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Author Topic: Royal Air Maroc 200  (Read 13442 times)
znymz
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« on: January 21, 2008, 05:38:59 AM »

Doubt there any feeds of the North Atlantic HF (High Frequencies) and I have seen nothing on any news reports.

Sunday, January 20th, 1520Z, Royal Air Maroc 200 with 177 crew and passengers on board, from Casablanca to New York, JFK cracked a windshield and loss cabin pressure. The aircraft at the time was at flight level 370 at approximate position 38 north latitude and 41 west longitude. The aircraft radioed "mayday mayday" and made an emergency decent to flight level 100 and received atc clearance to Lajes airport in the Azores Islands. The aircraft landed safely at 1736Z.

Anyone hear anything else?
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geust
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2008, 01:27:32 PM »

I can confirm it.  I was on the flight. 

It was not a rapid depressurization and the oxygen masks never deployed.  I awoke to the pilot nosing the plane over and yelling something in French or Arabic about depressurization.  After getting to 10,000 feet, they turned the plane around and flew two hours back to the Azores. 

There is a whole bunch of ugliness about RAM, but I don't think this is the forum for that. 

Needless to say, I did not get back on a RAM flight. 

Can you provide a link to the text below or let me know how you found out?




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khaled
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2008, 10:23:23 PM »

I found a letter in the net by Dr. Aicha ELBASRI, presidente du comite des passegers to LA RAM PDG describing the incident and what happened.

Here is the link:

http://www.yabiladi.com/article-societe-2289.html


And the person who was in the plane, could you see her description of the incident accurate. I was told that this incident was not talked about in the morrocan TV.

I hope the passengers take this incident seriously and make a follow up with Ms Aisha El Basri

Hamdollah 3alsa salamet every body...

I feel sad that the scared passengers did not receive a proper treatment especially (le support moral) from the crew. Yes, the crew was also scared but hello it is their the job and they know the risks/

KK
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geust
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2008, 03:43:48 PM »

Wow, that is crazy.  RAM was useless and so were the SATA folks who fly flights from that airport. 

The issue is that most of the people were Morroccan and need a visa to enter any country (including the azores).  So they have to be held and accounted for.  I was in the airport for two hours and honestly felt odd as one of the few people raising a ruckus.  I should also state that I was one of about 3 people whose cell phones worked. 

Since there was no way I was getting back on a RAM flight, I booked a flight on Air Portugal to Lisbon and went to immigration and demanded to leave.  They were reluctant, but I waved around my American passport, stated that there was no way I was getting back on a RAM flight, and showed them my flight confirmation number for Air Portugal.  At that point they saw some sense to what I was saying and let me leave.  Me and two others were the only ones who got out that night. 

I could see where the situation was heading when I was stuck in the airport.  RAM is not a big airline and dealing well with the logistics of a stranded plane and 170 people looked like real long odds for such a small company. 

You get what you pay for...
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bogman
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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2008, 06:08:00 PM »

 

Since there was no way I was getting back on a RAM flight, I booked a flight on Air Portugal to Lisbon and went to immigration and demanded to leave.  They were reluctant, but I waved around my American passport, stated that there was no way I was getting back on a RAM flight, and showed them my flight confirmation number for Air Portugal.  At that point they saw some sense to what I was saying and let me leave.  Me and two others were the only ones who got out that night. 

I could see where the situation was heading when I was stuck in the airport.  RAM is not a big airline and dealing well with the logistics of a stranded plane and 170 people looked like real long odds for such a small company. 

You get what you pay for...



Wow Geust,even reading this I felt scared,can imagine what the immigration guys felt like.

Not a nice situation to be stuck in though gald to see it worked out for you.

Can you claim back from RAM for the other flights you had to book.
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MathFox
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The Flying Fox


« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2008, 05:40:30 AM »

Lajes (LPLA, TER) is an airbase that is open for commercial flights. From the commercial terminal there are about two dozen flights daily to the other islands of the Azores and two daily flights to Lisbon. The only international flight is SATA to Boston, twice a week in the season.

RAM landed safely on a regional airport, which barely has the facilities to handle international arrivels. I am surprised that you could find an immigration officer on duty.
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geust
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2008, 03:25:21 PM »

For those interested, here is our flight path.  (Thanks to Khaled for the link)

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leila
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2008, 11:16:59 AM »

I was on that flight too in the economy class but I wasn’t asleep when it happened. I was watching Crow Russel movie  3:10  to Yuma - the only choice we had - when I felt a large shock that moved the plane and started a fast drop in altitude. Then I heard the captain’s message in both French and English – don’t think he spoke in Arabic –  shouting, alerting the crew to get ready for ‘une depressurisation rapide” and talking about the oxygen masks. The hostesses who were running fast and very panicked also shouted something about using the oxygen masks. They all went in the front and run back in panic. I remember the discomfort in my ears while I was looking at another passenger in the aisle who was putting her hands over her ears. We were waiting for the masks to come down. They never did. Like all or most of passengers I was worried because I could feel that the pressure in the cabin didn’t feel right and didn’t understand what was happening The aircraft kept its rapid descent …can’t say for how long though. It just felt too long with the fear we were facing. After we supposedly stabilized, the captain spoke and said that the windshield had cracked forcing the crew to go down from 10000 to 3000 meters and that everything was under control. He also announced the emergency landing in Azores Island. The rest of the story was another nightmare. 
Geust, you were smart. You did the right thing. I think if I had the American passport I would’ve done the same thing since I canceled my return ticked to Casablanca and the RAM refused to reimburse me anyway. Sine you’re one of the 3 passengers who left the airport right on time, you must’ve been the one who first sat next to me and asked for another seat because yours was broken. It couldn’t stand upright. I wish I stopped remembering every detail about that nightmare. For your information a legal action is being taken against the RAM…the fact that the cabin was depressurized (whether it was rapid or not that’s a technical debate) and no masks came down is scary and the airlines should be held accountable for. Interestingly enough, the Association of Moroccan pilots reported that the masks were deployed: http://www.ampl.ma/actualite_detail.php?id=1007
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geust
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2008, 09:21:57 PM »

Leila,

Good memory-- that was me who was originally sitting next to you!  The plane is so crap that the seats were broken and various things were held together with tape! 

Sorry you didn't have a companion next to you during that experience.  It certainly helped having someone next to me who could translate.  Though I would have been no help not being able to understand French at all.

One thing about the flight that I vividly remember is that after the incident while we still in flight I noticed that all of the older people around me had their prayer beads out.  They were working them furiously.  If I had a set, I could have found some use for them!


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znymz
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2008, 02:57:06 PM »


Can you provide a link to the text below or let me know how you found out?


First hand account. I'm the atc that cleared the flight to divert to the Azores. Fellow 20 year veteran next to me worked the phones with Santa Maria Center while I worked the frequency with the pilot.

Glad you made it okay. Personally, if it isn't an airline run from a western or modern asian country, I avoid like the plague.
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ilias
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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2008, 04:05:16 PM »

I'd have pissed my pants if i was a passenger  shocked
I am Moroccan (27 y/o) and I've been flying with RAM since I could remember.  Only one thing that ever happened. And I am surprised the cabin was in bad shape as I think their first 767 is only 6 years (and they got them new). Don't the O2 mask come down automatically?? maybe the differential pressure wasn't high enough?
Now, here's what happened once (maybe about 12-13 years ago). I was flying with RAM, New York-Montreal-Casablanca on a 747. When we landed in Montreal, apparently they found a engine problem that couldnt be immediately fixed. After 2-3 hours in the plane and no luck, they had us all disembark and wait in an enclosed area . Then after another couple hours they decided to just take us to a hotel. I don't remember anything about customs. However, they did take care of us during this whole ordeal and i don't remember if we were given any compensations.
I don't consider RAM to be a minor company. They're one of the major african airlines (probably after egyptair and South African), but it's not saying much.

I just thought I'd chime in since i've always flown RAM internationally and I consider myself a very satisfied customer. However due to monopoly, their prices sometimes are pretty high.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 04:07:43 PM by ilias » Logged
abbas
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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2008, 04:59:38 PM »

hi Leila,   in response to your last message , I inform you that the information about RAM200 incident was published firstly by <crash-aerien.com/forum on 01/25/08.  The Moroccan pilot association <AMPL.MA> reports the same information on 01/27/08 (text is identical) ,regrettably without quoting his source. 
   The incident is actually a emergency landing at Lajes after a cracking of outer pane of cockpit windshield is detected by the crew.The pressurization was normal all time ,the descent to flight level 100 was a precautionary decision in respect of emergency checklist.These kind of incident happened in the past to many compagnies (including western and asian ones) and it is not question of qualite of maintenance.
   Maintenance of RAM's aircrafts is accomplished according to international standarts ,approved by JAR and FAA autorities.
   NB:leila elbasria,par vos propos mensengers et exageres ,vous encouragez certains intervenants a nous crasher leur racisme a la figure.
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geust
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2008, 05:34:52 PM »

Abbas,

No need to speak in french to advise Lelia or use last names.  While I think the true extent of the emergency was exaggerated on board, I think RAM is partly to blame with their control of the cabin and handling afterwards.  And while RAM is a major carrier in Africa, they are a ill prepared for such an emergency.  As a westerner, I would never fly them again due to their inability to handle contingencies.  And honestly, after landing, I think they did the best they could under the could under the circumstances (knowing the resources of the company). 

I have also researched window cracking.... it seems very rare and the pilots did the right thing.  There are a number of reasons that the windows can crack.... chance, window heater failure, etc.  There is a very small maintenance component to the probability but I am Delta Airlines does a great deal of RAM's maintenance now.  So it cannot simply be blamed on RAM being a "third world carrier"

znymz:  Out of curiosity, can you provide any further information?  When I walked off the plane, I looked for cracks and did not see a 'crazed' window.  Was it a small crack?  How long was the plane in the Azores?

 


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abbas
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2008, 04:33:21 AM »

geust,
           je m excuse de vous repondre en francais ,langue que je maitrise mieux que l anglais.
    Tout d abord ,je loue l honnetete intellectuelle  avec laquelle vous avez relate les faits de cet incident.
    j ai eu l occasion de le mentionner dans le forum de "YABILADI". J admire aussi votre facon "philosophique "d aborder les evenements.
          Pour repondre a vos interrogations ,sachez qu il s agissait de la glace L1 (left ,forward) et c est un cracking generalise reduisant la visibilite a plus de 90%. La cause est probalement un defaut au niveau du "windshield heating" ;cela peut arriver meme a des avions neufs.
          La RAM a envoyer un avion (CN RNT) le soir meme avec equipe de techniciens et de materiel.L avion en panne( CN ROG) est depanne et a quitte  en debut de soiree  du 01/21/08 LAJES pour Casablanca.
         Imaginez un peu que le meme incident est arrivee a une grande Compagnie ,vous croyez vraiment que le temps d escale et les desagrements en serait reduits pour autant?
         La RAM est une petite Compagnie ,dans un pays du tiers-monde c est vrai,mais les statistiques de securite de 50 ans d existence n ont rien a envier aux Majeurs.DE plus on est dans une economie liberale,et chacun est libre de ses choix.
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