back to article Google Earth unearths crashed Darfur gunrunning plane

A crashed Antonov transport plane at the centre of US and UN allegations of gunrunning into war-torn Darfur is visible on Google Earth. The US State department yesterday announced specific measures against a Sudanese air-freight operation, the Azza Air Transport Company. The Sudanese air-cargo firm was "sanctioned under …


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  1. Andrew Sweet


    The UN photo shows the left wing grounded and the right wing up in the air. The red circled plane has its right wing grounded whereas the black circled plane has its left wing grounded. Does this not suggest the black circled one is the more likely of the two to be a match?

  2. Tim Williams

    Perhaps not...

    If you look at which wing is damaged, it appears to be the left. Of the two planes in the google image, it is the red one with left wing damage. The other appears to be missing most of it's right wing.

  3. James Owen

    2 or 4 Engines?

    Count the number of engines on the planes. The ones one GE are clearly only twin engines, so the plane in the UN photo must be at a different location

  4. rikki

    not so much

    the black circled seems to have the right wing damaged. whereas the red circled and UN photo both have the left damaged

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    According to various sources (including Wikipedia, which is fab for this sort of trivia), an AN-12 is ~33m long.

    Using Google Earth's ruler, the top (circled in red) is ~30m long, and the bottom (in black) ~20m, so I'd go with the top one.

    Mind, it's also possible that the plane in question isn't in this picture...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's very possible one of the photographs got reversed during printing and reproduction.

  7. Tim Spence

    Definitely the red one...

    ...the black one doesn't have anything left of it's rear wings, on the tail, whereas the one in the witness photo does, as does the red one on Google Earth.

  8. Steve

    Old pictures

    According to Google Earth's 'coverage' layer, the newest photos of that area are from mid-2006. Assuming that data is kept current anyway...

  9. Martin Gregorie

    Look at the damage

    The black ringed aircraft can't be the one in the UN report because it has no tail surfaces. At a guess its been dumped some time ago and is being steadily cannibalised for spares, vandalised or both.

    Its possible that the red ringed plane matches the UN photo but its odd that the engines don't show up apart from a black spot where each outer engine should be. I'd say there's a good change it too is a junker and has had its engines removed. The black spots could just about be the scaffolding used to take the engines off and left when the job was done.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Hardly surprising. Look to the lower right of the photo. Yup, black helicopters. Anything else you see is, therefore, your own problem.

    Maybe even the black helicopters are fake. Possibly even faked by other, invisible, black helicopters. These may, in turn, have been faked by Flying Saucers (how else did they become invisible stupid?).


  11. Trevor

    The rotor blades on the black helicopters

    Clearly visible are the rotor blades, or their shadows. Thus the planes noted don't have any engine nacelles. Maybe they are parked gliders.

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