Louisville Man Arrested for Laser Strikes on Local Aircraft

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louisville Field Office, announces the arrest of Manuel Martin Salazarleija, Jr., age 26, for violating 18 U.S.C 39A, Aiming a Laser at an Aircraft.

On September 25, 2020, a Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) helicopter was performing surveillance of a vehicle fleeing the scene of a pharmacy burglary in Louisville, KY. At approximately 12:15 a.m., while conducting this surveillance, two LMPD officers were temporarily blinded by a laser being pointed directly at the helicopter. Helicopters operated by other law enforcement agencies and a news station also reported being targeted by a laser in the area. Once the location of the beams was discovered on the ground, FBI special agents were able to locate and interview Salazarleija. During the interview, Salazarleija admitted to intentionally aiming the beam of the laser pointer at an LMPD helicopter, while the aircraft was in flight within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.

The public is reminded that this release is not evidence that the individuals discussed committed the crimes charged. All defendants are presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Link: https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/louisville/news/press-releases/louisville-man-arrested-for-laser-strikes-on-local-aircraft?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=e20d4a390ca59e6b263282a114bca4662c970e82-1601364743-0-ARv8-oEyYjV-SYJChN97-YHMBJjaFqteUhEMOcYvqa6NntpZf39xsbXNO-nkDkD4Z8qt_4Sfy_DbONY2PryGP1v3IFkrDdafSR-ogdAOCdV7yzfoLRy6PuEuT-HmFtz-yD8ATXoOybyozV_iZ8IruQXsJUre4dynJ5LKUoOuvWvN07aOn3AeC-sLcDpHmRL0XRbDKZ7iyqCmrO1Wu7UzAS0INGVXVLbW2ye1agKV5jzNs_b_F99pQhcvh9HhbdJPDcEMV1uRygFnKPliOEkCTxYLVHRTjVo8pnMjCCLXfhk4qFZjy9u_-GJJejZEmyWQuCLjLsy1Vb1w2O8njAai-pDcXLVXJt5UcnI2dAqAFpHvtkb0kVqbZhtukEypEdmF2tRSDA1lZouEzYm3IHqvtnhwK63x8yNxnNTaSNmbZbfZeO6PYXHaE22biBSadmSvQgSE7rZIIqBd8bPutdtnQ1JjuPrehLKgoxTM9p2MNXm8

UN body advises Pakistan to stop issuing pilots’ licenses: Report

United Nations logo

Advice comes after Pakistan opened a probe into allegations that many airline pilots have been issued fake credentials.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has advised Pakistan to undertake “immediate corrective actions” and suspend the issuance of any new pilot licenses in the wake of a scandal over falsified licenses, according to an official and a document seen by the Reuters news agency.

The recommendations from ICAO, a specialised agency of the United Nations that works to ensure safety in international air transport, come days after Pakistan opened a criminal probe into 50 pilots and five civil aviation officials who allegedly helped them falsify credentials to secure pilot licences.

“Pakistan should improve and strengthen its licensing system to ensure that it takes into account all necessary processes and procedures and prevents inconsistencies and malpractices before new licenses are issued and privileges of suspended licenses are re-established,” the ICAO said in a previously unreported letter to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) last week.

A Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 crashed into a residential area of Karachi, Pakistan, on May 24, killing 98 people [File: Shahzaib Akber/EPA]
A Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A320 crashed into a residential area of Karachi, Pakistan, on May 24, killing 98 people [File: Shahzaib Akber/EPA]

A Pakistani aviation ministry official told Reuters that the country has not issued any new licenses since July, in the wake of the scandal.

A spokesperson for Pakistan’s aviation ministry, who is also a spokesperson for the PCAA, was not immediately available for comment on the ICAO advisory when contacted by Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera reported in July claims by Pakistani pilots that fraud and improper flight certification practices at the country’s civil aviation regulator were rampant, and that air safety has routinely been compromised by airlines through faulty safety management systems, incomplete reporting and the use of regulatory waivers.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the country’s largest airline and only major international carrier, was at the centre of most of the air safety complaints, and has denied all of the allegations.

The country’s aviation minister has said that almost a third of all licensed Pakistani pilots had obtained their certifications fraudulently.

A troubled record
His comments came weeks after a PIA passenger jet crashed in May in the southern city of Karachi, killing 98 people.

Pakistan has had a troubled aircraft safety record, with five significant commercial or charter airliner crashes in the last 10 years alone, killing 445 people.

In the same period, there have been numerous other non-fatal safety incidents, including engines shutting down in mid-flight or on takeoff, landing gear failures, runway overruns and on-the-ground collisions, according to official reports and pilot testimony.

In 2019, Pakistan’s aviation industry registered 14.88 accidents per million departures, according to the ICAO, far above the global average of 3.02.

The Montreal-based agency’s recommendations come ahead of an ICAO audit to assess the country’s aviation safety management systems.

The ICAO audit, originally scheduled for November this year, has been moved to June, effectively giving the PCAA more time to work on reforms, the official said.

An ICAO representative declined to comment to Reuters on specific details of the advice to Pakistan, but said in an email that ICAO is “helping Pakistan to recognise concerns, and if they do not take swift action on them we will actively notify other countries about them.”

The pilot scandal has tainted Pakistan’s aviation industry and hurt PIA, which has been barred from flying into Europe and the United States.

In addition to revoking the licenses of 50 pilots, Pakistan has also suspended another 32 pilots for a year.

Link: https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2020/9/25/un-body-advises-pakistan-to-stop-issuing-pilots-licenses-reporthttps://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2020/9/25/un-body-advises-pakistan-to-stop-issuing-pilots-licenses-report

Thieves steal business jet in Mexico, crash in Guatemala

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Thieves stole a business jet from an airport in central Mexico, flew it to Venezuela, apparently loaded it with drugs and then flew to Guatemala where the plane crashed, authorities said Thursday.

Prosecutors in Guatemala said a total of four bodies were found around the site where the BAE 125 jet crashed and burned Wednesday.

The dead could not be immediately identified, but drugs and weapons were found in the burned wreckage of the craft, which authorities referred to as a Hawker 800.

The bizarre round-trip illicit flight began Tuesday in the city of Cuernavaca, just south of Mexico City. The plane had arrived there on Aug. 10 and was parked at a private hangar.

Mexico’s Civil Aviation Agency said three people asked permission to fuel up the jet, purportedly in order to perform maintenance checks on the plane. Then, without permission, they taxied to a runway and took off, without having filled a flight plan.

Authorities tracked the plane as it flew south.

The Guatemalan army said the plane made a stop in Venezuela before entering Guatemala, which borders Mexico. It crashed for unknown reasons.

The drugs found on the plane could theoretically have been aboard since it left Mexico, but there would be little reason to move drugs toward Venezuela, which is a major transit hub for South American cocaine. It was much more likely the drugs were loaded aboard in Venezuela.

Link: https://wtop.com/latin-america/2020/09/thieves-steal-business-jet-in-mexico-crash-in-guatemala/

House Report Condemns Boeing and F.A.A. in 737 Max Disasters

Here I share Final Committee Report – The Design, Development and Certification of the Boeing B737 Max from MAJORITY STAFF OF THE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE (The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastucture), USA Congress

A committee’s Democrats say two fatal crashes were a “horrific culmination” of engineering flaws, mismanagement and oversight lapses.

A congressional report released on Wednesday followed an 18-month investigation of two Boeing 737 Max crashes that killed 346 people.
A congressional report released on Wednesday followed an 18-month investigation of two Boeing 737 Max crashes that killed 346 people.Credit…Lindsey Wasson for The New York Times

The two crashes that killed 346 people aboard Boeing’s 737 Max and led to the worldwide grounding of the plane were the “horrific culmination” of engineering flaws, mismanagement and a severe lack of federal oversight, the Democratic majority on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said in a report on Wednesday.

The report, which condemns both Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration for safety failures, concludes an 18-month investigation based on interviews with two dozen Boeing and agency employees and an estimated 600,000 pages of records. The report argues that Boeing emphasized profits over safety and that the agency granted the company too much sway over its own oversight.

“This is a tragedy that never should have happened,” said Representative Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon, the committee chairman. “It could have been prevented, and we’re going to take steps in our legislation to see that it never happens again.”

Republicans on the committee, without issuing their own report, also called for safety improvements. But Representative Sam Graves of Missouri, the committee’s top Republican, said that while change was needed, congressional action should be based on expert recommendations, “not a partisan investigative report.”

The report was issued as the F.A.A. appeared close to lifting its March 2019 grounding order for the Max after evaluating data from test flights this summer and proposing changes to the jet. F.A.A. clearance could lead aviation authorities elsewhere to follow suit and allow the plane to fly again as soon as this winter.

Even as it strives to get the Max back into service, Boeing is contending with other challenges, including the deep downturn in air travel because of the coronavirus pandemic, and quality concerns about its 787 Dreamliner.

The congressional report on the Max identified five broad problems with the plane’s design, construction and certification. First, the race to compete with the European rival Airbus and its new A320neo led Boeing to make production goals and cost-cutting a higher priority than safety, the Democrats argued. Second, the company made deadly assumptions about software known as MCAS, which was blamed for sending the planes into nose dives. Third, Boeing withheld critical information from the F.A.A. Fourth, the agency’s practice of delegating oversight authority to Boeing employees left it in the dark. And finally, the Democrats accused F.A.A. management of siding with Boeing and dismissing its own experts.

“These issues must be addressed by both Boeing and the F.A.A. in order to correct poor certification practices that have emerged, reassess key assumptions that affect safety and enhance transparency to enable more effective oversight,” the Democrats said in the report.

A 737 Max crashed in Ethiopia last year. Investigators blamed faulty sensors for activating software that pushed the plane’s nose down.
A 737 Max crashed in Ethiopia last year. Investigators blamed faulty sensors for activating software that pushed the plane’s nose down.Credit…Mulugeta Ayene/Associated Press

The findings are largely in line with an abundance of information uncovered by federal investigators, news reporters and the committee’s preliminary work after the crashes in Indonesia in October 2018 and Ethiopia in March 2019.

Those crashes were caused in part by the MCAS system. Because the engines are larger and placed higher than those on the plane’s predecessor, they can cause the jet’s nose to push upward. MCAS was designed to push the nose back down. In both crashes, the software was activated by faulty sensors, sending the planes toward the ground as the pilots struggled to pull them back up.

The deaths could have been avoided if not for a series of safety lapses at Boeing and “grossly insufficient” oversight at the F.A.A., the Democrats argued. Internal communications at Boeing showed that several employees raised concerns about MCAS over the years, but their concerns were either dismissed or inadequately addressed, the House report said. It also accused Boeing of intentionally misleading the F.A.A., echoing a July report from the Transportation Department’s inspector general.

That report found that Boeing had failed to share critical information with regulators about important changes to MCAS and had been slow to share a formal safety risk assessment with the agency. The inspector general also said that Boeing had chosen to portray the MCAS software as a modification to an existing system rather than a new one, in part to ease the certification process, a decision that an authorized F.A.A. representative at the company agreed with, according to the congressional report.

Debris from the crash in Indonesia in 2018. Regulators could clear the 737 Max to fly again by this winter.
Debris from the crash in Indonesia in 2018. Regulators could clear the 737 Max to fly again by this winter.Credit…Beawiharta Beawiharta/Reuters

Under federal law, the agency is allowed to delegate some oversight to manufacturers, but that practice backfired at Boeing, the congressional report found.

In 2012, for example, a Boeing test pilot took more than 10 seconds to reverse an MCAS activation, a response time that he later described as “catastrophic.” Boeing cited that finding several times over the years in internal documents, but the House report found no evidence that any of the four F.A.A. representatives at the company who knew of the finding ever passed it on to the agency. Sharing the information was not required, but the failure to do so was “inconceivable and inexcusable,” the report said.

F.A.A. management came in for severe criticism over its response to the crashes. In December, the report said, Ali Bahrami, the F.A.A.’s associate administrator for aviation safety, told committee staff members that he was unaware of an internal assessment produced after the first crash that had predicted 15 more over the lifetime of the Max fleet if MCAS was not fixed.

The report also said the agency was “inexplicably slow” in turning over records.

“The F.A.A. was actually more frustrating” than Boeing, Mr. DeFazio said on a call with reporters. “I’m not sure that we ever got all of the email chains we wanted. They claimed to have a very primitive old computer system.”

The report faulted Boeing for a lack of transparency, driven in part by a desire to play down the need for simulator training for pilots. Under a 2011 contract with Southwest Airlines, for example, Boeing had promised to discount each of the 200 planes in the airline’s order by $1 million if the F.A.A. required such simulator training for pilots moving from an earlier version of the aircraft, the 737NG, to the Max. That, the committee argued, created an incentive for Boeing to withhold critical safety information from the agency.

“This report lays bare the lie that Boeing cares about safety or the hundreds of lives they have ruined,” said Yalena Lopez-Lewis, whose husband, Army Capt. Antoine Lewis, died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash. “Boeing cut corners, lied to regulators, and simply considers this the cost of doing business.”

Democrats declined to provide details of prospective legislation, but said they were working on bipartisan reforms that could be passed before the end of the year.

“We are working closely with Republicans in the hope of coming to an agreement on a reform proposal in the very near future,” Representative Rick Larsen of Washington, the chairman of the aviation subcommittee, told reporters.

In a statement, Boeing said it had learned lessons from the crashes and had started to act on the recommendations of experts and government authorities.

“Boeing cooperated fully and extensively with the committee’s inquiry since it began in early 2019,” the company said. “We have been hard at work strengthening our safety culture and rebuilding trust with our customers, regulators and the flying public.”

The revised Max design has received extensive review, the company said, arguing that once the plane is ready to fly again, “it will be one of the most thoroughly scrutinized aircraft in history.”

The F.A.A. said in a statement that it would work with the committee to carry out any recommended changes and was already making some of its own.

“These initiatives are focused on advancing overall aviation safety by improving our organization, processes and culture,” it said.

Last month, the agency announced plans to require a number of design changes to the Max before it can fly again, including updating MCAS and rerouting some internal wiring. The proposed rule is open for public comment until next week. Barring major obstacles, the agency could lift its grounding order on the plane in the weeks or months to come, allowing Boeing to prepare the planes to fly as soon as this winter.

While hundreds of orders for the jet have been canceled, several thousand remain. In some cases, customers cannot break contracts or are otherwise deeply entwined with Boeing. Many also still want to add the Max to their fleet. A new plane can last a generation and typically requires little maintenance in the first few years of use. The Max promises substantial fuel savings, too, which can add up over several decades.

Still, Boeing warned in January that the grounding would cost more than $18 billion. And that was before the severe downturn in travel caused by the pandemic. Last month, Boeing said it would expand the 10 percent cut to its work force announced in April. And the company said last week that deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner, a large twin-aisle jet used for long-distance flights, had been slowed by new quality concerns.

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/16/business/boeing-737-max-house-report.html

DPR Sebut Batik Air Tak Lakukan Protokol Kesehatan, Menhub: Khilaf

DPR
Foto: Herdi Alif Al Hikam

Jakarta – 

Anggota Komisi V Athari Gauthi Ardi mengatakan ada maskapai penerbangan yang tidak menerapkan protokol kesehatan COVID-19. Aduan ini ditujukan Athari kepada Menteri Perhubungan Budi Karya Sumadi.

Menurutnya, pemerintah sudah membuat protokol kesehatan dengan baik, sayangnya justru masih ada maskapai yang bandel tak menerapkan protokol kesehatan.

“Pak Menteri, ada yang saya sayangkan. Saya dapat laporan banyak dari rekan-rekan sesama anggota, di salah satu penerbangan ada yang tidak menerapkan protokol COVID-19. Protokol yang dibuat bagus, tapi pelaksanaan yang di bawah perlu diperhatikan,” ungkap Athari dalam rapat kerja di ruang rapat komisi V DPR, Jakarta, Senin (31/8/2020).

Bahkan, Athari blak-blakan soal maskapai yang enggan melakukan protokol kesehatan. Maskapai itu adalah Batik Air, member dari Lion Air Group.

Dia menjelaskan maskapai ini kapasitas angkutnya tidak lagi sesuai batas maksimal yang ditentukan 70%. Athari meminta Budi Karya untuk menindak tegas maskapai tersebut.

“Anggota kami naik pesawat Batik Air dari Jakarta ke Makassar. Yang harusnya kapasitasnya 70%, tapi ini kapasitasnya 100%. Nggak ada diterapkan physical distancing sama sekali,” kata Athari.

“Kami tahu pemulihan ekonomi penting, tapi jangan sampai rakyat kami yang menerima akibatnya,” ujarnya.

Menanggapi aduan ini, Budi Karya mengatakan akan memberikan teguran ke Batik Air. Menurutnya, di tengah situasi Corona banyak pihak sering khilaf. “Batik akan kita tegur, kadang-kadang di tengah COVID-19 orang khilaf. Cuma ini, khilafnya terus-terusan, sekali lagi kita akan tegur,” kata Budi Karya.

Link: https://finance.detik.com/berita-ekonomi-bisnis/d-5153955/dpr-sebut-batik-air-tak-lakukan-protokol-kesehatan-menhub-khilaf

Iran details factors involved in the shootdown of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752

Type: Boeing 737-8KV (WL) Photographer: © Gilles Brion Registration:UR-PSR Date:23 April 2017 Operator:Ukraine International Airlines Taken at: Genève-Cointrin Airport (GVA/LSGG)
Status:Preliminary – official
Date:Wednesday 8 January 2020
Time:06:18
Type:
Boeing 737-8KV (WL)
Operator:Ukraine International Airlines
Registration:UR-PSR
C/n / msn:38124/5977
First flight:2016-06-21 (3 years 7 months)
Engines:CFMI CFM56-7B24E
Crew:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Passengers:Fatalities: 167 / Occupants: 167
Total:Fatalities: 176 / Occupants: 176
Aircraft damage:Destroyed
Aircraft fate:Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Sabashahr (   Iran)
Phase:En route (ENR)
Nature:International Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Tehran-Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA/OIIE), Iran
Destination airport:Kiev-Borispol Airport (KBP/UKBB), Ukraine
Flightnumber:PS752

Narrative:
Ukraine International Airlines flight 752, a Boeing 737-800, crashed near Sabashahr, 7 minutes after takeoff from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, Iran. Al 167 passengers and nine crew members on board were killed.
The Boeing 737-800, registration UR-PSR, had landed on schedule at 00:57 hours local time at Tehran. The return leg back to Kiev was due to depart at 05:15 local time (01:45 UTC).

In the meantime, around 02:15 hours local time in Iran, numerous ballistic missiles were fired from Iran towards U.S. bases in Iraq in response to the killing of Major General Qasem Soleimani by a United States drone strike.
As a result this military operation changed the alertness level of Iran’s air defense. At approximately 04:00 the military sector informed the civil sector of the country’s Airspace Control that only the flights already detected and cleared for flight operations by the defense network could be permitted to start up. This would ensure the correct identification of civil flights by the defense network and avoiding targeting them by mistake.

At 05:49 the doors were closed and the aircraft was ready to depart. Two minuts later the flight requested the to start up the engines.

After contacting the Area Control Center, the ATC unit requested clearance for the Ukrainian flight at 05:52. The Area Control Center forwarded the request for flight PS752 to the Air Defense Coordination Center, which subsequently issued the clearance accordingly.

The aircraft then taxied to runway 29R and commenced the takeoff roll at 06:11. After takeoff the flight contacted Mehrabad Radar and was cleared to climb to FL260 and turn right after reaching 6000 feet, heading direct to the PAROT reporting point.
As the aircraft was climbing after departure, it appeared on the air defense system. However, a wrong initialisation procedure of the system’s north alignment had induced a 107-degree error in the system. Thus, the direction of objects and targets detected by this system was being observed with an increase of 107 degrees by the operator.
At 06:13:56, the air defense unit operator detected a target at his 250-degree azimuth, flying on a 52-degree course. At the same time, PS752 had been flying towards the defense system from a 143-degree azimuth. The aircraft was flying a 309-degree course.

At 06:14:21, the operator notified the specifications of the detected target to the Coordination Center over the communication network. The notification was not communicated successfully.

Meanwhile the system operator began analyzing the observable information and categorized the detected target as a threat. At 06:14:41, without receiving any response from the Coordination Center, the air defense unit operator fired a missile at the threatening target he had detected.

Under the applicable procedures, if the defense system operator cannot establish communication with the Coordination Center and does not receive the fire command, they are not authorized to fire.

The missile radio fuse was activated at 06:14:59. At that point flight PS752 was at 8100 feet at a position about 20 km west-northwest of the airport.

After the first missile radio fuse was activated, the air defense unit radar still locked on the target, and the defense system kept detecting and tracking it. By observing the continuity of trajectory of detected target, the second missile was fired at the aircraft by the operator of defense system at 06:15:11.

At 06:45:24, the last communication between the missile and the defense system was recorded in a place close to the aircraft route. After that, the defense system showed a message indicating the strike had failed, with the aircraft clearing from the radar lock-on after some time.

The aircraft turned to the right and about 06:16:11, a fire broke out on the aircraft, which was intensifying. Altitude was lost and at 06:18:23, the aircraft crashed into a playground in Khalajabad near Shahedshahr area, 15 km north of the airport. It disintegrated completely and wreckage was strewn along a 300 m long path.

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: AAIB Iran 
Status: Investigation ongoing
Accident number: Factual report
Download report: Preliminary report
Classification: Shot down from the ground
Loss of control

METAR Weather report:02:44 UTC / local time:
OIIE 080200Z 28006KT CAVOK M01 / M04 Q1021

Photos of Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-8KV (WL) UR-PSR:

Type: Boeing 737-8KV (WL) Photographer: © Arno Janssen; Jetfotos.de Registration: UR-PSR Date: 25 March 2018 Operator: Ukraine International Airlines Taken at: Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS/EDDL)

Link: https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20200108-0

Pakistan’s aviation regulator sends show cause notice to 193 pilots over ‘dubious’ licences

File photo of Pakistan International Airlines | Commons

Islamabad: Pakistan’s aviation regulator has issued show-cause notices to 193 pilots suspected of having “dubious” flying licence after completing the scrutiny process of 262 pilots in the wake of a major scandal, according to a media report on Monday. 

The scandal over pilot licences in Pakistan emerged from an investigation into the crash of a Pakistan International Airlines plane on May 22 in Karachi that killed 97 people. The inquiry determined that nearly one-third of Pakistan’s pilots cheated on exams but still received licences from the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA was tasked by the Supreme Court on July 21 to immediately complete an inquiry against pilots of the national carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), following revelation by the aviation minister about fake documents of scores of pilots. 

The CAA after completing the scrutiny process of the record of 262 pilots issued show-cause notices to 193 of them, the Dawn News reported. The CAA inquiry board found 850 pilots with suspected credentials out of which 262 licences were found “dubious”. The board had grounded all the 262 pilots, while the federal Cabinet had approved cancellation of the licences of 28 pilots out of these 262, the report said, quoting sources. Of the 193 pilots, who were issued show-cause notices, 140 have submitted their replies and they are being called in batches by the inquiry committee to explain their positions. 

A senior official said notices to the remaining pilots could not be sent because there were “technical mistakes” in the names of some pilots and their registration or reference numbers, which are being resolved. A five-member committee constituted by the Aviation Division to investigate the pilots’ cases has been scrutinising the credentials of pilots. The Aviation Division has referred to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) the cases against five CAA officials, who had been suspended for their alleged involvement in issuing dubious licences. It has also sought FIA’s help against the CAA’s information technology experts involved in the examination scam. The scandal prompted the US in July to downgrade the safety rating of Pakistan’s aviation system and block the country’s airlines from launching air services to America. 

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it put Pakistan in category-2 rating, which means airlines from Pakistan can’t start new flights to the US. Also, US airlines can’t sell seats on Pakistani flights, a practice called code-sharing that is common among other international airlines. Currently there are no regular scheduled flights between the US and Pakistan. The European Union last month also banned PIA from flying to Europe for at least six months.

Link: https://theprint.in/world/pakistans-aviation-regulator-sends-show-cause-notice-to-193-pilots-over-dubious-licences/478680/

Ukraine: Black boxes confirm interference with jet downed in Iran

Iranian forces say they downed the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 jet by mistake [File: Iran Press via AFP]
Iranian forces say they downed the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 jet by mistake [File: Iran Press via AFP]

The transcript from the black boxes from a Ukrainian jet accidentally shot down by Iran on January 8 confirms the fact of illegal interference with the plane, according to Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister.

Yevhenii Yenin’s remarks came on Friday, a day after an international team examining the flight recorders from the jet had completed a preliminary analysis of the data in France.

“Grateful to all partners who helped bring this moment closer. Black boxes from #PS752 were read out and deciphered successfully. The transcript confirmed the fact of illegal interference with the plane,” Yenin wrote on Twitter.

He also said Kyiv was expecting an Iranian delegation to visit Ukraine next week for talks.

Iranian forces say they downed the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 jet after mistaking it for a missile at a time of high tensions with the United States. All 176 people on board were killed.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said this month that it was too soon to blame human error for the shooting down of the airliner and that many questions remained unanswered.

International probe

A team of investigators from the same countries as the victims of the plane crash met this week at France’s Bureau for Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA), in Paris, to begin extracting the data.

“The download and preliminary data analysis was an important milestone in what must be a thorough and transparent safety investigation,” said Katy Fox, the chair of the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada, on Thursday.

“The work in Paris is finished, but the investigation is far from over. There are still many key questions that need to be answered,” she said in a statement.

“We have urged Iran to release factual information from the recorders as soon as possible,” Fox said, adding that Iran – which is leading the investigation – has not authorised the TSB to release details.

Link: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/ukraine-black-boxes-confirm-interference-jet-downed-iran-200724084336974.html