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Yesterday en route to Xiengkouan Province a plane crash killed the Defence Minister of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR, or Laos as we say). Also killed was the Minister in charge of Public Security, and the Governor of Vientiane the province which includes the capital of the country.

Above Xiengkouan Airport Phonsavan. I took the photo from Plain of Jars site #1 and I'm sure I broke about fifty laws in doing so. I don't think any of the Migs on the runway can actually fly, not sure of the aircraft this side of the runway.

I've heard of no mention of foul play, or even speculation of such. The low level conflict that has been ongoing very close to Phonsavan has been quiet to the outside world for quite sometime. Lao aircraft have a pretty bad reputation.


Above from China Daily

It is said that the Security Minister had been leading the crackdown on civil society advocates and others whom the government was displeased with. He was feared.

http://www.nytimes.com/...

I'd think this will have no effect on the Communist government that runs the Lao PDR.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:50:01 AM PDT

  •  interesting n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, BMScott

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

    by River Rover on Sun May 18, 2014 at 11:58:26 AM PDT

  •  i saw that last night (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    it's a hard call whether the plane was taken down, or whether this is just a run of the mill lao aviation accident.

    •  can't imagine anyone having the ability to take it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins

      down unless within govt itself. When influential powerful people die in plane crashes one always wonders.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Sun May 18, 2014 at 01:25:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Laos was just found to be the least anti-Semitic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mookins, ban nock

    of 100 countries surveyed. Not sure why.

    http://global100.adl.org/

    I hope that some day the Lao people may experience freedom and prosperity. It didn't happen under the French, it didn't happen under the monarchy, and it didn't happen under the communists.

  •  The plane on this side of the runway (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, mookins

    Looks like an Antonov AN-26. Based on the picture it's probably not flyable. I zoomed in as much as I could and it looks pretty rough.

    According to Wiki Laos has 25 MiG-21s, none of which are operational.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sun May 18, 2014 at 02:54:04 PM PDT

    •  from memory the aircraft that crashed was a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins

      soviet manufacture one.

      I was using my 18X zoom to look at the Migs, I thought I could see parts of wings missing and stuff, as if they'd been cannibalized. Sometimes they get all huffy about taking photos of military stuff. As if we care what old aircraft they have hanging about.

      I did see a mobile SAM site driving down the highway once in the south, most have been left over from the days when the trail went through there.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Sun May 18, 2014 at 03:13:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was an AN-74 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock

        It's a funny looking little jet. It has a high wing with the engines mounted on top of the wing.

        They call it "Cheburashka" after a cartoon character that had very large ears.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Mon May 19, 2014 at 12:32:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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