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Preliminary report into fatal Alaska plane crash prompts calls for new safety measures

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Preliminary report into fatal Alaska plane crash prompts calls for new safety measures

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The preliminary report into the cause of the float plane crash in Alaska last week that killed six people, including a B.C. woman, is prompting calls for new safety measures.

The U.S.-based National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its report Wednesday on the crash, which saw two float planes collide mid-air northeast of Ketchikan on May 13.

The pilot and four passengers from the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver operated by Mountain Air Service were killed, including Richmond resident Elsa Wilk and her Utah-based husband, Ryan Wilk.

Watch below: (Aired May 15) B.C. woman among those killed in crash of floatplanes in Alaska





One passenger from the larger de Havilland DHC-3 Otter operated by Taquan Air was also killed, while the pilot and nine passengers survived.

All 14 passengers on both sightseeing planes were from the Royal Princess cruise ship, on a seven-day trip from Vancouver to Anchorage which is operated by Princess Cruises.


READ MORE:
B.C. woman killed in Alaska float plane crash along with U.S. husband, friends and family say

The report says the planes were transporting passengers to Ketchikan from the Misty Fjords National Monument area 55 kilometres away.

The surviving pilot told the investigators that the flight was operating normally until he descended and was maneuvering the plane to show passengers a waterfall near Mahoney Lake.

That’s when he saw a flash on his left side before experiencing a “large, loud impact,” the report said.

Watch below: (Aired May 15) Canadian among 6 killed in midair collision in Alaska





“According to the pilot, the DHC-3 airplane then rolled right and pitched about 40 degrees nose down toward the water in George Inlet,” the report continues. “He stated that he was able to maintain some control and flare the airplane prior to impact [with the water].”

The pilot estimated the airplane went into the water “about five seconds” after the collision, which tore apart the smaller plane on impact.

Some passengers and bystanders helped the pilot evacuate other passengers from the aircraft and bring them to shore.


READ MORE:
Richmond, B.C. woman among 6 killed in Alaskan floatplane crash

Neither plane was equipped with a “black box,” or cockpit voice recorder. Other components from both planes were recovered and sent to the NTSB laboratory in Washington, D.C., for further examination.

In a little more than a week following the crash, two more fatal collisions involving float planes have occurred in Alaska.

On Monday, a passenger and the pilot of a Beaver commuter floatplane — also operated by Taquan Air — were killed when the aircraft crashed in Metlakatla Harbor. Taquan has since voluntarily suspended operations until further notice.


READ MORE:
2 dead after 2nd small plane crash in Alaska within a week

In the latest crash, a 75-year-old man died after he became trapped inside a small plane that crashed in Prince William Sound on Tuesday.

The NTSB said the crashes underscore the need for greater safety measures for charter flights, which have been recommended in its latest “Most Wanted” list of transportation safety improvements.

Those recommendations include implementing safety management systems, recording and analyzing flight data and ensuring pilots receive controlled-flight-into-terrain avoidance training.

Watch below: (Aired May 15) Alaska plane crash: Two more bodies recovered





“A customer who pays for a ticket should trust that the operator is using the industry’s best practices when it comes to safety,” NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said in a statement.

“It shouldn’t matter if the operator has one airplane or 100. Travellers should have an equivalent level of safety, regardless of the nature of the flight for which they paid.”

No probable cause has been given for the May 13 crash, which will come at the end of the investigation. The NTSB said that could take between one and two years to complete.

Preliminary reports on the other two recent crashes in Alaska are set to be released in the coming days.

—With files from Rachel D’Oro, The Associated Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu
RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA

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Harris accepts VP nomination

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Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

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