Early on July 24, a passenger plane operated by Air Algerie disappeared off the radar somewhere over Mali in West Africa. Reports then came in that wreckage of the plane was found in the town of Tilemsi, which is located in west Mali.
Earlier that same day, aviation officials reported that flight AH5017 had vanished off radar. At the time, they were not sure if the plane had crashed or not. What they did know was that the plane was carrying 116 people.
Air Algerie took to Twitter that afternoon to tell people that they found the missing passenger jet. The airline said that the plane was found around 70 kilometres away from the city of Gao. According to the airline, the wreckage was found by two French military planes that were out looking for it.
Right now, it’s believed that at least 50 French nationals were among the people who were travelling on flight AH5017. The airline is still trying to determine just what happened to make the plane crash. It lost contact with officials around 50 minutes after taking off from Ouagadougou, which is located in Burkina Faso. The flight had been heading towards Algiers in Algeria.
Algerian aviation authorities said that they first lost contact with the plane at 1:55 a.m. GMT. This is the same time that the plane was flying over Gao in Mali. The last time that they heard anything from the plane was when the pilot contacted the control towers in Niger. It was at this point that the pilot asked to change his route. Aviation officials said that this happened at around 1:38 a.m. GMT. Apparently the pilot wanted to change his route because of a storm. Storms were reported in the north part of the country early that morning.
After hearing the news, French President Francois Hollande cancelled his plans to visit some overseas territories. He then said that all of the country’s military means will help locate the aircraft. As stated above, it was eventually French pilots who found the plane.
When speaking on the matter, Hollande said that the French military would search as long as they needed to find the plane. He then said that everything must be done in order to locate it. Without finding the plane, it would be impossible to know for sure what happened and what caused the crash.
So far, no word has been given as to what caused the crash. However, it’s believed that officials are looking over the content in the plane’s black box. This will give them information on what was said in the cabin just before the crash, as well as important details about the plane. This includes how fast the plane was travelling, its altitude and so on.