The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 2, 1994 - 7
fficials say icy wings may have caused commuter plane crash
Los Angeles Times
ROSELAWN, Ind. - Hampered
by ankle-deep mud and volatile pools
of unburned jet fuel, federal aviation
officials yesterday combed through the
flattened remains of American Eagle
Flight 4184, looking at icing as one
fssible factor in the crash that killed
I68 people on board.
Investigators and emergency
teams clad in protective hazardous-
material suits ranged over a mile-wide
stretch of wreckage, its sprawl a clue
that the French-built turbo-prop com-
muter plane may have broken up in
mid-air before plunging into a rain-
raked field of soybean stubble.
Aviation officials had not yet nar-
rowed their probe of the crash - still
considering severe wind shear and
other causes -but the driving rain and
freezing temperatures aloft Monday
raised the possibility of icing of the
wings or fuselage as a factor.
The surface temperature at the crash
site was 42 degrees when the com-
muter flight plunged downward at a
sharp angle, and was well below freez-
ing at 8,000 feet-the altitude at which
it disappeared from air traffic control-
lers' radar at 3:56 p.m. CST Monday.
The ATR-72, a twin-engine craft
used throughout the aviation world,
does not have a known history of
safety problems. But its precursor-- a
smaller version of the same plane -
did, knowledgeable officials said.
"The 42 had a well-known icing
problem. When they built the 72, we
don't know whether they fixed it or
not," an official said.
When temperatures approach freez-
ing levels and humidity is high, ice can
build up on the wings and fuselage of
an aircraft in thicknesses that may be
all but undetectable to the naked eye.
The accumulating ice can distort the
shape of a wing, reducing its ability to
lift, and the added weight can overbur-
den the plane.
Icing, however, was only one of
several factors considered yesterday
by National Transportation Safety
Board investigators. Analysts also were
intrigued by the spread of the plane's
wreckage and reports of severe wind-
storms at about 9,000 feet, where the
plane began its plummet.
Barry Schiff, a veteran airline pilot
who has assisted in major crash inves-
tigations, said a combination of severe
turbulence and the strains put on the
plane by efforts to control the aircraft
could have caused a breakup that scat-
tered the plane over such a wide radius.
NTSB spokesman Ted
Lopatkiewicz said that both of the
plane's "black boxes" had been recov-
ered and sent to Washington for analy-
sis. The flight data recorder provides
information on as many as 40 technical
aspects of the flight.
Lower legislature approves
Russian anti-AIDS policy
MOSCOW (AP) - Russian legis-
lators, trying to safeguard their country
from the threat of AIDS, want to test all
foreigners forthevirus and deport those
who test positive or refuse testing.
The bill sailed through Russia's
usually fractious 450-seat Duma, the
jwer chamber of parliament, with
ly three deputies opposed. It must
still be approved by the upper cham-
ber and by President Boris Yeltsin.
But the bill's strong Russia-first
appeal, which reaches across deep
political divides, makes passage
Many Russians blame the West
for the rise in prostitution, pornogra-
phy and other social ills since the
*llapse of the Soviet Union. Some
even accuse the CIA of creating the
"This is clearly a discriminatory
measure aimed at foreigners," Boris
Mikhailov, a political scientist at the
Russian Institute for USA and Canada,
said yesterday. "The nationalist ten-
dency in the Duma is getting stronger
4 Foreigners said the proposal en-
gers their rights, and warned that
it could threaten tourism. Millions of
foreign citizens, the majority from
former Soviet republics, reside in
Russia. Their numbers could make
the law impossible to enforce.
The first case of AIDS in Russia
was diagnosed in 1987. Until 1990, the
In 1987, the first case
of AIDS was diagnosed
in Russia. Until 1990,
doctors claim the
disease was spread
either by foreigners or
as a result of poor
disease was spread either by foreigners
or as a result of poor medical practices,
Dr. Vadim Pokrovsky, head of the
Russian Center for the Prevention and
Fight against AIDS, told the
Commersant newspaper last Novem-
Since then, however, AIDS has
mostly been spread by homosexuals
and drug addicts, he said.
The proposed measure, which the
Duma passed Friday, would force
foreign tourists, business travelers and
other foreigners to prove they are not
AIDS carriers. Foreigners who refuse
to take the test or are found to be
infected would be deported - al-
though the bill does not address how
such a sweeping plan would be en-
forced or funded.
The bill says that only Russian
state medical institutions may con-
duct the AIDS tests.
Many foreigners might refuse to
take the test because of widespread
reports of poor hygienic conditions at
Russian medical facilities, including
reuse of needles.
Some already bring their own hy-
podermic needles into the country for
use in emergencies, although it is un-
clear if those would be allowed for
A spokesman for the U.S. Em-
bassy had no immediate comment on
The bill was quickly denounced
by AIDS activists and human rights
advocates in Russia.
Shona Schonning, of the Russian
outreach organization AIDS-
Infoshare, said the measure would
serve only to "perpetuate ignorance
about AIDS in Russia."
Some in the Russian medical com-
munity welcomed the measure, how-
"It's not the most effective way to
fight AIDS, but we have to start some-
where," said Galina Perfiliyeva, dean
of the nursing faculty at Moscow's
Sechenov Medical Academy. "Russia
needs to start taking responsibility for
fighting this disease."
According to official government
figures, more than 800 people in Rus-
sia have tested positive for the AIDS
virus, and 105 have died. The World
ber of those testing positive is closer to
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The Michigan Daily is
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No paste-up experience
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Work Study available.
for more information.
ANTED EXPERIENCED people for cof-
WANTED MATURE couple as occasional
backup for handicapped man age 40. Rent
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COZY WINTER HIDEAWAY. Romantic
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HAWAII PLANE TICKET 11/23 - 11127.
Must sell, $850 o.b.o. Call 930-9772.
LOW FARES! London from $369, Paris
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WANTED TWO MINNESOTA Football
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YOUTH FARE: $548. For 4 coupons =
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SHARE TOWNHOUSE with 2 men. Own
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tood & entefai.
FREE FREE hot sauce and salsa taste test-
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U-M BOXING club meets Mon., Thur.,
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sparring. In-shape beginners welcome! Starts
Mon. Nov. 7. Details Justin-213-1935, Eric-
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HERB DAVID GUITAR Studio 302 E.
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