ALPA Grieves Loss of Avient Pilots in Shanghai Crash
Vows Renewed Efforts to Achieve One Level of Safety

December 3, 2009 - ALPA’s president, Capt. Prater, expressed his deepest personal condolences and those of the Association’s 53,000 members to the families and friends of the flight crew members killed and injured in the November 28 crash of an MD-11F freighter in China. All four were former ALPA members who flew for Gemini Air Cargo until that cargo airline ceased operations on Aug. 12, 2008.

Killed were Robert Maynard, Saul Raphael Perez, and Shaun Sheble; William Johnson survived and is reported to be in serious but stable condition.

The MD-11F, operated by Avient Air, crashed at approximately 8:14 local time while taking off from Pudong Airport in Shanghai, China. The airplane was bound for Bishkek for fuel and then on to Germany. Avient is based in the United Kingdom.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sent a team of investigators to assist the government of China in investigating the accident. ALPA will closely monitor the progress of the investigation.

“We extend our heartfelt sympathies to Capt. Johnson, his family, and the loved ones our fallen brothers left behind,” Prater said. “No words can adequately convey nor soothe their loss.

“Though air transportation has become the safest mode of transportation worldwide,” he added, “aviation is not without risk. ALPA has continued to fight for one level of safety to bring safety standards of all-cargo operations up to the level of those of passenger airlines. The Association also has worked ceaselessly with our fellow pilots in more than 100 other nations, through the International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations, to raise international aviation standards. We will continue these efforts until we achieve those goals, no matter how long it takes.”