Lao Airlines ATR-72 crash/SE Asian Airline safety


hen teaser
Didn't see anything posted about this, the other day Lao Airlines put a damn-near brand new ATR-72-600 into the Mekong River in Laos. Killed everyone on board including nationals of 11 countries. This was the first crash of a -600. It was on approach when it crashed, a storm was in the area and the airport has only non-precision approaches. The crew were all nationals of Laos. All Asian media, and the airline, blame the storm. However a few Western papers and expats flying in the area reported that while rainy, the sky was calm. Someone on another forum pulled up this TAF for the airport and stated the approach had a 900' minimum:
201310151100 TAF VLPS 151100Z 1512/1606 VRB10KT 2000 RA BKN010 SCT050
TEMPO 1600/1603 32010KT 4000 RA SCT013 SCT050
201310150500 TAF VLPS 150500Z 1506/1524 32014 3000 RA BKN015 SCT050
TEMPO 1512/1520 VRB12KT 2000 RA BKN010 SCT050
201310142300 TAF VLPS 142300Z 1500/1518 36004KT 5000 SCT020 SCT050
TEMPO 1511/1518 VRB02KT 2000 BR SCT020 SCT050

Every article is very vauge but it would appear there was no distress call. Unlike with previous crashes, it would appear some journalist has taken notice to the accident rate with new airplanes in this part of the world and has come to the conclusion that maaaaaaaybe pilot training isn't up to snuff over there. Most alarming is the end of the article which states Lao Airlines wasn't subject to audits by Asian authorities.

Interesting read.