Air Algerie Flight 5017 Plane Crash, Chinese Netizen Reactions

Air Algerie passenger plane in flight.

Air Algerie passenger plane in flight.

Currently the second most popular microblog post on Chinese social network Sina Weibo…

From Sina Weibo:

@央视新闻: #Air Algérie Passenger Plane Crash# Passenger Plane That Algerian Air Traffic Controllers Lost Contact With Confirmed to Have Crashed — Today, contact was lost with an Air Algérie MD-83 passenger plane operated by Spain’s Swift Air 50 minutes after take-off and it has been confirmed to have crashed in Niamey, the capital of Niger. The plane was carrying 110 passengers, and 6 flight crew. (CCTV reporter Ge Ziyi)

Comments from Sina Weibo:


Next month I’ll be taking Malaysia Airlines back home, wish me luck!


[泪] Requesting good luck wishes. On the 30th, I’ll be flying from Shanghai to Kunming, and it’ll be my first time flying. Requesting best wishes. [得意地笑]


Please bless that my flight to Australia tomorrow to be smooth and problem-free. Requesting upvotes and best wishes. [飞机]


Tomorrow I’m taking the [Malaysia Airlines] MH113 flight back home. It’s the same flight path as the one that went missing, the one to Beijing. I simply refuse to believe [it’ll happen again, I’ll be so unlucky]. Everyone wish me lucky.


August 26th, Seoul, Korea nonstop to Urumqi, Xinjiang. I hope everyone will wish me luck.


I think all these air disasters are not merely coincidence. Why did they lose contact? Can the planet continue enduring [what humans are doing to it]? Perhaps experts already know what the relevant reasons are. Perhaps the earths’ magnetic field has been damaged.


These pilots [in all these recent cases] are all summer workers [similar to “temporary workers“], right?


Every since Qvod has been shut down, there are more and more people “hitting planes” [an intentional pun of the common euphemism for male masturbation].


This year really is the unlucky year for the airline industry. If one day I am to take a plane to come find you, you must believe this is true love that transcends life and death!


Too are too many people “hitting planes”.

The story is also currently the top trending topic and #hashtag# on the popular microblogging platform.

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Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • JabroniZamboni

    2 words: MONORAIL.

    • Alex Dương

      Hope you don’t have a layover in North Haverbrook.

      • JabroniZamboni


      • Probotector

        There he is! Seat E, isle 37!

    • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

      Mono -D’oh!

  • YourSupremeCommander

    Final Destination

    • Mighty曹

      Damn Bro, put your helmet back on!

  • Mighty曹

    Yesterday, a crash in Taiwan and now this. What a grim reminder.

    • YourSupremeCommander

      Dont forget the 2 fighter jets from yesterday.

      • Mighty曹

        And the other fighter jet and 2 transport planes from a few weeks ago.

        • David

          Yes, but those were shot down during a military conflict, you take your chances then.

          • Mighty曹

            We were counting the overall number of downed aircraft regardless of cause.

  • krak

    I swear I just read an article this afternoon that said they only lost contact for an hour or two and the plane was safe…

  • Markoff

    domestic african flights are as dangerous as possible, is there continent with worse air accidents statistics?

    so in the end:
    1. MH shot down by terrorists – not really fault of air industry, except saving money by choosing shorter more dangerous route

    2. Taiwanese – small local company with bad airplane flying in bad conditions, not so sure about safety, thought Taiwan is quite developed country

    3. Algerie Air – small local company with bad airplane flying in bad
    conditions, expected in Africa, same as you should be always prepared that your ferry in Indonesia/Philippines will sink and know where are emergency exits and stay nearby thm

    • Rick in China

      Absolutely true. Many public flights in Africa are typically prop planes which are not particularly well looked after. People cram onto old seats, planes squeak in ways they shouldn’t, and many routes allow people to bring all sorts of shit in carry-on. Terrible, yet interesting and amusing, experience :D You can also fly relatively cheap on private flights, though, cessnas and the like..which you occasionally have to do if you’re travelling to remote areas where airports are literally well-worn strips of grass with animals roaming freely across it.

      • I agree those prop planes are dodgy…question is,what is a developed nation like Taiwan’s excuse, as far as I have seen even China does not use those planes?

        • Rick in China

          Well – actually – I don’t think this plane was necessarily dodgy or shitty, it’s a turboprop, and for a lot of short-distance flights to islands prop planes are selected for various reasons.. I didn’t read enough about this incident’s investigation or details to really comment further :D but just cuz it’s got props, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have uses….

          The prop planes I was referring to in Africa that I’ve been on, are *ancient rustbucket squeeky shitboxes of death* :P looks like this one in Taiwan was just over a decade old – Canada Airilnes has lots of planes which still has ashtrays (and prop planes in service) for example!

          • A braver man than me to get on one of those antiquated hulking beasts…surprised the MD’s are still going, those engines at the back freak me out! It surprises me to hear that a prosperous country like Canada still uses old planes also. Thanks for the reply.

          • Teacher in China

            There are a lot of surprising things about Air Canada…. I hate flying with that company….

          • Foreign Devil

            I fly Air Canada all the time since they offer direct flights to China. No complaints so far. . Actually my biggest complaint is with Shanghai airport which regularily delays my flights back home by 2 hours. . because most of their airspace is reserved for military. . Of course always the reason is “control tower delay”.

          • Foreign Devil

            Canada flies to lot’s of remote locations. . just a handful of people. . not requiring a jet plane.

          • Kai
        • mr.wiener

          The total population of the Penghu archipelago is about 100,000 people. It isn’t economical to run a jet service out to there.
          Turbo-prop airplanes are run for short hop services in many developed countries. The issue here was making the trip on the heels of the departing typhoon….someone f*cked up.

        • changchunlaowai

          You haven’t been to smaller airports then. I recently flew on a turbo-prop aircraft from Guiyang to Bilo (Guizhou). Most Australian minesite workers fly to work on similar aircraft. It’s nothing to do with the type of plane, rather the maintenance and operation of them.

      • Dr Sun

        As usual Rick your wrong on everything

        1.It was a relatively modern commercial jet liner (still in use by domestic airlines in the west) not a prop plane

        2. Algeria Air flight 5017 is a international flight, not a crop dusting domestic twin winged WW1 ex fighter- bomber being help together by duct-tape to move tourists from one safari site to another.

        • I don’t see anywhere in his comment where he referred to Air Algérie Flight 5017 as a prop plane. I believe his words were “Many public flights in Africa”.

          • Dr Sun

            “Many public flights in Africa are typically prop planes”

            clear inferrence it was a prop plane, otherwise why say it ?

            then his next

            ” it’s a turboprop”

            Which it wasnt

            Pratt & Whitney JT8D is a turbofan jet engine

          • Because he was responding to Markoff’s comment:

            small local company with bad airplane flying in bad conditions, expected in Africa, same as you should be always prepared that your ferry in Indonesia/Philippines will sink and know where are emergency exits and stay nearby thm

            The subject was airplane safety in Africa.

          • Dr Sun

            I’m sorry Matt but the md83 has a good safety record as do air algeria



          • Once again, the subject was general airplane safety in Africa. If you wish to object to implicating the Air Algérie Flight 5017 incident with the topic of mediocre African flight safety standards, you should take your consternation to Markoff, who made the connection in the first place.

            His comment blamed the Air Algérie Flight 5017 incident on mediocre African flight safety standards. Rick’s comment was merely expanding on that topic.

          • Dr Sun

            As said Algerian air is a international air carrier and does not have a poor safety record , neither does the Aircraft in question.

          • As said, tell that to Markoff…

          • Dr Sun

            I believe I have, didn’t realise markoff had retained you as his his defense lawyer, but it seems you are so maybe you can kik/wechat him so he can reply in person

          • I don’t think you understand the situation. Your comment was to Rick. What I’m doing is the opposite of defending Markoff; I’m actually pointing out that he’s the one to “blame” for making the connection between Air Algérie and poor African safety standards.

          • Rick in China

            I’m glad you put “blame” in quotes, because I don’t see what the problem is with discussing a related topic in the thread (ie. flight safety, and the unusually high grouping of air incidents all at once this month).. it seems Sun has a framing for the subject and thread which is not closely related to the actual conversation and the direction it has taken..

          • Dr Sun

            I was responding to you, you prick

            “Absolutely true”

            was your opening to markoffs rediculus post in which he cities 3 accidents one in the Ukraine, one in Taiwan and one in africa all as examples of African air safety.

            You then said

            “Many public flights in Africa are typically prop planes which are not particularly well looked after.”

            the Air algeria plane in question is not a prop plane and it has a good safety record.

            That was my point markoff was being stupid and you reinforced and supported him with more stupidity.

            btw you cant follow a conversation, you never even attempted to answer Markoffs question

            The asnwer is:

            * the Confederation of Independent States, which includes Russia and ex-Soviet republics,does worse than Africa in that out of every million planes taking off 8.6 planes become, “unusable as a result of an accident,”according to IATA, which regulates international air transport. Africas rate 4.31.

          • Rick in China

            “Absolutely true” was referencing specifically the topic to which I continued on about – the African air safety issue. Your statistics on air safety are laughable. You realise that since many airline accidents go unreported in Africa, statistics mean nothing, right? Google it. Africa air safety is extremely hazardous in general, and a lot of the smaller planes (often prop planes) which experience problems, do not get recorded as such. You don’t know _shit_ about Africa, Son. Stop pretending you do.

            “Quoting figures from the International Air Transport Association, Alhamdu Haruna, quality control manager at Bristow Helicopters Ltd., said 27,000 accidents and incidents occur yearly. “One of the biggest challenges we face in the aviation industry, especially in Africa is non-reporting of aircraft accidents and incidents,” he said.”

            I did NOT say anything about the Algiers specific flight, nor did I spend much time researching it. I was specifically expanding on “expected in Africa”, I didn’t actually know the details of the Algiers specific flight and was simply commenting on the broad problems of the airline industry in Africa, and the fact that problems there are to be expected. I didn’t think this had to be clarified, because I didn’t expect a douche bag to attempt to pick apart the statements which I suppose I figured made pretty clear sense in context. I forgot you existed.

            I also did not compare Russian and African airline accidents. I don’t know where Russia came up in this? I do know that Africa has terrible airline safety, and that’s all I was saying. It has nothing to do with race, but I find it intriguing you bring that up in this topic, laughable even. I love Africa as a continent – the diversity, the extremely kind people, the deep cultures diverse across tribes, the tough living. It’s all wonderful and requires experiencing. See my photo? That’s me in Tanzania with a Maasai guide. I’ll leave on a positive note, rather than go down further your shit filled rabbit hole, with a GFY, once again.

          • Dr Sun

            “non reported accidents” are you serious ? really is that really the kind so called data you go on,and the basis of your argument. ! you sir are a complete moron.
            And you seem to know shit about everything

          • Rick in China

            Wonderful punctuation and grammar. It matches the quality of your argument for Africa’s wonderful aviation safety and quality of aircraft – which, of course, is backed up with your _vast_ experience in Africa, I’m sure. Spellcheck your shit, I’m tired of reading your nonsense.

          • Rick in China

            You’re an idiot and can’t follow a conversation.

            As others have pointed out, the subject was airplane safety and part of that was airplane safety in Africa in regards to the *topic*, however, Taiwan’s crash was also brought up. If you look at the actual reply, it was referring to TAIWAN’S FLIGHT being a turbo prop and NOT such a shitty plane as was implied in the original article, and was in response to the question about “what’s Taiwan’s excuse?”. I did not mention the airplane in 5017’s incident whatsoever, what type it was, what type of flight it was, or anything about that….. so once again Su, gfy.

          • Probotector

            Su, gfy

            what does that mean?

          • Rick in China

            should be: Sun, and ‘go fuck yourself’. :D

            It’s semi-exhausting, but also a little addicting, to break down his asinine trollerposts.

    • But wasn’t it spanish run and owned? You are right, taiwan is a developed country…so they got no excuses?!

    • donscarletti

      MH17 was not shot down as a terrorist act. It clearly was shot down by someone who thought they were shooting down something else, it was “caught in the crossfire” so to say. Whether that was by separatists or the Ukranian or even Russian government is still a matter of contention, but whoever did it, nobody is claiming that it was taken down on purpose.

      • Surfeit

        Nail. Head. Hit.

      • Dr Sun

        you mean they just targeted and shot down a commercial airliner on a commercial flight path at 33,000 by accident out of incompetence or stupidity, which ?

        • donscarletti

          You have to remember that a Patriot missile system’s high tech phased array target acquisition radar is able to mis-identify a British Tornado aircraft with a Iraqi Scud missile. How much easier is it for an old Soviet SAM radar to mis-identify a 777 as an Ukrainian military Antenov transport of similar size that flies at a similar speed at a similar altitude.

          Given they’ve already been shooting down Ukrainian transport planes, it’s pretty obvious what they thought they were shooting down. As for commercial flight paths, I really doubt that this went through their heads. This would be the sort of things commissioned officers would handle and I doubt that a lot of those defected. Enlisted grunts would just know how to lock onto a target and shoot the missile.

          • Dr Sun

            I suggest you re-check your assumptions .

          • donscarletti

            Whoever shot it down, the issue is the same.

            Targeting radars are only so good. They try to guess what an object is by its radar signature, by its speed, by its trajectory and by the distortion of the echo as it bounces off various parts of the object, but it is very wrong a lot of the time. It is computerized guesswork which is probably performed by cold war era Soviet computers. Yet it is presented to operators as if it is most probable if not certain.

            According to Soviet radar and Soviet military procedures, Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov should have ordered a nuclear strike upon the United States in September 1983. Earlier that month Korean Air Lines Flight 007 by the same Soviet Air Force believing it to be shooting at who knows what.

            Whether you think it is the Ukrainian government or whoever, then same issue applies. Soviet technology and soviet military doctrine.

          • Dr Sun

            I agree with you it was shot down by a highly experienced and well trained Soviet sam detachment, let by seasoned officers on loan to the rebels.
            The rebels themselves could not even had figured out which is the “on- off switch”

            btw I guess you missed the cell phone exposure and vids of the modern Russian sam unit scarpering back into Russia minus 2 missiles the day after ?

          • donscarletti

            “I agree with you it was shot down by a highly experienced and well
            trained Soviet sam detachment, let by seasoned officers on loan to the

            This is what I am not so sure about.
            I would say that in the military there are two types of knowledge. Technical skills and martial arts.

            Loading, cocking and firing a gun is a technical skill. Even if I don’t know how to do it, I see you do it once and I can too. If nobody else is there, I can read a manual.

            Marksmanship is a martial art. I see you hit a target at 100 meters and it does not influence my ability to do so. I have to judge how to correct for windage, deflection and gravity, how to squeeze the trigger smoothly so as not to change the aim, this requires training, explicit instruction and practice.

            The first type just requires you to know how to do something. This just means you’ve seen it done one or you have read how to do it. In these SAMs it is mostly to do with setting up the gear and using an archaic command interface. You don’t have someone who is either good or bad at setting up and launching SAMs, just those who can figure it out and those who cannot.

            So they would just need a single defector, a low ranked enlisted man who has done it before and that is enough. These are easy to come by in such situations. Otherwise they need a manual or some other way to figure it out.

            Identifying targets and general battlefield tactics is more of a martial art. So a crack SAM team would really shine here. The thing is they shot down a passenger plane, so I suspect that they are not very good at it.

          • Dr Sun

            I find it difficult to believe that this one “enlisted” defector could drive the 3 vehicle sa_11 system out of Russia alone and unnoticed in the first instance, let alone be able to operate or be able to instruct, oversee a untrained militia to operate the complex tracking, guidance and launch systems in the 3 vehicles simultaneously.

            I am interested in this “identifying targets is a martial art” concept of yours. I can only assume that with the number of civilians killed by drone attacks in Pakistan/ Afghanistan and the number of schools, hospitals, UN shelters hit in Gaza over the last weeks, you are saying that the highly trained professional elite army,navy and airforce units of the USAF,ARMY, CIA and the IDF, suck with their martial arts ?

  • Surfeit

    Hmmm… BBC says it was found in Mali.

  • mr.wiener

    Not a good week for flying, but I suppose statistically it’s still the safest way to go.
    Have I learnt anything? …Well this week, a friend of mine died of a seizure in Canada while attending an international Indigenous Peoples Conference. Only 32 years old, an extraordinarily driven , confident and beautiful young woman from the Paiwan people.
    Life is transient folks ,enjoy it, and every now and then stop and think: “How would I want to live this day if it were my last?”
    Goodbye Patagaw, it was a privilege knowing you.

    • BigCAD

      I wondered who Doug was alluding to. Sorry for your loss.

    • whuddyasack

      She seemed like a great person. Sorry for your loss, wiener. RIP.

    • Foreign Devil

      Some First Nations people look very asian. Yeah you are still in more danger driving to the airport than you are flying.

  • Dr Sun

    The interesting thing about this tragic event, is that it took less than 24 hours for the French military to have their “boots on the ground” and the scene secured. In stark contrast a week after the Russians brought down a commercial airliner in Ukraine there are no “boots on the ground” from the UK , Dutch, Australian German, US ,Nato special forces or Rapid deployment Airborne units securing the scene.