English historian recalls Menderes aircraft accident

            By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal</p>  <p>SURREY, UK (AA) – Adnan Menderes, the ninth prime minister of Turkey and founder of the Democrat Party, was the country’s first popularly elected leader and served between 1950 and 1960.</p>  <p>Menderes was arrested by a military junta after a coup that targeted Turkish democracy in May 1960 and executed in 1961.</p>  <p>What is probably less known is that he survived a plane crash on Feb. 17, 1959 near a small English village called Newdigate in Surrey while on his way to London for a conference on Cyprus.</p>  <p>Anadolu Agency visited Jordan’s Wood -- the crash site, about 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) from Gatwick Airport -- on the 60th anniversary of the fatal air accident.</p>  <p>John Callcut, chairman of the Newdigate Local History Society, was only 11 years old when the Turkish Airlines plane crashed into the woods. But as a local historian, he knows the details of the accident and what happened afterwards.</p>  <p>Travelling to the accident site with Anadolu Agency, Callcut said it was an incident that received a great amount of attention not only from Turkish reporters but also from international media.</p>  <p> “Mr. Menderes was coming to England to discuss the Cyprus problem with Harold MacMillan, the [then British] PM…and he was going to meet the Greek premier. So it was a very, very high-profile meeting he was coming for. After the crash, of course, it made headlines,” he said.</p>  <p>Callcut said the incident was covered by newsreel and documentary producer British Pathe news, as it was a big deal at the time.</p>  <p>Visiting the actual crash site in Jordan’s Wood with the Anadolu Agency team, Callcut spoke about the accident.</p>  <p>“In 1959, the Turkish airliner flew over here in fog and crashed into these woods. On board [was] Mr. Prime Minister [Adnan] Menderes.”</p>  <p>The local historian said Menderes survived the crash into the thick woods and local farmers assisted him shortly after he managed to walk away from the burning wreckage.</p>  <p>“Tony and Margaret Bailey heard a noise. It was not a normal aircraft noise, it was a different aircraft noise.</p>  <p>“They realized something was wrong and Tony Bailey left his home...the Ivyhouse Farm, jumped in his car, drove down the road and found three people coming out of the fog. One was Mr. Menderes.”</p>  <p>Callcut said Tony Bailey drove Menderes and two other survivors back to his farmhouse.</p>  <p>The crash caused great anxiety in Turkey when the bad news traveled in a short time, but Callcut said the Turkish premier recovered quickly at Redhill Hospital and visited the Baileys at their farm.</p>  <p>The accident claimed the lives of 14 people on board, including then-Director General of Anadolu Agency Serif Arzik, then-Press and Tourism Minister Ali Server Somuncuoglu and then-principal clerk of the prime ministry Muzaffer Ersu. </p>  <p>Callcut said the accident was one of the most significant events that ever happened in the area, while showing related pages in a local history book he compiled with the Newdigate Society.</p>  <p><br>
  • Accident report

“Lifted fog or low stratus covered the higher ground, restricting visibility in places to 100-200 yards [92-183 meters],” said a report released by British aviation authorities, describing the weather situation at the time of the crash.

“Inspection at the scene of the accident showed that the aircraft had flown into the tops of trees,” the report said.

“The aircraft began to disintegrate as it descended through the trees…until the wheels made contact with the ground. After rising again slightly, the main part of the wreckage came to rest about 100 yards further on and then caught fire. A few minutes later, an explosion occurred.”

It also said “the evidence is insufficient to establish the cause of the accident”.

– End of an era

One year after his government was toppled by a military junta, Menderes was hanged on Sept. 17, 1961 on the small Marmara Sea island of Imrali.

Menderes was one of the three senior Democrat Party officials hanged on that day. The other two were Fatin Rustu Zorlu and Hasan Polatkan, the foreign and finance ministers of the Menderes government.

Accused of violating the Turkish Constitution and embezzling funds from the state, all three were tried by a military court on the island of Yassiada to the southeast of Istanbul along with all senior officials of Menderes’ party.

Bangladeshi victims returned to families after crash

By Mutasim Billah

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – The bodies of 23 Bangladeshi passengers who were killed in an accident at Nepal's Trivuban International Airport have been brought back here Monday by a Bangladesh Air Force cargo plane.

The flight landed at 4 p.m. (1000 GMT) at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.

The bodies of 26 Bangladesh passengers have been identified among 49 souls who perished when a US-Bangla Airlines plane crashed March 12 at the airport in Kathmandu with 71 people onboard.

"DNA tests will be required for identifying the three other victims if all other methods fail,” said Kamrul Islam, general manager, marketing support and public relations for airlines.

He said funerals for the victims were held around 5:25 p.m. (1125 GMT).

After the funeral, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader placed wreaths on behalf of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Military Secretary to President Maj. Gen. Md Sarwar Hossain also placed wreaths on behalf of President M Abdul Hamid.

The bodies were then handed over to victims’ relatives.

Authorities believe the plane crashed because the pilot failed to follow instructions from the control tower and said recordings between the pilot and the tower indicated confusion about the direction the plane should land.

Russian military aircraft crashes in Syria, 32 dead

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – A Russian military transport aircraft An-26 has crashed in Syria while landing at the Hmeimim airport, killing all 32 people on board, according to the Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday.

A total of 26 passengers and six crew members were aboard, all of whom died, the ministry said in a written statement.

The plane collided with the ground just 500 meters from the runway, it said.

Technical malfunction is being considered as a reason for the crash, it added.

A special commission of the Defense Ministry was examining all possibilities into the crash.

Russia: Iced speed probes may have led to plane crash

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – The crash of An-148 passenger aircraft on Sunday may have been caused by ice on speed probes which led to incorrect information on the plane’s airspeed, an aviation committee said on Tuesday.

Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), which investigates aircraft incidents, decoded the data of the flight recorder and stated the aircraft instruments in the flight desk started producing incorrect speed data because of icing.

According to the initial analysis of the data available, IAC said the heating system was switched off before the take-off. The emergency situation began to develop 2 minutes 30 seconds after the take-off at an altitude of about 1,300 meters, it added.

Around the same time the plane disappeared from radar.

Later, the wreckage of the aircraft was found in Moscow’s suburbs. Six crew members and 65 passengers, including a child, were onboard. No one survived.

UPDATE 2 – Russian airplane crashes in Moscow suburbs

UPDATES WITH TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER’S CONDOLENCES

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – There were no survivors in the crash of a Russian passenger aircraft carrying 71 people in Moscow suburbs Sunday, according to Transport Prosecutor's Office.

Flight AN-148 operated by Saratov Airlines crashed near Ramenskoe town, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations said in a statement.

Aboard the flight were six crew members and 65 passengers, including a child.

The airplane disappeared from radars minutes after take-off from Domodedovo Airport.

Transport Prosecutor's office announced that everyone aboard died in the crash. Only two bodies had been found so far.

The flight recorder and parts of fuselage have been found and sent for analysis to determine cause of the crash, the office added.

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu talked to his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov over phone to offer his condolences, according to a diplomatic source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

UPDATE – Russian airplane crashes in Moscow suburbs

UPDATES WITH NO SURVIVORS, 2 BODIES FOUND SO FAR

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – There were no survivors in the crash of a Russian passenger aircraft carrying 71 people in Moscow suburbs Sunday, according to Transport Prosecutor's Office.

Flight AN-148 operated by Saratov Airlines crashed near Ramenskoe town, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations said in a statement.

Aboard the flight were six crew members and 65 passengers, including a child.

The airplane disappeared from radars minutes after take-off from Domodedovo Airport.

Transport Prosecutor's office announced that everyone aboard died in the crash. Only two bodies had been found so far.

The flight recorder and parts of fuselage have been found and sent for analysis to determine cause of the crash, the office added.

Russian airplane crashes in Moscow suburbs

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – A Russian airplane with 71 people on board crashed in Moscow's suburbs Sunday, emergency officials said.

Passenger flight AN-148 operated by Saratov Airlines crashed near Ramenskoe town, said the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations in a statement.

Six crew members and sixty-five passengers, including a child, were on board when the flight departed from Domodedovo Airport.

The airplane disappeared from the radars minutes after the taking-off.

Reports of the crash first appeared on social media websites.

Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov and rescue services are trying to reach the crash site.