TRAINING AIRCRAFT CRASHES BUT BOTH PILOTS ESCAPE WITH MINOR INJURIES
The East African Aviation Academy in Soroti, aka, Flying School, a designated centre of excellence by the East African Community, has returned to the headlines for all the wrong reasons again, when a training aircraft crashed yesterday. The small Cessna plane carried two pilots currently undergoing training to become instructors, both of whom escaped with a shock and minor injuries while the plane itself was described as a ‘total loss’. First reports from a regular aviation source at the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, who asked not to be named for not being the official spokesperson of the CAA, indicate that there may have been a technical problem with the aircraft. A full accident investigation is now going underway with a commission of enquiry being constituted while two inspectors from the CAA offices in Entebbe have been dispatched to Soroti to commence the formal accident investigation.
According to other reports from Soroti the plane crashed just a short distance from a school, and on impact overturned, coming to rest upside down, with the entire engine section torn off the main hull.
The Flying School, as the institution has become fondly known in Uganda, has been in existence since the early days of Uganda and has in recent years been struggling with budget problems, attempted land grab by well connected individuals and a shortage of aircraft and other equipment needed to train students better and restore the erstwhile shine of those years, when many of today’s senior pilots in East Africa actually learned to fly and got their first wings with a PPL from Soroti, before graduating further with a CPL and then going abroad to attain their ATPL’s.
The two injured pilots received initial treatment and where then discharged and will in the morning face questions from both UCAA and school officials as to the exact circumstances of the crash. The aircraft’s maintenance records have according to one source already been packed up and will be handed over to the Civil Aviation Authority investigators who will also examine the wreckage to establish the potential technical issues which may have led to the accident.