ILJUSHIN CRASH KILLS CREW AND SCORES ON GROUND
Information is emerging from Brazzaville that an Iljushin 76 cargo plane, owned by Aero Services, while attempting to land at Brazzaville’s international airport, crashed into a housing estate, killing the crew on board and scores of people on the ground as the plane hit, disintegrated and the wreckage caught fire. The registration of the plane was provisionally given as EK76300 but details when it first entered service were not immediately available nor the number of crew on board though reports from Brazzaville speak of over 30 bodies recovered from the crash site so far. Weather conditions were poor at the time of landing and may have played a major role in the crash, similar to when a B727 of Hewa Bora crashed in Kisangani last year.
The aircraft reportedly came from Pointe Noire. Accidents with Soviet era planes, in particular Antonovs and Iljushins, have been commonplace in particular in Congo DR and the Sudan, mostly attributed to poor maintenance and equally poor and often absent crew training on suitable simulators where they could be prepared how to manage weather conditions and technical incidents. The use of such aged planes has been prohibited in a number of countries already and ICAO is working with civil aviation authorities in Africa to improve safety oversight and enforcement of relevant airworthiness directives and training requirements. Africa presently has the worst aviation safety record in the world, largely due to some countries still letting such stone age planes fly, and this latest accident will only serve to renew international calls to finally ban these flying coffins once and for all from the skies, not only above Africa, but around the globe.