'Pilot error caused deadly Kenya crash'

2013-03-01 12:26
Kenya Red Cross personnel retrieve bodies in the area of the helicopter wreckage after it crashed in Ngong forest, on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. (Khalil Senosi, AP)

Kenya Red Cross personnel retrieve bodies in the area of the helicopter wreckage after it crashed in Ngong forest, on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. (Khalil Senosi, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - The helicopter crash that last year killed Kenya's Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and five other people was most likely caused by pilot error during bad weather conditions, a commission investigating the accident said on Thursday.

There were no survivors in the June 10 accident that occurred in Ngong, a town on the outskirts of Nairobi. The police helicopter went down soon after take-off from Nairobi's Wilson Airport.

"The probable cause of the accident was a loss of aircraft control in poor visibility," commission president Kalpana Rawal told reporters, reading out a summary of the report.

The commission was set up shortly after the accident, with President Mwai Kibaki vowing to make the findings public.

Commission member Peter Maranga said a "pilot error... may have played a key role in this accident. It is possible the two pilots did not have enough experience to fly in bad weather".

The panel also said it had found "serious deficiencies in the areas of training, safety management and airworthiness" in the Kenyan police's air squadron and said maintenance of the aircraft had been carried out by an "unauthorised" mechanic.

The commission also said it had discovered a large "error" on behalf of Eurocopter - the manufacturer of the crashed aircraft - as a part of the aircraft's system had been replaced with a "prototype" piece a few days before the helicopter was delivered to the Kenyan police.

The commission did not say if the part played any role in the accident.

The aircraft, an AS350 B3e, was built in 2011 and delivered later that year.

Eurocopter, a 100% subsidiary of European aeronautics and defence group EADS, did not immediately comment on the findings.

In its inquiry, the commission recommended a complete overhaul of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority.

Aside from Saitoti, the minister's assistant, two bodyguards and the two pilots died in the crash.

Read more on:    mwai kibaki  |  kenya  |  kenya elections 2013  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Petrol generators from R1399, save up to R350. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

This week only - 30% off books!

Get 30% off when you buy 2 or more books. Many titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

New range of Samsung smartphones!

Samsung Galaxy A3, A5 and Alpha now available at kalahari.com. while stocks last. Shop now!

Buy 3 eBooks & only pay for 2!

The cheapest of the 3 titles will be free. Many more titles to choose from. While stocks last. Shop now!

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are on form and you may like an audience to share your ideas and concepts with. Drama and creativity flavour your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.