Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Henan Airlines Embraer 190 crash at Yichun City, China

by B. N. Sullivan

An Embraer E190 aircraft (registration B-3130) operated by Henan Airlines has crashed at Yichun City, in northeastern China.  The accident happened late in the evening of August 24, 2010, as the aircraft, operating as Henan Flight VD8387, was landing at Yichun following a scheduled flight from Harbin, China.

Early reports about the accident suggest a runway excursion during the landing roll.  There was a post-crash fire.  China's Xinhua news agency reports 91 souls on board, and some survivors, but no further details at this point. [Edit: Later reports mention five crew and 91 passengers, for a total of 96 on board.]

There was some initial confusion among Western media sources about the name of the airline.  Henan Airlines is a regional Chinese carrier based in northern China.  Henan Airlines was formerly known as Kunpeng Airlines.  The name was changed to Henan Airlines in 2009.   This is not the same as Hainan Airlines, which is a much larger Chinese carrier, based at Haikou, Hainan.

At one point, Mesa Air Group was a financial partner in the carrier (when it was called Kunpeng Airlines), but Mesa sold its shares in mid-2009.

UPDATE: China's Xinhua news agency is now reporting that  this accident resulted in 43 fatalities.   Xinhua also reports that 53 injured survivors have been hospitalized.  Xinhua says the time of the accident was 21:36L.

UPDATE Aug 25, 2010: It has been reported that the captain of this flight is among the survivors, although he is reported to be seriously injured.

The Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and Flight Data Recorder (FDR) have been recovered from the wreckage.

Readers may be interested in the Aviation Herald's report on this accident, which includes some details about the weather at the time of the crash; METARs; and some still photos of the crash site.

Here is some video footage of the crash site, shot by news organizations:

Video: 42 die in plane crash in Yichun CCTV News - CNTV English

AP Raw Video (Chinese narration):

If the video does not play or display properly above, click here to view it on YouTube.