Airbus A330 plane crashes

The following are significant events involving the aircraft model. The numbered events are those involving at least one passenger death where the aircraft flight had a direct or indirect role, and where at least one of the dead passengers was not a stowaway, hijacker, or saboteur.

    30 June 1994; Air France A330-300; Flight 129; Toulouse Airport, France: The aircraft was on a test flight to certify the aircraft for a particular approach and landing configuration. During the second takeoff of this test flight, while flying the aircraft to meet the criteria of this particular test, the flight crew was unaware of the flight control mode of the aircraft, and as a result of their actions, the aircraft pitched up very sharply, and the crew temporarily lost control of the aircraft. The crew was able to regain control at a low altitude, but the aircraft subsequently crashed. All seven occupants, including the three member flight test crew and four non-revenue passengers, were killed.

    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.
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    7 October 2008; Qantas A330-300; Flight 72; near Learmonth, Australia:The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Singapore to Perth. While in cruise, the aircraft reportedly experienced some type of sudden and unexpected altitude change. The crew issued a mayday call before diverting the aircraft to the airport at Learmonth, near the town of Exmouth, about 1100 kilometers or 680 miles north of its intended destination of Perth.

    About 36 passengers and crew members were injured, with over a dozen severe injuries. Reportedly, several occupants were slammed into the ceiling during the event. Most of the injuries were to passengers and crew in the rear of the aircraft, and at least one person was carried off the plane in a stretcher. About 13 of the most seriously injured were flown to Perth by four aircraft from the Royal Flying Doctor Service. One flight attendant was hospitalized with suspected head and spinal injuries. Other serious injuries included fractures, lacerations, and a concussion.
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  1. 1 June 2009; Air France A330-200; Flight 447; Atlantic Ocean: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Paris, France. The aircraft crashed in the Atlantic Ocean in an area roughly 390 miles (650 kilometers) northeast of Brazil's Fernando de Noronha islands, which are about 220 miles (354 kilometers) off the northeast coast of Brazil. Debris from the aircraft was found near the estimated position of its last radio communication. All 216 passengers and 12 crew members, together representing over 30 nationalities, are missing and presumed dead.
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    25 December 2009; Northwest Airlines A330-300 (N820NW); Flight 253; near Detroit, MI: A passenger on a Northwest Airlines A330-300(N820NW) apparently attempted to detonate an explosive device while the aircraft was approaching Detroit. Flight 253 was an international flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, and early reports are that a passenger, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian national, allegedly had the device strapped to one of his legs, and that the device was triggered during descent (about 20 minutes before landing) and started a small fire.

    The flight, operated by Northwest Airlines using an Airbus 330-300 aircraft with 278 passengers and 11 crew members on board, landed safely, and the suspect, the only person injured, was transported to a local hospital for treatment of serious burns. This plane crash resulted in no fatalities, and is not a fatal event as defined by AirSafe.com, but is included because of the seriousness of the event.
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  2. 12 May 2010; Afriqiyah Airways; A330-200; Flight 771; near Tripoli, Libya: The aircraft was on a scheduled international flight from Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB) to Tripoli, Libya (TIP) with 93 passengers and 11 crew on board. The aircraft crashed short of the runway during its landing attempt. All 11 crew members and 92 of the 93 passengers were killed. The sole survivor was a 10-year-old Ductch boy.
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    Fatal Events for Airlines from Africa and the Middle East
    Plane Crashes with a Sole Survivor
    Afriqiyah Airways Wikipedia page


Other Airbus Models
A300 , A310, A320, A330, A340, A380

Related information
Recent plane crashes
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Plane crashes by model
Plane crash rates by model

Airbus A330 plane crashes
http://www.airsafe.com/events/models/a330.htm -- Revised: 27 September 2014