Amazon Air Cargo Plane Operated by Atlas Crashes in Texas, Killing 3 on Board

Megalith

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A twin-engine Boeing 767, branded as part of Amazon’s Prime Air fleet, crashed yesterday at around 12:45 PM in Houston and killed the three crewmembers who were onboard. The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office says one body has been recovered thus far. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the flight crew, their families and friends along with the entire team at Atlas Air during this terrible tragedy. We appreciate the first responders who worked urgently to provide support,” said Dave Clark, SVP of worldwide operations at Amazon.

“This is to confirm that an Atlas Air 767 cargo aircraft Flight No. 3591 operating from Miami to Houston has been involved in an accident this afternoon,” reads a statement from Atlas. “We understand the aircraft went down near the city of Anahuac, Texas, in the Trinity Bay. We can confirm there were three people on board the aircraft. Those people and their family members are our top priority at this time. Atlas Air is cooperating fully with the FAA and NTSB. We will update as additional information becomes available.”
 

Zepher

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This is kinda morbid but I was just thinking the other day that there hasn't been a plane crash recently. The reason I was thinking about it is because one of my favorite shows is Air Crash Investigation, or Mayday for other parts of the world.

I do feel bad for the crewmembers that died.
 

viscountalpha

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It's a roll of the dice. Those giant planes always run the risk of a catastrophic failure. I wish the families well though. Hopefully they didn't suffer.
 

Spidey329

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I'm going to take a guess and say this will come back to maintenance.

This is kinda morbid but I was just thinking the other day that there hasn't been a plane crash recently. The reason I was thinking about it is because one of my favorite shows is Air Crash Investigation, or Mayday for other parts of the world.

I do feel bad for the crewmembers that died.
Love that show, although the person sitting next to me usually doesn't care for my inflight entertainment choice.
 

hitched

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So umm on another note, i am really curious what happens to the packages on board? Amazon just re-ships them and digs through what is left for items that are salvageable?
 

Krenum

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I wonder if that storm font that came in had anything to do with it, the winds were pretty strong here in North Texas yesterday after it came through. Maybe wind sheer downed it. Sad day, just people trying to make a days pay and this happens. Life is a fragile thing....
 

primetime

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I wonder if that storm font that came in had anything to do with it, the winds were pretty strong here in North Texas yesterday after it came through. Maybe wind sheer downed it. Sad day, just people trying to make a days pay and this happens. Life is a fragile thing....
dam thing crashed in water too...must have been in a really bad stall when it went down? Am i a sicko for wanting to see the prison cam of the plane going down?
 

Krenum

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dam thing crashed in water too...must have been in a really bad stall when it went down? Am i a sicko for wanting to see the prison cam of the plane going down?
Yeah, it nose dived. I bet wind sheer got it as it was on final approach, the plane going southbound & the storm coming from the west to east. What I don't get is why the flight wasn't diverted from the storm front? I remember a flight I took from Baltimore to Dallas, had to stop in Arkansas because of storms.
 

Wade88

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Safety rules for commercial passenger carrying are somewhat different from ones for pure air freight like what crashed in TX. If they had landed in Little Rock or Memphis they would have only been late.
 

[Spectre]

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Safety rules for commercial passenger carrying are somewhat different from ones for pure air freight like what crashed in TX. If they had landed in Little Rock or Memphis they would have only been late.
What rules are those exactly once you reduce them to cover the comparable aspects of operation (ie fire supression in main deck cargo is done differently than with passengers)?
 

Private_Ops

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Not more so than anything else and certainly less of a roll of the dice than highway bound traffic. Modern air travel is extraordinarily safe.

I'd rather stay on the ground personally. And as a career railroader I feel far more safe on the rails than the pavement.

Doesn't mean there isn't a chance of failure or human error though.
 

Wade88

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What rules are those exactly once you reduce them to cover the comparable aspects of operation (ie fire supression in main deck cargo is done differently than with passengers)?
I mean the likelihood of delaying a jet for weather is higher for passenger flights, time is money and dead bodies sometimes bring lawsuits. An airliner crash can spawn hordes of lawsuits. There were only 3 people on this cargo jet and time is money, sometimes people continue on when they shouldn't. It isn't just cargo jets, ships as well. Remember the El Faro? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_El_Faro
 

[Spectre]

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I mean the likelihood of delaying a jet for weather is higher for passenger flights, time is money and dead bodies sometimes bring lawsuits. An airliner crash can spawn hordes of lawsuits. There were only 3 people on this cargo jet and time is money, sometimes people continue on when they shouldn't. It isn't just cargo jets, ships as well. Remember the El Faro? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_El_Faro
That didn't answer my question. What rules, exactly?
 

maro

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I wonder if that storm font that came in had anything to do with it, the winds were pretty strong here in North Texas yesterday after it came through. Maybe wind sheer downed it.
I live southeast of Trinity Bay, and the weather was not great but not too bad, at least at ground level. There were some scattered storms about but not as severe as what blew through north Texas.

That area is very popular with duck hunters. There are large areas of mostly swampland and shallow waters that ducks and geese love, so I was thinking bird strike, but that wouldn't really explain why it nose-dived.
The swampy marshlands are making recovery more difficult and afaik they still have not recovered the FDR's. It will probably be months before we really know, if at all. One of the occupants was a Mesa Air pilot jump-seating it to Houston. Terrible tragedy, thoughts to the families of the 3 crew.

I'm going to take a guess and say this will come back to maintenance.
Supposedly that 767 was previously owned by Canadian Air, China Southern, and LATAM (Chile) before Atlas got it and contracted it out to Amazon.
 

Zepher

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I live southeast of Trinity Bay, and the weather was not great but not too bad, at least at ground level. There were some scattered storms about but not as severe as what blew through north Texas.

That area is very popular with duck hunters. There are large areas of mostly swampland and shallow waters that ducks and geese love, so I was thinking bird strike, but that wouldn't really explain why it nose-dived.
The swampy marshlands are making recovery more difficult and afaik they still have not recovered the FDR's. It will probably be months before we really know, if at all. One of the occupants was a Mesa Air pilot jump-seating it to Houston. Terrible tragedy, thoughts to the families of the 3 crew.



Supposedly that 767 was previously owned by Canadian Air, China Southern, and LATAM (Chile) before Atlas got it and contracted it out to Amazon.

There was a cargo crash a number of years ago where a 3rd person was jump-seating and killed the air crew and crashed the plane, hope this isn't the same.

EDIT: he didn't kill them, they were able to subdue him and land safely, got my episodes mixed up,
"On 7 April 1994, Auburn Calloway, a disgruntled employee, attempts to hijack Federal Express Flight 705 armed with hammers and a speargun. Despite sustaining serious injuries, the crew successfully subdue Calloway and returns the aircraft safely to Memphis International Airport."
 

[Spectre]

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There was a cargo crash a number of years ago where a 3rd person was jump-seating and killed the air crew and crashed the plane, hope this isn't the same.
And what flight was that? Because it hasn't happened in the US.
 

Zepher

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And what flight was that? Because it hasn't happened in the US.
Check my edit above.

The one I got mixed up with was the one where the employee took a gun on the plane and shot his supervisor, then the pilots and then crashed the plane.

"On 7 December 1987, Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 crashes at the speed of sound on a mountainside in rural San Luis Obispo County, California. All 43 people on board are killed. Investigators found that passenger David Burke, a former USAir employee, took a gun on board the aircraft and shot the pilots in a murder-suicide plot to kill his former supervisor (who was also a passenger on board) after being fired from his job days earlier."
 

Exavior

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your original post was worded to imply that the FAA has different rules and regulations for freight vs passenger planes. Such as pilots flying cargo can be forced to fly 40 hours straight with no sleep vs the 9 a normal airline pilot can fly in 24 hours. Or that the FAA might ground a commercial airliner for a aircraft unable to pass certain inspects but clear the plane if they know that no passengers will be on it for failure of important factors, say engine two cuts out at random but starts to work again after a 15 - 20 minutes.

he wants to know the exact law(s) that the FAA makes exceptions to for cargo vs passenger. All you have done is listed reasons somebody might bend the laws a little or ignore a few normal processes. Semi drivers normally drive till they blow a tire due to the cost. Also some drivers drive more than they are suppose to. That doesn't mean that safety and driving laws that apply to everyone suddenly are tossed out the window for semis. Semis can't drive the wrong way on a road just because they want to because that would cut some time off a trip. They can't drive when all roads are shut down. They can't drive 90 in a 45 area...

So what are the FAA regulations that all passenger flights must follow but cargo carrying flights don't have to?
 

Exavior

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I mean the likelihood of delaying a jet for weather is higher for passenger flights, time is money and dead bodies sometimes bring lawsuits. An airliner crash can spawn hordes of lawsuits. There were only 3 people on this cargo jet and time is money, sometimes people continue on when they shouldn't. It isn't just cargo jets, ships as well. Remember the El Faro? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_El_Faro
your example is a ship that left when it was fine to do so and then got caught by a storm that got worse on them and changed its path. This is on par with leaving your house when it is cloudy out and the news reports 10% chance of rain and getting caught in a thunderstorm 1 hour later. In the case of this ship you can make lots of points after the fact. However at thr time they left there was no hurricane and their path should have kept them hundreds of miles from the storms path, meaning it was expected to be safe. That is different than them being forced or expected to sail right into the eye of a category 5 hurricane, which is what you are trying to say is a requirement by the FAA for all cargo flights.
 

sirmonkey1985

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Yeah, it nose dived. I bet wind sheer got it as it was on final approach, the plane going southbound & the storm coming from the west to east. What I don't get is why the flight wasn't diverted from the storm front? I remember a flight I took from Baltimore to Dallas, had to stop in Arkansas because of storms.
as far as i know air freight pilots have more digression about whether or not they divert.. theres been a few times where the spokane airport has shut down due to dense fog or heavy snow but UPS with their 787's and FedEx with their 767's will still make at least 1 landing attempt before diverting to seattle since they typically don't have enough fuel to make a second attempt and get to Seattle which is the only other airport in range that can handle either planes. but on the other hand the contract company FedEx used during peak season in 2017 refused to ever make an attempt to land in any type of fog or weather.
 

YeuEmMaiMai

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Riccochet

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Wind yesterday was terrible, putting it lightly. My wife flew from Philly to Charlotte. She said the plane came in damn near sideways from the cross wind, bounced 3 times and was being pushed sideways as they were coming to a stop. As they were taxi'ing to the terminal the whole plane was rocking side to side so bad that a passenger got sick.

I would have to guess that wind played a roll in this crash. Possibly an unwanted shift in cargo as well.
 

aaronspink

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Wind yesterday was terrible, putting it lightly. My wife flew from Philly to Charlotte. She said the plane came in damn near sideways from the cross wind, bounced 3 times and was being pushed sideways as they were coming to a stop. As they were taxi'ing to the terminal the whole plane was rocking side to side so bad that a passenger got sick.

I would have to guess that wind played a roll in this crash. Possibly an unwanted shift in cargo as well.
Eh? Wind from Philly to Charlotte has nothing to do with wind in Houston. Wind is highly unlikely to have played any roll. Likewise, it is highly unlikely for cargo shift to play much if any role. The cargo containers are fairly light (even when full, they volume out generally well before they weight out, its typical for them to be flying with only 10-20 tons of cargo due to volume) and they tend to full fill (even with empty containers), so not much movement is possible. Also cargo shift almost always occur on take off, not at the very end of a multi-hour flight.
 

Exavior

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They should check uninhabited islands in the area. Just look for a nearly naked man with a long beard who has made friends with a volleyball.
in this day and age it would be made friends with a women named Alexa who only he can hear talk back to him.
 

Verge

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Eh? Wind from Philly to Charlotte has nothing to do with wind in Houston. Wind is highly unlikely to have played any roll. Likewise, it is highly unlikely for cargo shift to play much if any role. The cargo containers are fairly light (even when full, they volume out generally well before they weight out, its typical for them to be flying with only 10-20 tons of cargo due to volume) and they tend to full fill (even with empty containers), so not much movement is possible. Also cargo shift almost always occur on take off, not at the very end of a multi-hour flight.
Most pilot types are speculating some sort of mechanical failure.
 
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They should make a movie on this.

What's Tom Hanks up to nowadays?

edit:
They should check uninhabited islands in the area. Just look for a nearly naked man with a long beard who has made friends with a volleyball.
And that's what I get for not reading every post. :oops:
 

Methadras

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It's a roll of the dice. Those giant planes always run the risk of a catastrophic failure. I wish the families well though. Hopefully they didn't suffer.
If you've ever seen airplane crash victims, then the only thing they suffered was the fact that they knew they were going to die. The actual hitting the ground at speed, is just lights out. You feel nothing because the kinetic death is so fast that your nervous system can't process it that fast.
 

Methadras

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Unsympathetic Richard: Damn, what's the point of Prime if I can't get it the next day?
 

[Spectre]

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aye, that plane had seen some stuff over it's life. I wouldn't touch it with a 10' pole after where it had been.
That doesn't make any sense it had been through a D check and aft pressure bulkhead replacement prior to/during conversion. It was essentially a new plane from that aspect.
 
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