A Difficult Cabin Announcement

Claim:   Photograph shows a Mandarin Airlines flight taxiing past the charred remains of a crashed airliner.

Status:   True.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2004]

Mandarin Airlines
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for choosing to fly with Mandarin Airlines. As we taxi out to the runway please make yourself comfortable . . . and for those of you sitting on the right side of the plane . . . please ignore our other . . . um . . . airliner."
Origins:   This is a genuine photograph depicting the aftermath of Mandarin Airlines Flight 642 from Bangkok to Hong Kong, which crashed upon landing on 22 August 1999. The plane, an MD-11, encountered a 24-knot crosswind coincident with Typhoon Sam and came down too hard on its right side, causing the No. 3 engine to hit the runway and the right wing to separate from the fuselage. The MD-11 rolled over and slid off the runway upside down, bursting into flame and grinding to a halt on a grassy area adjacent to the runway.

Remarkably, there were only three fatalities among of the 300 passengers and 15 crew members aboard the flight.

The photograph displayed above and several other pictures of the same incident can be viewed at the AirDisaster.com web site.

Last updated:   11 January 2005