Americans mostly get to hear only about their own forces kicking butt and very little about the peacekeeping operations which other countries carry out. I just want to remind Americans that there are many other countries lending a very substantial effort in peacekeeping operations and they deserve gratitude. Spain has had a very active participation in Bosnia, Afghanistan and now Iraq where they have been very effective.
A common criticism of western Air Forces is that airlifting capacity is often neglected in favor of more glamorous combat aircraft. In this instance, perhaps the charter was undertaken because there simply wasn’t a suitable aircraft available in the designated time frame.
The CNN article does not seem to refer to specific design or maintenance problems as a factor in this crash, although many ex-Soviet aircraft have gone down over the past several years for just those reasons. The most likely cause, based on the facts available in the article, appears to be that old show-stopper, controlled flight into terrain.
Elsewhere in the article, I’m wondering if the AN-225 designation for the aircraft used for logistics support is incorrect; I thought only one had ever been built, and I’m not sure if it’s still serviceable. Perhaps the author confused this model with the slightly smaller AN-124 Ruslan, which remains in use with several carriers.
MPSIMS: I occasionally see -124’s on cargo flights climbing out of IAH; talk about “aluminum overcast”. Hope one of those never goes down in Houston; it would certainly plow a long and deep furrow.