TANAPA Cessna crashes in Mpanda


An unexplained dive soon after takeoff from the Mpanda airfield in Tanzania’s Katavi region led to the loss of a Cessna 182 aircraft, owned and operated by Tanzania National Parks, bearing registration 5H FZS. The aircraft, sponsored by the Frankfurt Zoological Society, hence the registration FZS, is considered a total loss as it broke apart on impact but the pilot of the plane reportedly survived the crash landing with only minor injuries. TANAPA uses light aircraft for aerial surveillance, game counts, supporting anti poaching operations but also to ferry senior staff in and out of the parks, when time is of essence.

Sketchy reports from a source in Arusha indicate that the plane may have suffered an engine failure and the unfolding air accident investigation now underway by the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority is expected to take statements from eye witnesses and the pilot while also examining forensic evidence from the wreckage before determining the cause of the accident. It is also expected that all maintenance records of the plane will be seized by TCAA’s accident investigation panel to ascertain if maintenance procedures and intervals were followed as required.

The local reporting in Tanzania also caused some intense amusement amongst the aviation fraternity as one reporter named the aircraft as a jet, clearly not having a clue of aircraft types and making a mess out of the situation.

Watch this space for breaking and regular news from East Africa’s aviation scene.