2001 Airline safety and security review

This review includes all significant safety or security related occurrences from 2001. Numbered events involve the death of at least one airline passenger, and all events meet criteria set by AirSafe.com

  1. 25 January 2001; Rutaca Airlines DC3; YV-224C; flight 225; Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela:
    The aircraft crashed and burned in a populated area near the airport shortly after takeoff. The aircraft had refueled in Ciudad Bolivar prior to taking off for Margarita Island in the Caribbean. The 21 passengers and three crew members were all killed. Two children on the ground were injured as well.
    BBC Report

    27 January 2001; Jet Express Services Beechcraft King Air; N81PF near Strasburg, CO: Two Oklahoma State basketball players, an OSU basketball executive and five staffers and broadcasters associated with the program were killed when their plane crashed in rolling terrain shortly after takeoff from the Jefferson County airport near Denver, CO. The two crew members were also killed. The chartered aircraft was bound for Stillwater, Oklahoma when it took off during snowy conditions.
    More on this event

  2. 15 March 2001; Vnukovo Airlines Tupolev 154; RA-85619; flight 2806; Medina, Saudi Arabia: The aircraft was hijacked by three men about 30 minutes after departing Istanbul, Turkey on a flight to Moscow, Russia. After being diverted to Medina, Saudi Arabia, the hijackers entered negotiations with Saudi Arabian authorities and released some of the hostages. The following day, commandos stormed the aircraft and freed the rest of the hostages. One of the 12 crew members and one of the 159 passengers were killed by the hijackers. One hijacker was killed and the other two were captured.
    Plane crashes involving airlines of the former Soviet Union

  3. 24 March 2001; Air Caraïbes Twin Otter 300; Saint-Barthélémy, Guadeloupe: The Twin Otter plane was on a short inter-island flight between St. Maarten and Saint-Barthélémy when it struck a house on approach to the airport. Saint-Barthélémy has a difficult approach to the airport and pilots flying into the airport need a special certification. Both crew members and all 17 passengers were killed. One person on the ground was also killed.

    29 March 2001; Airborne Charter Gulfstream III; N303GA; Aspen CO: The private jet was approaching Aspen's Sardy Field after a flight from Los Angeles, CA when it crashed near the airport. There was light snow and fog in the area at the time of the crash and the aircraft was executing an instrument approach at about 7 p.m local time. All three crew members and 15 passengers were killed. Airborne Charter is owned by Cinergi Pictures Entertainment. Cinergi credits include films such as "Die Hard with a Vengence," "Tombstone," "Evita" and "Nixon."
    This event did not involve an airline aircraft.

    22 May 2001; Gideon Wittman Tailwind; N3GJ; Manvel, TX NASA astronaut Patricia Hilliard Robertson was killed as a result of injuries sustained in a plane crash that occurred while she and an instructor pilot were conducting touch-and-go landings. The instructor pilot was also killed. Robertson had been selected as an astronaut candidate in 1998 and was awaiting assignment to her first flight.
    More details about this accident
    Deaths associated with US space programs
    Other crashes involving celebrities

  4. 3 July 2001; Vladivostok Avia Tupolev 154; near Irkutsk, Russia: The plane crashed about 34 kilometers (21 miles) from Irkutsk in the Siberian region of Russia, while on a domestic flight from Yekaterinburg in western Russia to Vladivostok on the Pacific coast of Russia. The aircraft was making a third approach to Irkutsk, a scheduled refueling stop, when it crashed. All nine crew members and 136 passengers were killed.
    Plane crashes involving airlines of the former Soviet Union
    Tupolev 154 Profile (Airliners.net)
    Accident Related Stories (Pravda)

    24 August 2001; Air Transat A330-200; Flight 236; near the Azores Islands, Portugal: The aircraft was cruising across the Atlantic at 39,000 feet (11,900 meters) on a flight from Toronto to Lisbon when the right engine lost power. The left engine quit about 13 minutes later. Both engines lost power as a result of fuel starvation. There had been a leak in the fuel system near the right engine, and an open crossfeed valve allowed fuel to be lost from both wing tanks. The leak had been noticed by the crew about an hour prior to the engines shutting down, and the aircraft was already diverting toward Lajes military airfield in the Azores. After the last engine lost power, the crew was able to glide for 20 minutes for about 115 miles (185 km) to Lajes airfield and avert a mid-ocean ditching.

    Although the landing gear was damaged during the high speed landing, the crew was able to stop the aircraft on the runway. All 13 crew members and 291 passengers survived, though some occupants were injured during a emergency evacuation. Transport Canada later fined the airline C$250,000 (about US$165,000) for maintenance infractions relating to an improper installation of a hydraulic pump on an engine of the incident aircraft.

    This Air Transat event has similarities to a 1983 Air Canada event involving a 767 and a 1996 event involving an Allegro Air DC9 where the flight crews successfully glided their aircraft to a landing after running out of fuel. In both cases, the crews had to glide the aircraft for several minutes before landing on a nearby runway. Also, in both cases no one was seriously injured during the event.
    More about this event

    25 August 2000; Cessna 402; N8097W, Abaco Island, Bahamas Singer and actress Aaliyah (Aaliyah Dana Haughton) was killed in the crash of a chartered plane that crashed shortly after takeoff on Abaco Island in the Bahamas for a flight to Opa Locka, Florida. The pilot and the other seven passengers were also killed. Aaliyah had been in the Bahamas to film a music video for the song "Rock the Boat."
    More details about this accident
    Other crashes involving celebrities

  5. 29 August 2001; Binter Méditerraneo CN-235; EC-FBC; flight 8261; near Malaga, Spain: The plane crashed on a road about a quarter mile (400 meters) from the runway shortly after the crew reported having engine trouble. The aircraft had been on a domestic flight from from the Spanish enclave of of Melilla on the northern coast of Morocco to Malaga when it crashed. One of the three crew members and three of the 44 passengers were killed.
    CN-235 Profile (Airliners.net)

  6. 11 September 2001; American Airlines 767; N334AA; flight 11; World Trade Center, New York: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Boston to Los Angeles when it was hijacked and flown into one of the World Trade Center Towers. Another jet, a United Airlines 767, was hijacked and crashed into the other tower. Both towers later collapsed. All 11 crew members, 76 passengers, and five hijackers were killed, as were untold numbers of people on the ground.
    American Airlines plane crashes
    Boeing 767 plane crashes
    Attack on New York and Washington

  7. 11 September 2001; United Airlines 767; N612UA; flight 175; World Trade Center, New York: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Boston to Los Angeles when it was hijacked and flown into one of the World Trade Center Towers. Another jet, an American Airlines 767, was hijacked and flown into the other tower. Both towers later collapsed. All nine crew members, 51 passengers, and five hijackers were killed, as were untold numbers of people on the ground.
    Fatal United Airlines Events
    Boeing 767 plane crashes
    Attack on New York and Washington

  8. 11 September 2001; American Airlines 757; N644AA; flight 77; The Pentagon, Arlington, VA: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Dulles to Los Angeles when it was hijacked and flown into the Pentagon, collapsing part of the structure. All six crewmembers, 53 passengers, and five hijackers were killed.
    Fatal American Airlines Events
    Boeing 757 plane crashes
    Attack on New York and Washington

  9. 11 September 2001; United Airlines 757; N591UA; flight 93; near Pittsburgh, PA: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Newark to San Francisco when it was hijacked. However, the aircraft crashed outside Pittsburgh. All seven crewmembers, 34 passengers, and four hijackers were killed.
    American Airlines crashes
    Boeing 757 plane crashes
    Attack on New York and Washington

    12 September 2001; Aero Ferinco Let 410; XA-ACM; near Chichen Itza, Mexico: The aircraft was on an unscheduled charter flight and crashed shortly after takeoff on the return leg of an excursion to an archeological site. The passengers had taken a side trip from their cruise ship. Both crew members and all 17 passengers were killed.

  10. 15 September 2001; TAM Linhas Aéreas Fokker 100; PT-MRNs; flight 9755; near Belo Horizonte, Brazil: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Recife to São Paulo when the right engine of the aircraft broke up while in cruise at around 30,000 feet (9,140 meters) while enroute from Recifie to São Paulo. Pieces of the engine shattered two cabin windows and caused a cabin depressurization. None of the six crew members were killed, but one of the 82 passengers was killed as a result of the depressurization.
    TAM plane crashes

  11. 18 September 2001; Atlantic Airlines Let 410; TG-CFE flight 870; Guatemala City, Guatemala: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Guatemala City, Guatemala to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and crashed shortly after takeoff. The airplane stalled and crashed apparently due to an imbalanced passenger load that put the center of gravity of the aircraft outside of acceptable limits. One of the two crew members and seven of the 11 passengers were killed.

  12. 4 October 2001; Sibir Airlines Tupolev 154M; RA-85693; flight 1812; Black Sea near Adler, Russia: The plane crashed about 184 kilometers (114 miles) from southern Russia in the Black Sea, shortly after the aircraft exploded in flight. The aircraft had departed from Tel Aviv, Israel on a charter flight to Novosibirsk, Russia and was at cruise altitude when the explosion occurred. The reason for the in-flight explosion, which was witnessed by another airliner flight crew, is not known. However, various pieces of evidence point to in inadvertent strike by a Ukrainian military missile. All 12 crew members and 64 passengers were killed.
    Plane crashes involving airlines of the former Soviet Union
    Tupolev 154 Profile (Airliners.net)
    Accident related stories (Pravda)

  13. 8 October 2001; SAS MD87; SE-DMA; flight 686; Milan Italy: The aircraft was taking off from Milan's Linate airport for a flight to Copenhagen when it collided with a Cessna Citation on the fog-shrouded runway. The airliner then crashed into a nearby hanger and caught fire. There was no indication that this event was the result of a hijacking, sabotage, or other act of violence. All six crew members and 104 passengers on the airliner were killed, as were the four occupants of the business jet and four airport workers on the ground.
    SAS crashes
    MD80 crashes

  14. 12 November 2001; American Airlines A300; N14053; flight 587; Queens, New York: The aircraft was on a flight from New York to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic when it crashed into a residential neighborhood just outside JFK airport. The aircraft experienced an in-flight breakup, with the vertical fin and one engine landing away from the main impact site. There were a number of homes damaged or destroyed by the crash, and five people on the ground were also killed. All nine crew members and 251 passengers on the aircraft were killed, including five infants.
    A300 plane crashes
    American Airlines crashes
    Accident investigation details

  15. 24 November 2001; Crossair Avro RJ100; HB-IXM; flight 3597; near Zurich, Switzerland: The aircraft was on a flight from Berlin, Germany to Zurich, Switzerland when it crashed into a wooded area about two miles (3.2 km) from the runway during a night approach to Zurich's airport. Three of the five crew members and 21 of the 28 passengers were killed. One of the passengers was singer Melanie Thornton who previously led the dance act La Bouche to a series of hit CDs including "Sweet Dreams," and "S.O.S." At the time of her death, she was a solo artist who was on tour to promote her solo album "Ready to Fly".
    More details about this accident and about Melanie Thornton
    Other crashes involving celebrities


    Swissair/Crossair crashes
    BAe 146/Avro RJ100 crashes

Other Years
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2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
2005 , 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009,

2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
2015

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2001 Airline safety and security review
http://airsafe.com/events/fatal01.htm -- Revised: 18 October 2015