the one who says "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." (Matthew 10:34)

And when you get into those weirdos like John of Patmos..."...Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand." (Rev. 19:1-2), I just blank out on that.

And that's just in the New Testament. How about all those Old Testament gems like "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Exodus 22:18) and "Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession./ Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." (Psalms 2: 8-9) which were used in the US to justify the killing of a) people with epilepsy and/or spiteful neighbors, and b) Native American Indians?
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:54 PM on August 25, 2004


Screw you, FFF.

Hey, I said "I suppose that's a terribly unfair stereotype." Sorry, but that's the way it is.

Russian Ladas. Cheap Russian cameras a few decades ago. Russian gangsters cutting corners on projects. A few Russian aircraft crashes that made headlines for the crash, but with no follow-up on the "why."

Shouldn't come as much of a surprise that a Westerner would develop a mental image of Russian airliners being just a little scary.

I think a "screw you" is a little over-the-top. I don't claim to believe that my gut reaction was based on facts, based on knowledge, based on anything but stereotyping.

As for trolling, y'all are being very silly. I made a true statement about how I reacted. That isn't trolling in any sense of the word.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:39 PM on August 25, 2004


Sidhe, I'm not going to bother responding because a Russian plane crash thread is such a wrong place to go over old debates on Old/New Testament Covenantalism and rational Biblical hermeneutics, free of straw man arguments pasted in from infidels.org.

Leviticus 20:13, NIV
From the evidence, it's too early to assume that these crashes were caused by gay-hating terrorists bent on destroying homosexuals; or that terrorism was even involved.
posted by brownpau at 6:27 AM on August 26, 2004


That's very true brownpau, I'm just pointing out that there's little point quoting "love thy neighbour" while I can quote less savoury things just as well.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:19 AM on August 26, 2004


If these were attacks by Chechnyan terrorists, they motivated by politics as much as they are religion. So your analogy not only sucks, brownpau, it's more or less irrelevant.
posted by jpoulos at 10:04 AM on August 26, 2004


Chechnyan Chechen
posted by jpoulos at 10:06 AM on August 26, 2004


Who brought up religion first?
posted by brownpau at 10:46 AM on August 26, 2004


(BTW, I went back and read P_G's post on Chechen Muslims and Paradise, and I apologize for being petty and reactionary.)

But back on the topic: if this was Chechen extremists, why haven't they -- or any other group -- claimed credit yet? Maybe this was some kind of engine-fuel issue?

Debka says "hijack aimed at assassinating Pooty-Poot," but that's Debka.
posted by brownpau at 10:51 AM on August 26, 2004


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