Baracoa, Cuba, October 2010. Photo credit: Wikipedia
While working on a report about aviation safety for CubaNews, I discovered that the AeroCaribbean plane that crashed in central Cuba on Nov. 4 was once flown by Continental Express.
After the AeroCaribbean crash, some people jumped to the conclusion that an old Russian airliner must have gone down. In fact, it was a 15-year-old French-Italian ATR 72 turboprop that Continental Express used in the 1990s, according to registration records at Planespotters.
Continental Express has since gotten rid of its ATR 72s, but American Eagle and Federal Express still have large fleets of the planes - and many of them are as old or older than those that AeroCaribbean flies, Planespotters records show.
For more about the AeroCaribbean plane and expert opinion on aviation safety in Cuba, see the December issue of CubaNews (subscrption only), edited by Larry Luxner.
Below are photos of AeroCaribbean's ATR 72 plane in earlier incarnations.
Philadelphia, November 1997
Tenerife Norte-Los Rodeos, Spain, February 2003
Tenerife Norte-Los Rodeos, Spain, April 2005
Airliners.net also has photos of the Aero Caribbean plane that crashed. Click Here to view a thumbnail, or here for large image.