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Thursday, January 08, 2015

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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Emirates reject Delta’s apology regarding Anderson’s 9/11 comments

February 20, 2015 · 556 Views

The bitter dispute between US- and Gulf-based airlines has reached a new level after Emirates flatly rejected an open apology made concerning what was seen as incredibly tactless and insensitive remarks made by Delta’s Chief Executive, Richard Anderson. The unfortunate incident relates back to comments made by a group of American airlines that a number of the larger Gulf carriers had benefited from state subsidies amounting to a figure in excess of US$40bn. As a consequence the American airlines either wanted to renegotiate or scrap the current Open Skies agreement.
Offended by such claims, the Gulf carriers retaliated by questioning whether or not US airlines had received government subsidies totaling US$5bn in the wake of 9/11. Unfortunately Delta’s Anderson, responding to this claim on CNN, said: “It’s a great irony to have the United Arab Emirates from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula.” While the UAE and Qatar, two of the States’ allies who have offered either military or logistical support for international operations were particularly upset by these comments, Delta simply made it clear that Anderson had been responding to claims regarding post 9/11 subsidies. “He didn’t mean to suggest the Gulf carriers or their governments are linked to the 9/11 terrorists. We apologize if anyone was offended.”
Unfortunately the largest of the three main Gulf carriers did not see this as acceptable. “We believe that the statements made this week by Mr. Anderson were deliberately crafted and delivered for specific effect,” it confirmed in a statement. However US airlines continue to complain that they have lost significant numbers of bookings since 2008 as a result of Gulf competition and cited documents they indicate demonstrate aid which has allowed their competitors to offer cheap fares. In retaliation, Gulf officials say that most US carriers do not fly the same routes and are losing business only because they offer an inferior service.
This is not a dissimilar situation to the one between Gulf airlines and European carriers, including Lufthansa, and coincidentally has come at the same time as US airlines are trying to have US Exlm Bank closed down. They believe Gulf carriers are benefitting to a greater degree from the export credit agency. The tit-for-tat dialog continues with Western airlines showing concern for the safety of thousands of service industry jobs, a complaint to which Gulf carriers have responded by making it very clear they support at least as many jobs in the aerospace sector with their huge orders for aircraft.


Snecma and HAL to create joint venture and build a new production facility in India

February 20, 2015 · 655 Views

Snecma (Safran), a leading manufacturer of aircraft engines, and Hindustan Aeronautics  (HAL), a leading aerospace manufacturer, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 28th, 2015 in Bangalore to explore establishing a joint venture in India for the production of aero-engine parts.  The proposed joint venture will initially focus on the manufacture of high-tech parts for the Dassault Rafale’s Snecma M88 engine, then subsequently contribute to other major aerospace projects of HAL & Snecma, in India and worldwide. Spanning over 30,000 m², the proposed joint venture’s new plant is expected to benefit from substantial investment by the two partners, providing it with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. This agreement marks a major step forward in the long-standing collaboration between Snecma and HAL. The proposed joint venture will further broaden the scope of the excellent relations established over the past 60 years between Safran affiliates and the Indian aerospace industry. For example, Snecma manufactures the M53 engines powering the Mirage 2000H “Vajra” fighters operated by the Indian Air Force.


Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

December 2, 2014 · 197 Views

On the 7th January 2013 a fire was reported on board a Boeing 787 Dreamliner while parked at Boston’s airport in the USA. The fire was put down to a problem with one of the plane’s lithium-ion batteries. A week later an All Nippon Airways 787 Dreamliner had to make an emergency landing after smoke was discovered inside the plane which was subsequently traced back to another lithium-ion battery. As a consequence of this incident, all 787 Dreamliners were grounded until April of that year until further acceptable testing and improvements were carried out to the battery system on board the plane. The battery itself was manufactured by GS Yuasa and comprised eight individual cells making up a combined weight of 63lbs.
Nearly two years later and the results of the investigation into the first incident have concluded that the lithium-ion battery installed in the plane should not have received certification by the FAA. The National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) were also critical of Boeing who they believed had erroneously ruled out the chances of thermal runaway in its assessment of the battery’s safety. Boeing’s battery tests to obtain original certification included crushing battery cells, driving nails through them and deliberately introducing short circuits to cause failure. Boeing found “nothing adverse happened” while these tests were carried out, and so deemed the battery’s box and internal protection to be of an acceptable standard. Boeing stated that it had followed the certification process set out by the FAA. It would seem that while the cause of the fire has been clearly identified, responsibility for its occurrence has not been accepted in full by anyone.


Rolls-Royce forced to axe 2,600 jobs after second profit warning this year

November 5, 2014 · 164 Views

Back in February this year, Rolls-Royce, the FTSE-100 engine maker, lost over £3bn of its value after shocking the market with its first profits warning in a decade. To announce a second one this October has created considerable concern and Rolls-Royce has decided that over the next 18 months they need to reduce costs by up to £80m a year by axing 2,600 jobs, the majority of which will be in the aerospace sector in Britain and the United States. The focus is on Rolls-Royce’s key Trent engines as they move from the development to the production phase, which consequently requires fewer engineers.
Back in February John Rishton, Rolls-Royce group’s Chief Executive, had admitted that the future was “bumpier than I had expected”, while blaming the current problems on deteriorating economic conditions and a tit-for-tat trade war between the EU and Russia over the Ukrainian crisis which had affected its nuclear and energy business as well as its power-systems unit. This week Rishton has had to admit that “We are taking determined management action and accelerating our progress on cost. The measures announced today will not be the last; however they will contribute towards Rolls-Royce becoming a stronger and more profitable company.”
Another consequence of the situation is the unexpected departure of Finance Director, Mark Morris, leaving the company after 27 year without any explanation. He will be replaced by David Smith, who is being promoted from Finance Director of the Rolls-Royce Aerospace division. This second profit warning saw share value fall 11% to 832p, wiping a further £2bn off the company’s value. However, news of the redundancies was well received by investors and the share price rallied by 2%, currently standing at 832p. This is clear confirmation of comments made by Espirito Santo’s analyst, Ed Stacey, who indicated that investors would be expecting a clear message from the new Finance Director and tight control on all finances.


Air France-KLM selects GEnx engines for Boeing 787 fleet

March 25, 2014 · 113 Views

Air France-KLM selected the GEnx-1B engine to power its 25 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 12 leased 787 aircraft. The total engine order is valued at more than $1.7bn. Air France-KLM and GE Aviation have also signed an agreement that will allow Air France-KLM to offer maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the GEnx-1B engine. Under this agreement, Air France-KLM will be licensed to perform maintenance and overhaul work on the GEnx-1B engine and GE will provide technical support and assistance on overhaul workscoping and component repair licenses, comprehensive material support and training.


ILFC closes $1.5bn senior secured term loan

March 7, 2014 · 80 Views

International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has closed a new senior secured term loan of $1.5 billion. The loan will bear interest at LIBOR plus 275 basis points with a 0.75% LIBOR floor, is priced at 99.5% of par value, and will mature in 2021. The collateral used to support the transaction has an initial weighted average age of 9.1 years. It will be secured primarily by a first priority-perfected lien on the equity of certain of ILFC’s subsidiaries, which directly or indirectly own a pool of aircraft and related leases. ILFC plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including purchasing aircraft and supporting the company’s liquidity cushion.


Airbus Commercial reports another year of financial improvement

February 26, 2014 · 80 Views

In 2013, Airbus achieved a new industry record of 1,619 gross commercial orders (FY 2012: 914 gross orders) with net orders of 1,503 aircraft (FY 2012: 833 net orders), excluding ATR. Gross orders comprised 1,253 A320 Family aircraft, 77 A330s, 239 A350 XWBs and 50 A380s. Fourth-quarter orders included Emirates Airline’s agreement for 50 A380s and Etihad Airways’ order for 50 A350 XWBs, 36 A320neos and one A330-200F. Airbus Military (now part of Airbus Defence and Space) received 17 net orders (FY 2012: 32 net orders). Airbus’ net order intake increased sharply to €202.3bn (FY 2012: €88.9bn). At the end of 2013, Airbus’ consolidated order book was valued at €647.4bn (year-end 2012: €525.5bn). The Airbus Commercial backlog was worth €627.1bn (year-end 2012: €505.3bn), comprising 5,559 Airbus aircraft (year-end 2012: 4,682 units) and representing over eight years of production. Airbus Military’s order book was worth €20.8bn (year-end 2012: €21.1bn). Airbus series aircraft deliveries increased to 626 aircraft (FY 2012: 588 aircraft, including three A330s without revenue recognition). Airbus Military delivered 31 aircraft (FY 2012: 29 aircraft). Airbus’ consolidated revenues increased seven percent to €42,012m (FY 2012: €39,273m), reflecting higher commercial and military aircraft deliveries. The Division’s consolidated EBIT rose to €1,710m (FY 2012: €1,252m). Airbus Commercial’s revenues rose to €39,889m (FY 2012: €37,624m). The Airbus Commercial reported EBIT was €1,595m (FY 2012: €1,147m) with the EBIT before one-off at €2,216m (FY 2012: €1,669m). Airbus Commercial’s EBIT before one-off benefitted from the improved operational performance, including favourable volume, some better pricing and an improvement in A380 losses. It also included higher A350 XWB programme support costs. Revenues at Airbus Military rose to €2,893m (FY 2012: €2,131m), driven by the A400M ramp-up and higher volumes from both light and medium transport planes and tankers. The EBIT at Airbus Military was €166m (FY 2012: €93m).


Boeing Commercial Airplanes reports full year revenue of $53bn

January 29, 2014 · 76 Views

Boeing Commercial Airplanes fourth-quarter revenue increased to $14.7bn and full-year revenue increased to a record $53bn on higher delivery volume. Fourth-quarter operating margin improved to 10.3% and full-year operating margin grew to 10.9% on the higher volume, favorable delivery mix and continued strong operating performance. During the quarter, the company launched the 777X with 259 orders and commitments. During the year, the 787 program completed first flight of the 787-9, successfully launched the 787-10 and began operating at a 10 per month production rate in final assembly. The 737 program delivered at a record production rate of 38 per month and has won nearly 1,800 firm orders for the 737 MAX since launch. In 2013, a record 648 commercial aircraft were delivered. In January 2014, the company reached an eight-year contract extension through 2024 with the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District 751 (IAM). Commercial Airplanes booked 465 net orders during the quarter and 1,355 during the year. Backlog remains strong with 5,080 airplanes valued at a record $374 billion.


A350 XWB in Bolivia for high altitude testing

January 9, 2014 · 67 Views

The A350 XWB development aircraft, MSN3, is in Bolivia where it will perform a series of tests at the high altitude airfields of Cochabamba and La Paz. Cochabamba is around 8,300 feet above sea level, and La Paz is one of the world’s highest airports at 13,300 feet. Operations at such high altitude airfields are particularly demanding on aircraft engines, Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and systems. The aim of these trials is to demonstrate and validate the full functionality of engines, systems, materials as well as to assess the overall aircraft behaviour under these extreme conditions. A number of take-offs with all engines operating and with simulated engine failures are being performed at each of the airfields to collect data on engine operating characteristics and validate the aircraft take-off performance. The autopilot behaviour will also be evaluated during automatic landings and go-arounds. Since the A350 XWB’s first flight with MSN1 on June 14th 2013, over 800 flight test hours have been performed in close to 200 test flights by both MSN1 and MSN3. In total the A350 XWB flight test campaign will accumulate around 2,500 flight hours with the fleet of five aircraft. The rigorous flight testing will lead to the certification of the A350-900 by the European EASA and US FAA airworthiness authorities, prior to entry into service in Q4 2014.


Firefly welcomes first ATR 72-600

July 5, 2013 · 66 Views

Firefly, Malaysia Airlines’ subsidiary carrier has taken ownership of its first brand-new ATR 72-600. The aircraft is the first of 20 latest generation firm ATRs, plus 16 options, ordered by Malaysia Airlines in December 2012. Firefly currently operates 12 ATR 72-500s, and with the arrival of the new ATR 72-600s will almost triple its exclusively ATR 72 aircraft fleet, taking the total to over 30 aircraft.


GE’s Passport engine begins first full engine test

June 26, 2013 · 42 Views

Certification testing is underway on the first Passport development engine at GE Aviation’s Peebles Testing Operation in Ohio. The engine began ground testing on June 24th and ran for more than three hours, reaching more than 18,000 lbs. of standard day sea-level takeoff thrust. Eight Passport engines and one core will be involved in the engine certification program. Flight testing on GE’s flying testbed is scheduled for 2014. Engine certification is expected in 2015. The Passport engine certification program follows three years of validation testing. GE Aviation has conducted validation tests on the fan blisk design, including two fan blade-out rig tests, ingestion tests and a fan aero rig test to demonstrate fan efficiency. Testing is complete on the third eCore demonstrator, and GE has accumulated more than 300 hours of testing on eCore demonstrators to date.


Rolls-Royce wins order from CIT to power 23 aircraft

May 22, 2013 · 55 Views

Rolls-Royce has won an order from US leasing company CIT Aerospace for Trent XWB engines, to power ten Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and Trent 700 engines to power 13 Airbus A330 aircraft. The Trent XWB engines will power ten CIT A350 aircraft that were announced in January 2013 which were in addition to five A350 XWB aircraft already on order. The Trent XWB, specifically designed for the Airbus A350, is the fastest selling Trent engine ever, with more than 1,200 already sold. The engine variant that will power the A350-800 and -900 was awarded European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification in February. The engine will power the first flight of the Airbus A350 XWB this year and the aircraft’s first in-service flight in 2014.


FL Technics to provide base maintenance support for Turkish Pegasus Airlines

January 7, 2015 · 243 Views

FL Technics, a global provider of tailor-made aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services, is further expanding its client base in Europe and Asia by signing a Base Maintenance agreement with Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines. Under the agreement, FL Technics will provide Base Maintenance support for the carrier’s Boeing 737 NGs. Pegasus Airlines, the second largest carrier in Turkey, has already delivered its first Boeing 737-800 aircraft to FL Technics’ base maintenance facilities at Kaunas International Airport, Lithuania. The aircraft will undergo a comprehensive set of maintenance works under a 6 year C-Check program, including structure and composite repairs, NDT, technical defect rectification, etc. Additional aircraft will reach FL Technics’ Kaunas MRO base in the nearest future. All maintenance works for the first group of aircraft are expected to be concluded by May 2015 in order for Pegasus Airlines to be fully prepared for the upcoming summer season.


TP Aerospace acquires wheel and brake MRO in Florida

January 7, 2015 · 364 Views

TP Aerospace Technics LLC based in Orlando Florida, a fully equipped and operational Wheel and Brake repair business, becomes the latest addition to the TP Aerospace Group. Through an asset buy-out, TP Aerospace, a leading independent Wheel and Brake aftermarket provider, adds repair and overhaul capacity to its American branch, strategically located in central Florida. The acquisition supplements and strengths TP Aerospace’s presence in North and Latin America, allowing continued development in a growth market.


DolphiTech and Barfield sign distribution agreement

January 7, 2015 · 69 Views

DolphiTech announced the signing of a global distribution agreement with Barfield, a recognized worldwide market leader in Ground Support Test Equipment that will be distributing DolphiTech’s line of new mobile, advanced 3D ultrasound cameras. “The use of composites materials is increasing on aircraft opening up the need of new advanced technologies. Barfield, with its 70 years of aviation Ground Support Test Equipment marketing reach and its strong customers’ base has a significant presence worldwide and complements our strategy of distribution” said Jan Olav Endrerud, Chief Executive Officer of DolphiTech. In May 2014, the DolphiCam, DolphiTech’s advanced mobile and ergonomic ultrasound camera system, has been accepted for non- destructive testing (NDT) on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The DolphiCam camera system is able to inspect Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) up to 16mm (0.63″) thick, with very high resolution 2D and 3D images. DolphiTech is also working with Airbus on the certification of the technology for the new Airbus A350 XWB.


ATR appoints new Senior Vice-President Procurement

January 7, 2015 · 368 Views

David Brigante has been appointed as new Senior Vice-President of the new Procurement directorate of ATR. He will be in charge of the contract negotiations with the suppliers of the aircraft manufacturer and will report to ATR’s Chief Executive Officer Patrick de Castelbajac. He will sit on the Executive Committee. During his career, he has held a number of successive different positions within Alenia Aermacchi. Since the end of 2012 he was Senior Vice-President Customer Support and Services, being responsible for the logistics support of all military programs in Alenia Aermacchi. Previously, between 2010 and 2012 he was Senior Vice-President Procurement, and was in charge of all products and programs. From 2008 to 2010 he held the position of Senior Vice-President Industrial Control and Planning, while between 2009 and 2010 he was also in charge of the Commercial Programs of Alenia. He joined Alenia in 1988, and up to 2008 he had covered responsibilities from contract management to sales activities always within the commercial field for aerostructures.


Air Serbia select AerData STREAM software

January 7, 2015 · 94 Views

AerData, the provider of lease management, records management and engine fleet planning software announces that Air Serbia, the national airline of the Republic of Serbia, has selected AerData’s STREAM software. STREAM (Secure Technical Records for Electronic Asset Management) is the industry’s foremost web-based solution used by some of the world’s largest airlines, lessors and MROs to manage aircraft and engine records. AerData was acquired by The Boeing Company and became part of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services in May, 2014. AerData products are now part of the integrated suite of aviation services marketed as the Boeing Edge. These include parts, training, engineering, maintenance and software solutions that increase the efficiency and profitability of airlines and leasing companies.


Boeing, Qatar Airways finalize order for four 777 Freighters

January 7, 2015 · 101 Views

Boeing and Qatar Airways have finalized an order for four 777 Freighters, valued at US$1.24bn at current list prices. The airline also has purchase rights for four additional airplanes, which when exercised will bring the combined value to US$2.46bn. Qatar Airways first announced an intent to order the four 777 Freighters at the 2014 Farnborough Airshow.


Air Canada reports December load factor of 82.6%

January 7, 2015 · 68 Views

For the month of December 2014 Air Canada reported system load factor of 82.6%, on a system-wide capacity increase of 8.5%, versus a load factor of 82.7% in December 2013. On this additional capacity, system wide traffic for December increased 8.3%.


GOL announces codeshare agreement with Korean Air

January 7, 2015 · 122 Views

GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. signed a codeshare agreement with Korean Air, the biggest airline company in South Korea. This partnership is still awaiting approval of Agencia Nacional de Aviacao Civil (ANAC) and Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Economica (CADE). With this partnership Korean Air will include its code on GOL-operated flights giving its customers a greater number of connections for destinations in Brazil and America. Korean Air currently has codeshare partnerships with 29 airlines on 188 routes worldwide.


New replacement battery boxes approved for Cessna and Piper

January 7, 2015 · 73 Views

Bogert Aviation received FAA approval for stainless steel battery boxes that will replace PLASTIC, ALUMINUM and STAINLESS STEEL battery boxes in most Cessna and Piper aircraft, providing critically needed replacement battery boxes for these aging aircraft. Acid leaking from corroded or cracked battery boxes is a safety hazard and can cause expensive structural damage. Bogert Aviation boxes feature welded stainless steel construction, threaded drain and vent fittings, positive battery box venting and nylon insulators. Battery boxes have been approved for the 14 volt Cessna 150,172,180,182,185 and A188 series. New Piper models added to the STC include the PA28-161, PA31,PA23 and PA24-260B. Bogert aviation has been providing stainless steel battery boxes for the PA28,PA32, PA20/22 and the PA30/39 series since 2006.


WestJet traffic in December increased 5.1%

January 7, 2015 · 84 Views

WestJet announced December 2014 traffic results with a load factor of 80.9%. Traffic increased 5.1% year over year, and capacity grew 6.1% over the same period.


Merex Group appoints Jonathan A. Silva as President of MRO Solutions

January 7, 2015 · 453 Views

The Merex Group, a Dubin Clark & Company portfolio company, reported the appointment of Jonathan Silva to the role of President of the MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) Solutions business unit. He succeeds former MRO Solutions President, Dan Godin, who has accepted the role as the Chief Executive Officer of Air Industries (AIRI). Silva will be responsible for the full P&L, strategy, and overall leadership of all MRO business units within the Merex Group, including integrated MRO repair stations at ALCO (Livermore, CA), Kellstrom Repair Services, Inc. (Miramar, FL), High Tech Avionics & Accessories (Miramar, FL) and the International Repair Management Services Group (Miramar, FL).


JetBlue names Tony Lowery VP Technical Operations

January 7, 2015 · 520 Views

JetBlue Airways announced the appointment of Tony Lowery as the carrier’s new Vice President, Technical Operations. Lowery joins JetBlue this week to oversee the company’s engineering, maintenance, materiel, and quality functions. He will report to Jeff Martin, JetBlue’s Senior Vice President, Operations. Lowery comes to JetBlue from Qantas Airways, where he served as Head of Maintenance Operations since 2011.


Safran bolsters production capacity in Poland

January 7, 2015 · 295 Views

Safran announced today that one of its companies, Hispano-Suiza, is building a new plant in Poland with the support of Polish authorities, to meet the requirements of two other Safran companies, Snecma and Techspace Aero, for the LEAP and Silvercrest engine programs, respectively. Set to be completed at the end of 2016, the new production plant will be located near the Hispano-Suiza Polska plant in “Aviation Valley”, a major aviation manufacturing hub in southeast Poland. The plant will cover about 8,000 square meters (86,400 sq ft) and generate over 100 jobs.The new plant will include two production lines: one for Snecma, making low-pressure turbine blades, and the other for Techspace Aero, making low-pressure compressor spools. Safran has operated in Poland since 2001 via Hispano-Suiza, the world’s leading maker of power transmissions for civil and military fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. The company’s local subsidiary, Hispano-Suiza Polska, has over 500 employees at its Sedziszow plant. Safran has a broad customer base in the country, including not only aerospace, but also the defense and security stries, and also calls on more than 30 Polish suppliers. Through these new production lines, Safran will be able to support its customers’ growth driven by new-generation aircraft: the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX and Comac C919 commercial jetliners, powered by the LEAP engine, and the Cessna Citation Longitude and Dassault Aviation Falcon 5X business jets, powered by the Silvercrest.


Concerns surrounding Middle East airspace continue with South Sudanese warning

January 7, 2015 · 133 Views

In July last year the FAA ordered a temporary ban on flights in and out of Tel Aviv after rockets landed close to Ben Gurion Airport, though the EASA did not invoke a total ban. In August, EASA demanded airlines to be cautious when operating in Syrian airspace and the FAA prohibited US airlines from flying in Syrian airspace. It was less than two months ago, on 13th November 2014, that EASA issued a bulletin regarding the increasingly perilous situation in the Sinai Peninsula: “Due to ongoing insurgent activity, operators of civil aircraft should be aware of the risk to flight operations safety in the Northern Sinai Governorate of Egypt deriving from possible use of small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and anti-aircraft fire, including shoulder-fired man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS). The threat is considered to represent a significant risk to aviation overflying this area at or below FL260.” The EASA and FAA have now both issued warnings regarding airspace over southern Sudan.
Clearly closer interest is being paid to impending danger in airspace over volatile territories after the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July last year, so caution is being exercised at various levels. Owing to the potential danger from small arms fire, RPGs, MANPADS and anti-aircraft fire, planes are advised to fly at no lower than FL260. “Considering current safety risks in South Sudan airspace, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) recommends all operators to exercise extreme caution if planning to fly into, out of, within or above the affected area and to monitor all relevant information, including NOTAMs. National Aviation Authorities should ensure that operators under their oversight are aware of such information,” EASA indicated in their latest safety bulletin. In referring to the southern Sudan problem in December last year, the FAA gave precise details of incidents where planes had been hit and fatalities incurred. “Aircraft, including civil aircraft, have been attacked during this conflict….. While some attacks have been intentional, command and control deficiencies likely have led both military and rebel forces to fire on civil aircraft by mistake,” they said.