China Aviation Law
26Sep/10Off

Virtual Airlines

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This was a very interesting article on the Yichun crash. What amazes me is that the crew was willing to make this flight with little experience, low ifr, and having never flown the route before. This is an example of how poorly the Chinese pilots are trained.

While other airlines had already cancelled evening services from Harbin to Yichun, an airline captain from Henan Airlines attempted to fly the route for the first time on August 24. The plane ended up crashing as it attempted to land at Yichun's small Lindu airport, the crash claimed the lives of 42 passengers and another 54 were injured.

According to a security report of the Heilongjiang branch of Southern Airlines released in August 2009, due to seasonal weather conditions and the location of the newly-constructed Yichun Lindu Airport, they concluded that it was not safe to offer night flights along the route. Southern Airlines decided that, as of September 1 that year, they would no longer fly the route at night.

However, at 20:51 on August 24, Qi Quanjun, a pilot with Henan Airlines took off in an E-190 aircraft, this was Qi's first flight along the route. When coming in to land at the Yichun airport at about 9.30pm in poor conditions that reduced visibility to less than 300 meters, the plane crashed 690 meters short of the runway. According to the official government report, 42 passengers died and another 54 were injured in the crash. The pilot was badly injured but did not die. Many of the original media reports stated that 43 passengers had died, but authorities have since confirmed that only 42 people died in the crash.

Source: http://www.eeo.com.cn/ens/Industry/2010/09/03/179870.shtml

The problems of the regional airlines in the US are only compounded by corruption, poor experience and young mangers in China. Henan Airlines is a prime example of this. It looks like the president of the company, who has now be removed / arrested for embezzlement from Shenzhen Airlines, used the company as his personal money laundering vehicle.

23Sep/10Off

Families of victims in Yichun air crash to sue GE

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"Families of victims in a recent air crash in northeastern China are planning to sue the General Electric Co (GE) for the US conglomerate's role as engine maker in the fatal accident, a lawyer said Thursday.

Wang Xinquan, with the Beijing Guo & Partners law firm, told the Global Times that more than 10 families of victims in the crash in Yichun have expressed their intentions to lodge a lawsuit against GE through his firm.

"The crashed aircraft was made by the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer. But its CF34-10E engine is a GE product. According to US law, if … the design or quality of the engine is related to the air crash, GE must be liable for compensation," he said."

Source: Global Times - http://china.globaltimes.cn/society/2010-09/574391.html

I think it'll be a hard case to show that the engines had any cause to this accident. The more interesting case will be against Embraer. Many of these 170/190s are built in China at their Tianjin factory. If the aircraft did breakup in flight, it could be from shoddy Q/A in the factory.

I am glad that not all of the victim's families settled.