Sunday, September 02, 2018

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, 5Y-CAC: Fatal accident occurred June 05, 2018 in Njabini, Kenya

Captain Barbara Kamau and First Officer Jean Mureithi were killed in the plane crash. 

The eight passengers were Karaba Sailah Waweru Muiga, Pinuertorn Ronald, Matakasakaraia Thamani, Wafula Robinson, Ahmed Ali Abdi, Matakatekei Paula, Ngugi George Kinyua and Khetia Kishani.

NTSB Identification: WPR18WA165
14 CFR Non-U.S., Commercial
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 05, 2018 in Njabini, Kenya
Aircraft: CESSNA 208, registration:
Injuries: 10 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On June 5, 2018, about 1705 local time, a Cessna 208, 5Y-CAC, collided into a mountain in the Aberdare mountain range near Njabini, Kenya. The 2 pilots and 8 passengers were fatally injured; the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was owned and operated by East African Safari Air Express. The flight was operated under the pertinent civil regulations of the government of Kenya. The flight departed Kitale Airport, Njabini, Kenya about 1605 local time with a planned destination of Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Kenya.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of Kenya. This report is for information purposes only and contains only information released by the Government of Kenya. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

The Chief Investigator of Air Accidents, Kenya
Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure
P.O. Box 52692-00200
Tel.: +254 770 111 333 or +254 722 778 773
Fax: 254 2 822195

The two pilots who were killed in the plane crash that occurred in the Aberdares will be buried this weekend.

A death announcement in a local daily said Capt. Barbara Wangechi Kamau and First Officer Jean Mureithi will be laid to rest on June 14 and June 15 respectively.

The cortege will leave Montezuma Funeral Home on Thursday for the funeral service of Capt. Kamau at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Nairobi.

She will then be buried at Karura Kanyungu in Kiambu County.

Capt. Kamau was an alumnus of the United States International University-Africa (USIU).

The route that the ill-fated Fly SAX plane took has raised eyebrows within several quarters.

Normally, the Kitale-Nairobi route should take an hour.

Aircraft flying the area normally pass over Eldoret through to Njoro in Nakuru, followed by Naivasha through to Ngong Hills.

It is at this point that all aircrafts approaching Nairobi from Western Kenya get clearance to land.

They can either land at Wilson Airport in Langata or the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Embakasi.

According to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), though a plane may be diverted to land at JKIA instead of Wilson Airport, it does not mean the route will change.

This raises queries as to how the Fly Sax plane found its way into the Aberdare ranges.

The usual route preferred by most pilots is a safe corridor between the Mau Forest and the Aberdares.

It allows easy maneuver at 11000 feet above sea level, which is the the altitude that the ill-fated plane is said to have been.

The plane apparently detoured just after Nakuru into the Aberdare Forest, a route which is far off from the Nairobi-Kitale one.

This change of path only happens if there are obstacles along the way such as poor weather conditions.

Pilots are expected to return to the normal route as soon as the situation is resolved. Pundits claim that pilots should have knowledge of a route before taking off.

KCAA has since confirmed that the last contact with the flight was at 5:02pm when they were seeking clearance to start descending in readiness for landing.

Experienced pilots however estimate that the plane instruments used to guide an airplane to a destination may have failed.

This means that the pilots were unable to tell where they were and the direction they were heading to.

Another theory is that the pilots may have been diverted to an un-familiar route.

It is suspected that the flight might have been at a high speed unable to gain height to overcome Aberdare Hills.

The pilots may however have gotten lost just after Nakuru unaware of their location given the bad weather.

KCAA Director General Gilbert Kibe in a statement said that investigations will focus on retrieving the wreckage of the plane to determine what may have happened.

According to engineers, Cessna planes ordinarily have no blackbox that would give leads as to what may have caused the crash.

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