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Fri, Aug 19, 2005

Colombian Air Force Plane Makes Emergency Landing

It Was Carrying Passengers From Suspended West Caribbean Airways

It's bad enough that the airline they were flying was grounded in a joint decision by company executives and Colombian authorities. But 180 passengers who were on a military transport offered up in place of their cancelled flight had to make an emergency landing in Bogota Thursday after suffering hydraulic problems affecting the landing gear, according to local reports.

The Colombian Air Force C-130 Hercules was headed from San Andres to Medellin when the problem arose. No one was hurt in the emergency landing at Bogota's El Dorado Airport, but fire trucks and ambulances were standing by just in case.

The passengers were flown by military transport after West Caribbean Airways and the Colombian government jointly grounded the airline's one flightworthy plane -- a Czech LET 410 -- in the wake of the WCA MD-82 crash in Venezuela this week.

As ANN has reported this week, the WCA flight went down on Tuesday, killing all 160 people on board. The 152 passengers were French citizens who had chartered the MD-82 for their vacations in Panama. The French government is assisting in the investigation. Criminal charges may be pending against the airline. A WCA LET-410 went down in March, killing all on board.

FMI: www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/colombia/colombia_airforce.htm

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