Air France A340 on fire on Toronto

An Air France A340 skidded off the runway today in Toronto and is on fire at the end of the runway. It looks like all the passengers and crew (309 people) were evacuated safely which is good news. This is the first A340 accident since they started flying, which is also good news. Well trained cabin crew, plentiful evacuation slides and a good airframe must have all contributed to their eventual good fortune.

The predictable / bad news comes from the American cable and news services that were falling over themselves to introduce the "T" word into the news reports as quickly as possible, even if they said "terrorism hasn't been ruled out". These media services are getting totally out of control. Rather than look at the facts available at the time, anything even slightly out of the ordinary now gets blamed on terrorism, or at least has terrorism mentioned in conjunction with it, instantly. You can all thank B*sh and his deep-rooted need to keep Americans scared of everything for that.

The facts that we know : the airport was basically closed because of torrential rain and frequent lightning strikes. The A340 is off the end of the runway on fire at an angle, so he skidded. Best guess : noise abatement probably had him landing without reverse thrust, so using wheel brakes to slow down. Runway was flooded, wheels locked, not enough time to engage reverse thrust, skidded off runway.

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