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One-Two-Go crash probe points to wind shear, pilot decision

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One-Two-Go crash probe points to wind shear, pilot decision | The Thaiger

BANGKOK (Nation): The probe into the crash of One-Two-Go flight OG029 points to wind shear and the pilot’s decision to land despite weather warnings as likely causes, the air crash investigation committee has announced.

“The initial finding, which encompasses the weather conditions at the time of the accident, communications between the tower and the crashed plane’s pilot as well as other witnesses points to a single conclusion,” said Chaisawat Kittipornpaiboon, permanent secretary of the Transport Ministry and chairman of the committee.

“However, we can’t confirm this until we get the black box decoding result. So far, there has been no contradictory report from the black box,” he told reporters after a meeting of aviation-related organizations.

The evidence showed the pilot and aircraft were in good condition, he said.

Radio communications between the tower and the pilot of an Orient Thai Airlines MD82 plane that landed four minutes before OG029 showed there was wind shear and the pilot had asked controllers to alert the next plane due to land.

The tower duly informed the OG029 pilot of weather and runway conditions, but it could not bar him from landing as that was his decision, he said.

Analysis of the black box should be completed tomorrow and the committee would reconvene and compare the data with its initial finding.

If the two sources did not contradict, the panel would seek the transport minister’s permission to reveal the official cause of the accident to the public, probably early next month.

Otherwise, experts would be appointed for an in-depth analysis and that would take a while.

Attending the meeting were the Civil Aviation Department, Airports of Thailand Plc, Thai Airways International, Aeronautical Radio of Thailand, Civil Aviation Training Center and Thai Pilots’ Association.

Air Vice-Marshall Vinai Plengvithaya, deputy director of air inspection and vice chairman of the committee, noted that in inspecting an air crash wreckage should be maintained in its original condition. However, in the OG029 case, all evidence had not been collected because the debris was removed to help the injured and clear the runway.

If the black box yielded data at odds with the initial finding, the Air Force will need to go to Phuket and gather more evidence, he said.

“In this investigation, we have applied the ‘3-M concept’: ‘Man’, which is pilot; ‘Material’ or the plane; and ‘Media’ or communications between the tower and pilot. In this case, our focus is inclined to the ‘Media’ factor,” he said.

Vuttichai Singhamanee, director of the Civil Aviation Department’s Flight Safety Standards Bureau, said that from his checks the MD82 aircraft which served OG029 was in good shape, as the pilot did not report any problems prior the accident. The Indonesian captain also met safety requirements, as he had flown only five hours on the fateful day.

To fly a commercial plane, pilots must be free from alcohol for at least eight hours before takeoff and must not fly more than eight hours per day or 110 hours per month or 1,000 hours per year. Pilots aged over 40 must have a medical check-up twice a year.

K. Vuttichai also noted that on the day of the accident, the Venezuelan pilot who landed Orient Thai’s MD82 plane ahead of OG029 informed the tower of the wind shears. “Normally, if the wind speed is beyond 20 knots, the tower must warn pilots. And in this case, the tower did warn the pilot.”

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Tourism

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

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Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | The Thaiger

There was the original Covid-19 outbreak and lockdowns back in April and May in 2020, then again just before Christmas and New Year when the new clusters emerged in Samut Sakhon and the eastern coastal provinces, Patong’s nightlife was quiet enough, almost non-existent.

Now when the restrictions are lifted, Nimz will take you through Phuket’s famous nightlife spot Bangla Road, Patong Beach and Phuket Town. It’s quiet, but there are still clubs open and operating and ready to welcome you.

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Expats

Deceased Phuket expat’s body stuck in hospital due to passport mix-up

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Deceased Phuket expat’s body stuck in hospital due to passport mix-up | The Thaiger

In a nightmarish scenario, a deceased Phuket expat’s body is stuck in a Thai hospital as his step‐daughter claims hospital administrators won’t release the body due to a passport mix‐up.

Gemma Swift, the step‐daughter of 75 year old David Donoghue, who died 2 weeks ago, says she is pleading with embassy staff in Thailand to resolve, what she says, is purely an administrative issue after Donoghue’s passport number at the hospital was from that of an expired one.

Donoghue’s current passport was on file with the British Embassy, but because it did not match what the hospital had, his body has remained at the hospital. Swift says it was something that could easily be corrected and the situation was “horrendous” for the family.

“The British Embassy over in Bangkok, they said that because [the number] was from his current passport, they were unable to change the letter. They have said that they won’t reissue a letter with the passport number that he’s got in the hospital with him.”

She said her family planned to arrange a funeral for him in Thailand, then bring his ashes back to the UK. As he retired to Phuket 15 years ago, her family would then take his ashes back to Thailand, as per his wishes, to scatter them.

However, none of his family members were able to travel to Thailand to be with Donoghue in his final days, as the mandatory 14 day quarantine period upon entering Thailand, would not have allowed them to see him.

“I thought this was a basic human right to be able to give somebody a funeral and I accept that there is always going to be red tape…but please just issue a letter and let us bring him home.”

She said before Covid-19, family members travelled often to Phuket to visit Donoghue, who once worked for the Thai tourist police. She says the entire ordeal has been heartbreaking as her family was unable to say goodbye.

“That on its own was heart breaking, and now to get this two weeks later, to find out we can’t give him a funeral, or get his ashes back, it’s just horrendous.”

“It’s like being on autopilot… once we know we have done everything we can, we can start the grieving process, but at the minute we can’t.”

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said they are assisting Donoghue’s family during the difficult time.

“Our staff are in contact with the local hospital and funeral director to help his family obtain the necessary paperwork to ensure his body is treated in line with their wishes.”

If the situation isn’t fixed, Donoghue’s body will join a mass cremation at the hospital.

SOURCE: BBC News

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

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Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | The Thaiger

In today’s Thailand News Today…. The island of Phuket has a firm plan to get its residents vaccinated leading up to an October opening for tourists, the Thai PM backs up his police over last Sunday’s protest violence and Thai Airway’s employee union criticises the changes to employee contracts.

But the plan must be approved by the national government by April, if the province wants to open tourism by October 1. Phuket has a resident population of around 300- 400,000 people.

Before you go rushing off to book your plane tickets we’d stress that this is another in a long list of proposals that have not come to fruition and we’d urge patience until the Government approves the plans.

Meanwhile the island has taken delivery of 4,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccinations started yesterday, with priority given to 1,500 healthcare workers and 500 “at-risk” officials exposed to Covid-19 patients.

On a broader note… Thailand’s Tourism Minister says he has asked the Public Health Ministry to approve a vaccine passport scheme aimed at reviving Thailand’s devastated tourism sector. According to the Minister, the government is looking to the World Health Organisation to issue a statement on vaccine passports before it makes a final decision on the matter.

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha has defended police action against protesters taking part in Sunday’s anti-government rally in Bangkok. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Bureau used tear gas, a water cannon and rubber bullets in an effort to drive protesters back from the PM’s residence. The PM insists the actions were in line with international standards. He says that police did not violate the protesters’ rights.

Thai researchers are claiming that horseshoe bats are not responsible for transmitting the Covid virus to humans. A researcher with the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases-Health Science Centre, says that even though the bats have tested positive for a coronavirus, it is not the strain that is transmissible to humans, and it’s certainly not the virus that causes Covid-19.

As Thai Airways tries to sell new contracts and conditions to its remaining workforce, the labour union of the national carrier is challenging changes to the employment contracts, where Thai Airways employees are being asked to agree to changes as part of the bigger financial rehabilitation program.

But a union representative says the new contracts are unfair because it includes fewer leave days and shorter holidays. The union has filed a complaint with the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare.

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