Backgrounder: Major Fatal air crashes since 2003 

     Following is a chronology of major air crashes since 2003:

March 6, 2003 An Algerian Boeing 737-200 crashes shortly after takeoff from Tamanrasset airport, killing all but one of the 97 passengers and six crew members on board.
 July 8 A Sudanese airliner bound for Khartoum goes down with the loss of all but one of the 105 passengers and 11 crew members aboard.
Dec. 25  A plane owned by the Guinean-based airline UTA crashes into the sea off the West African country of Benin, killing 139 of the 151 passengers and 10 crew members on board.
Jan. 3, 2004 An Egyptian charter plane belonging to Flash Airlines crashes into the Red Sea, killing at least 148 people.
 Feb. 10 An Iranian passenger plane crashes and bursts into flames near Sharjah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates, killing 43 of the 40 passengers and six crew members on board.
Aug. 24  Two Russian planes departing from a Moscow airport crash within minutes of each other, killing at least 89 people in a terror attack. Explosives were found on both aircraft.
Nov. 30 A Lion Air passenger plane skids off the runway and crashes during heavy rains in central Indonesia, killing at least 31 people and injuring 75, with 47 others missing.
Feb. 3, 2005 An Afghan airliner crashes into a mountain near Kabul, killing all the 104 people on board. The Boeing 737 was operated by Afghanistan's only private airline, Kam Air.
March 16  An An-24 two-engine turboprop aircraft crashes and catches fire while trying to reach an airport near the oil port of Varandei in the Nenets autonomous region on Russia's Pechora Sea, killing 28 of the 53 people on board.
May 26: An An-28 passenger plane crashes in the eastern mountain area of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), killing all the 32 passengers and crew members on board.
Aug. 6 A Tunisian ATR-42 plane crashes into the sea off Palermo in Sicily, Italy, killing 13 of the 39 passengers and crewmembers on board, with three others missing.
Aug. 14 A Cypriot Boeing 737 operated by the private Helios Airways crashes in north Athens, killing all the 121 passengers and crew members on board.
Aug. 17 A jet carrying French tourists crashes in the mountains of western Venezuela, killing all the 160 people on board.
Aug. 24 A Peruvian Boeing 737-200 crashes in the Amazon jungle, killing at least 48 of the 100 people aboard.
Sept. 5 An Indonesian Boeing 737-200 with 117 on board crashes into a residential area in the city of Medan, Indonesia's third-largest city, killing more than 130 people aboard and on the ground.
Oct. 22  A Boeing 737-200 operated by Nigeria's Bellview Airlines crashes on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital, killing 117 people on board.
 Dec. 10  A plane with 103 passengers and seven crew members on board crashes in the southern Nigerian oil city of Port Harcourt, killing 103 people.
 Dec. 24 An Azerbaijani plane with 23 people onboard crashes soon after taking off from Baku, killing all the people aboard the plane.
Jan. 19, 2006      A Slovak An-24 military aircraft, bound from Kosovo to Slovakia with Slovak peacekeeping troops, crashes in east Hungary, killing 42 people aboard. Only one survived.
May 03, 2006  A320-211 of Armavia crashed into the ocean near Sochi (Adler-Sochi Airport Russia) during a missed approach killing 113.
Jul 09, 2006  A310 of Sibir (now S7) at Irkutsk, Russia. Pilot managed to mishandle throttles with one reverser deactivated and a/c crashed into off airport buildings killing 125/203 onboard.
Jul 10, 2006  F-27-200 at Multan Airport Pakistan. Struck power lines on takeoff after experiencing engine problems, killing all 45 occupants.
Aug 22, 2006 TU-154M  of Pulkovo. Spun in 45 kms NW of Donetsk after trying to outclimb a thunderstorm and entering a T-tail deepstall, crashed and killed all 170 occupants.
Aug 27, 2006  CRJ-100ER at Lexington Kentucky. Mistakenly took off on short 3500ft runway in dawn's half-light and crashed killing 49/50 onboard.
Sep 01, 2006 TU-154M of Iran Airtours at Mashad Iran. Blew tires on landing 14L, swerved and caught fire, killing 28/148 onboard
Sep 29, 2006  737-800 of GOL collided with an Embraer Legacy 600 bizjet due to an ATC error, killing all 154 onboard the 737.
Oct 29, 2006  737-200 of ADC airlines crashed on takeoff Abuja killing 97.
Nov 27, 2006 AN-74T-200 Crashed on take-off from runway 29R Tehran-Mehrabad Airport (THR) (Iran) killing 39