Tag: Tragedies

View All Tags

/ / / / / /

What's The Best Way To Help Nepal Right Now?

Where: Nepal
April 30, 2015 at 4:41 PM | by | ()

After Saturday's devastating earthquake, many people here in the U.S. want to help those in Nepal, but they aren't sure where to start.

If your instinct is to get on the next flight to Kathmandu, that might not be the best plan. Even if you have the time and resources needed to head to Nepal, food, lodging and volunteer coordination may be lacking, making some well-intentioned travelers more of a burden than a help.

But, that doesn't mean there won't be plenty of organized volunteer opportunities in Nepal in the future. Habitat for Humanity is already planning a longer-term response that will assist affected communities with permanent housing solutions.

more ›

/ / / / / / / /

How Facebook's New 'Safety Check' is Aiding Travelers Following the Nepal Earthquake

April 25, 2015 at 10:06 PM | by | ()

I was boarding a plane when it happened, the Nepal Earthquake, that is.

I wasn't in Kathmandu. I was in Abu Dhabi, readying for a 15-hour flight back to the U.S., but I knew that one of my good friends was in Nepal and had been traveling around some of the areas most effected by the 7.8 earthquake and its aftershocks. How bad was this really? Was he safe?

While initial reports of the earthquake's magnitude rolled down my Twitter stream, a Facebook notification appeared just before the crew made the announcement for electronic devices to be turned off for take off. That notification, a green exclamation point icon, instantly shared that my friend had used the social network to "mark himself safe." I sighed with relief and turned off my device, beginning the long flight less anxious with the knowledge that he had reached out, somehow, to share his status.

more ›

/ / / / / /

Germanwings Flight 4U9525 Plummets in French Alps, All Aboard Feared Dead

Where: France
March 24, 2015 at 12:03 PM | by | ()

A flight operated by Lufthansa's Germanwings budget airlines crashed into a remote area of the French Alps at 10:53am this morning, killing all 144 passengers including several schoolchildren and 6 crew members.

The Airbus 320 (A320) was flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf when it suddenly dropped out of the sky. So far, there have been no reports of bad weather nor mechanical issues. However, there is some conflict over a distress call with Germanwings not sure if one had been made but France's aviation regulator said the plane lost radio contact and descended for eight minutes without explanation, thus prompting the controller to issue its own distress call.

Right now recovery efforts are underway in a fairly unmanageable section of the Alps. Making the process harder is that bad weather is expected for the area with rain and snow.

For now, Germanwings has changed their logo on social media from its usual happy orange and red to a somber black and gray.

They've also posted this statement on its site about the crash:

more ›

/ / / / / /

A Snorkeling Adventure Goes Terribly Wrong in Cabo

March 13, 2015 at 3:45 PM | by | ()

A freak accident happened the other day in the otherwise idyllic Cabo San Lucas when a Canadian tourist died after the boat she was on was hit by a breaching grey whale. The woman was tossed into the water by the hit, and rescued by her fellow passengers. They attempted CPR but the woman died later from her injuries at the hospital. Two other people on the boat were injured as well.

The incident happened as the boat was returning from a Snorkel and Sea excursion run by Cabo Adventures. We've actually done this excursion that the woman was on and it is by no means a dangerous one.

After getting fitted for snorkel gear at the Dolphin Center in the marina, the trip takes the snorkelers on a high-speed Apex boat ride around the famous Arch in Cabo while detailing the history of the area and the marine life. Everyone is required to wear life vests while on the boat.

After a short ride, the boat drops anchor in a relatively enclosed spot for snorkeling (the ocean off the beach in Cabo is too rough for swimming or snorkeling) where people can snorkel, paddle board and kayak for over an hour. Then it's back to the marina.

Dolphins and whales are highlighted as an "attraction" for the excursion but not always guaranteed. Unfortunately, this surprise sighting ended in a terribly tragic way.

more ›

/ / / / / / / /

The Tragedy of Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501: Who to Follow for the Latest Updates

December 29, 2014 at 8:55 PM | by | ()

"Until today, we have never lost a life." - AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes, 28 December 2014.

There's been no resolution yet to the question of what happened to Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320 (tail PK-AXC) which disappeared while en route from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore, and we're not going to speculate.

More and more there's been an issue with the responsible reporting of aviation incidents. FOX News is an infamous offender, prone to flagrant speculation and misinformation, but they're not the only ones. Even CNN can get their facts wrong. For example, today the CNN Asia Pacific Editor, Andrew Stevens, compared the search area to the size of California. In reality it's less than half that size; Stevens made a mis-calculation between square kilometers and square miles, but issued no correction. Media loves a soundbite like that California size comparison, so automatically CNN spreads flawed information.

If you'd like to follow along with the latest in the search, we recommend checking out the few sources we trust in these matters:

more ›

/ / / / / / /

Why Asiana Won't Land at SFO for 45 Days

November 17, 2014 at 9:17 AM | by | ()

It’s been over a year since the crash of Asiana 214 over at San Francisco International Airport, and now it looks like the government of South Korea is penalizing the carrier for its missteps that day.

The country’s transport ministry has made the call to suspend the airline’s ability to from Seoul over to San Francisco. The flight ban will last 45 days, and things will automatically kick in after six months. There is a chance for the airline to appeal and what not, so we just kind of need to stay tuned to see how things shake out.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Virgin Galactic Vows to Continue and is Already Building Another SpaceShipTwo

November 3, 2014 at 11:28 AM | by | ()

The accident immediately killed test co-pilot Michael Tyner Alsbury [memorial fund] and wounded pilot Peter Siebold, who emergency ejected and parachuted to the ground.

Preliminary NTSB reports note that no explosion occurred, and that an early deployment of the craft's feathering system—a function that adjusts SS2 into something of a shuttlecock shape for re-entry—may have been the cause of the spacecraft's breaking apart.

Many are wondering if this will shut down the program, but Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides are clear in their statements that this tragedy is an obstacle, not an end. "Space is hard—but worth it. We will persevere and move forward together."

more ›

/ / / / /

Malaysia Airlines 777 with 295 Onboard Crashes in Ukraine

July 17, 2014 at 12:34 PM | by | ()

Breaking News

At approximately 10:15am EST, Malaysia Airlines lost contact with a 777 flying at 33,000' on its way from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There were 280 passengers and 15 crew onboard, and the flight was 1/5 of the way complete when it passed over the Ukraine and the current war zone near Donetsk, where Ukrainians are locked in violent clashes with pro-Russian rebels.

It is believed the aircraft was shot down by a ground-to-air missile.

While the loss of the aircraft has been confirmed by Malaysia Airlines, the issue of it being shot down hasn't yet been accepted as fact.

First, the airline tweeted the short and vague news of the disappearance:

The tweet was followed by the first official report, posted to the airline's Facebook page with as many details as they had available:

more ›

/ / / / / / /

The Vietnam War B-52 Bomber Wreck at the Center of a Small Pond

Where: Hanoi, Vietnam
July 9, 2014 at 11:00 AM | by | ()

Besides some of the cheapest beer in the world, visitors to Hanoi will find the city to be rich in history, specifically as it relates to America and the Vietnam War. There is much to see and to learn almost forty years since the end of the war, and trips to the National Museum of History and the Military History Museum are a good place to start.

But if you want to get a taste of what day-to-day life was like for locals during the 70s, a trip to Huu Tiep Lake should be on the itinerary. In 1972, as America bombed the city, a B-52 Stratofortress bomber was shot down and crashed into a small lake. It still rests there today, just poking above the surface.

It's more of a pond than a lake, and what surprised us most was its location in a colorful, intimate little neighborhood in west Hanoi. Half of it is sticking out above the water, revealing the top of the tires and a look at some of the damaged undercarriage. It's just been left there, untouched.

more ›

/ / / / /

What's the Deal with Passengers Grabbing Luggage During Emergency Evacuations?

March 17, 2014 at 11:37 AM | by | ()

"One is an example. Two is a coincidence. Three is a trend."

Something has been troubling us lately. Recent footage and images of emergency aircraft evacuations show passengers consciously disobeying flight crew commands to leave their luggage onboard. Fools are grabbing carry-ons and shopping bags, hopping down the emergency slides with them, and running for their lives.

Granted, emergency landings and evacuations are an extremely rare occurrence and it's likely you'll never have to experience one. Still, should you find yourself queuing up to shimmy out an emergency exit, please remember to put the well-being of fellow passengers before that of your duty-free impulse buys.

Take, for instance, the tragic incidence of the Asiana 214 crash landing at SFO last year. Video footage of the evacuation (as the plane burns!) has passengers running with armloads of bags. Several bags are clearly from duty-free shops. To say this is embarrassing is a gross understatement, especially considering three passengers lost their lives.

more ›

/ / / / /

What's This Airplane Shape Doing in the Middle of the Sahara Desert?

Where: Niger
February 10, 2014 at 4:02 PM | by | ()

Searching Google Maps yields all kinds of "Easter Eggs"—little surprises tucked away but discoverable to those paying close attention. For example, there's planes flying by, Britain's most picturesque streets, and even the world's largest slip and slide. But it's a feature found in the no-man's-land Ténéré region of the Sahara Desert that really raises eyebrows. Enter coordinates 16° 51′ 53.75″ N, 11° 57′ 13.36″ E into Google Maps and find a tiny dot that is actually a massive shape of an airplane.

This, a landmark hand-built of rock and one of the aircraft wings, is actually a memorial to the 170 people on UTA Airlines 772 who perished when a terrorist suitcase bomb exploded the aircraft in 1989.

more ›

/ / / / / / /

Is LAX Back to Normal after Friday's Shooting?

Where: Los Angeles, CA
November 4, 2013 at 10:27 AM | by | ()

The emergency situation of Friday at Los Angeles International Airport is thankfully over, but while the police continue their investigation into the gunman who entered Terminal 3 and shot TSA agents (killing one), the airport itself returns to mostly normal operations.

For travelers with upcoming flights into or out of LAX, here's the latest answers on what's up at the airport:

more ›