Aircraft crash in South Sudan claims the lives of two pilots


(Posted 15th November 2014)

(Picture taken moments after the crash by Ajak Mayol and published via @ajakmayol on Twitter)

A Kenyan registered BAe Hawker Siddley 748 turboprop aircraft, owned by Global Airlift, yesterday crashed on final approach into Panyagor / South Sudan, leaving the two pilots dead and one crew member seriously injured.

The aircraft, manufactured in 1981 under C/N msn 1778 and registered as 5Y-BVQ, was on charter for the Lutheran World Foundation to deliver relief goods loaded in Juba, South Sudan’s capital city, to the area.

The aircraft went through the hands of several owners after first registration in Britain in 1981 and appeared on the Kenyan aircraft registry in January 2008, when 748 Aviation bought it. According to details obtained did the CoA, short for Certificate of Airworthiness, expire in late 2011 for lack of one engine before Global Airlift acquired it in 2014. This is the second fatal crash of a Global Airlift owned Hawker Siddley 748 (5Y-HAJ) in South Sudan this year, the first one having taken place on 17th February at the Rubkona airfield when one of the four occupants was killed in a landing accident while the plane was destroyed beyond repair. Three other crew on board suffered serious injuries at the time.

This latest in a series of accidents of locally and foreign registered planes in South Sudan has raised serious questions on the capacity of the regulators in Juba to carry out sufficient oversight and regularly inspect aircraft operating under their jurisdiction, as far as not only airworthiness and the state of repairs of aircraft is concerned but also about the status of training of crews in regard of their flight simulator training.

Kenya’s aviation regulators too have come under instant scrutiny again as several planes registered with them have crashed inside South Sudan, equally raising questions of how oversight is carried out and how closely the KCAA inspectorate is working with their Southern Sudanese counterparts to ensure that regulations are enforced.

It is understood from an aviation source in Nairobi that a formal air accident investigation has already been instituted by the Kenya civil aviation in collaboration with the South Sudanese authorities.

This is incidentally already the second investigation this year about this very aircraft, which suffered a nonfatal incident in April when carrying out an airworthiness check flight from Wilson Airport and experienced multiple tyre bursts on touchdown.

Condolences are expressed to the families, colleagues and friends of the crew members killed and best wishes for a speedy and full recovery to the loadmaster who was injured in the accident yesterday.

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