Stop Press / Breaking aviation news UPDATE – Hewa Bora B727 crashes on landing in Kisangani



At least 53 occupants of the stricken B 727 which crashed short of the runway while on the final approach into Kisangani airport were reported to have died, while sources from Goma, also Eastern Congo, claim that over 40 passengers appear to have survived the crash. The aged B 727 came down short and available details on the weather conditions at the time of the crash were spoke of ‘heavy weather conditions’. This may have been a factor in the crash but as always other circumstances too will need looking into, leaving the accident’s exact causes to be established by the enquiry which will now go underway by the civil aviation authority in Kinshasa. Hewa Bora has in the recent past suffered two other fatal incidents when 3 years ago a DC 9 crashed in Goma on takeoff following an engine failure. This was some time later followed by the crash of a smaller commuter plane killing all 17 on board. Calls have emerged from sections of the aviation fraternity to close the airline down, as would most likely be the case anywhere else in the world, and ban the owners and their managers from engaging in any aviation business again.

The Congo has failed to implement aviation safety measures as demanded by ICAO and as a result all their airlines are banned from flying into the European Union but continue to fly domestic scheduled and charter flights and also fly to neighbouring countries. Condolences are extended to the families and friends of those who perished in the crash. 

Another aircraft crash in the Congo DR has shaken that country, when reports began to emerge less than an hour ago that a plane belonging to EU banned Hewa Bora Airlines crashed while attempting to land. The aged Boeing 727 carried reportedly some 112 passengers and crew. Information at this stage is still sketchy but a number of passengers seem to have survived the crash and were rushed to local clinics and hospitals. The airport has according to added information received from sources in Goma been closed for operations while and accident investigation is expected to go underway involving staff of the totally discredited Congolese civil aviation body – unable to halt the seemingly never ending series of plane crashes in the country – while Boeing staff are also expected to assist in the unfolding investigation. It could not be ascertained at this time which foreign accident investigation organizations will be invited to join their Congolese counterparts in order to add expertise and experience in unearthing the causes of this lastest crash.

Congo has arguably the worst aviation accident rate in the world and all its airlines have been banned from flying into European airspace over safety concerns. Maintenance and crew training were in the past cited as major causes for crashes in Congo.

Watch this space as more information becomes available.

8 responses to “Stop Press / Breaking aviation news UPDATE – Hewa Bora B727 crashes on landing in Kisangani”

  1. The accident record of Hewa Bora Airways is well known and yet, dozens of people lose their lives in another HBA’s crash.
    It is no secret that HBA operate their aircraft beyond the design limits of the airframe and at the same time, neglect all essential rules of international air transport. Airlines with such a record should not be allowed to transport people. It is a criminal act on one hand by those who operate in this way and on the other hand by those who allow them to operate this way.
    Only one advise: do not fly with Hewa Bora Airways. It may as well be your last journey.

  2. These are grave accusations Mr Geysemans.
    Are you an accident investigator and have you already concluded on the causes of yesterday’s dramatic accident ?

    • I don not point out a cause for the accident, so it definitely does not turn me into an investigator. I simply pointed out in which way some individuals and/or companies conduct air transport.

  3. Right, nonetheless, for the casual reader, “beyond design limits” and “neglect all essential rules” are opinion markers. You knew that.

    In line with your words, you could also add that all flying personnel of this airline have lost interest in their lives and the management is a bunch of assassins by default.
    That is a pretty poor understanding of African reality.

  4. Be my guest, Iavokos. I know Africa better than you could ever imagine and on top of that, I know mister Stavros, ceo of Hewa Bora. I know that limits and rules are not obeyed to and I know that pilots are pushed beyond acceptable limits. Nevertheless, a lot of pilots accept to do so and why they do, we can only guess, especially if they risk their own lives, but they do. Unfortunately, this is African reality and I have a wide understanding of it, definitely contrary to what you imply.

  5. Just to put things in perspective, I enjoyed my first looping above Kisangani airfield in 1954. (Simi Simi at that time)

    In 2011’s DRC context, I am sure you will agree, there is a simple choice, have air traffic with its weaknesses and occasional dramas, or have no traffic at all.

    The authorities and the passengers have made the choice, not HBA.

    If the country had the appropriate bodies and international rules were enforced the only planes remaining in the sky would be UN and a few NGOs.

    • My recommendation now would be you two continue this on email instead on this public forum. Your both contributions were insightful and valuable but as the accident investigation is now going underway, let it unfold and await its outcome, no matter how long it will take.
      And in closing I hope we can all agree that the Congolese civil aviation oversight needs to urgently become fully ICAO compliant as otherwise the reputation of the country’s aviation industry could only get worse, if this is still possible.
      Again gentlemen, thank you for reading my blog.

      • ….it is not possible (the reputation) and many more will die and suffer, but let’s be positive, DRC aviation is statistically safer than crossing Kinshasa’s main avenue after sunset or attending to your field in Kivu.

        Tnx Wolfgang