you fasten the triggers..

This may or may not be significant, but soon after the An-12 exodus from Sharjah, a dodgy An-24RV was seriously damaged in Boosaso, northern Somalia. Interestingly, this aircraft (serial 47309406) had been used by Aero-Service in the DRC and also by UTAGE in West Africa, the firm involved in the Christmas Day 2003 727 crash.

Meanwhile, there are still BGIA movements being reported from Dubai. Interestingly, I recently saw (thanks to Alexandre Avrane at atdb) that BGIA actually started way back in 1996 as a freight broker, well before its activation as an airline in 2000. Which was the period when Richard Chichakli was setting up the Sharjah Airport Free Zone.

Speaking of BGIA, I recently reanalysed the flights in the Viktorfeed database whose destination wasn’t correctly geocoded. There are quite a few; Vfeed tries to match the destination given with an old DAFIF db which has two alternative names for each airfield (the match is the UNION of two SELECTs), but if it doesn’t find the airport, it marks the movement “Location Not Found” or “Unknown – Not Stated” as the case may be. In the first case, it appends whatever it was that was said. In both cases, it assigns a default location, which Soizick decided would be in the Bermuda Triangle.

Non-matches are caused by: nonstandard spellings, misspellings, outdated usages, and flights that give no destination but aren’t blank –   and ZZZ are common, perhaps as a workaround for some computer program at Dubai air traffic control that requires a nonzero destination field. In general, this is just the way when you’re working with data just trawled up out of the wild; you should always validate input, but that’s only a meaningful statement if your input comes from a user who responds to messages.

So, I got the data; for a lot of the movements, it was possible to clean up the destination string and get useful information. But these were the long tail; the great bulk, some 3,157 flights, simply gave no destination, and were operated by BGIA. Here’s the inevitable chart:

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Update: Richard Chichakli has updated his Web site, and he seems to have got rid of the ravings about Nazis, &c. The domain name is now registered in Russia, but the site is still hosted in Toronto, where it always was. This suggests that he’s alive.




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