Another Antonov 26 crash in South Sudan raises serious questions

(Posted 08th February 2022)

South Sudan has yet to lament another Antonov 26 crash, thankfully not leading to any loss of life.

A South Sudanese air force A26, on landing, touched the ground with the left hand side wing which, was torn off the hull of the aircraft.

(Pictures from social media posts by Agok Abraham Jongroor

The aircraft, registered as SP-402, was reportedly hitting a pothole on the runway, causing it shortly after touchdown to tilt, leading to the accident. The 5 crew and 7 passengers were reportedly safe and disembarked from the aircraft after it came to a standstill at the end of the runway.

The flight was due to deliver exam papers from the South Sudanes capital of Juba to Agok.

Authorities in South Sudan had in the past repeatedly directed – or tried to direct – that such aircraft be taken out of service but it seems that this did not apply to the air force which apparently continues to operate such aged planes.

South Sudan is one of the countries with the worst aviation safety record in Africa and operating Soviet Union era aircraft is seen as a major reason why this is so.

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