Report: FlySAX told pilots to change route before crash


The plane crash site in the Aberdares. The Fly SAX plane, enroute from Kitale to ...
The plane crash site in the Aberdares. The Fly SAX plane, enroute from Kitale to Nairobi, went missing on Tuesday and was discovered on Friday.

In Summary

  • In a press statement on Thursday, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) Director General Gilbert Kibe alluded the key piece of information on the plane crash to this change of route.
  • The Director General added that a conclusive finding on the cause of the crash was yet to be reached at as investigations are still ongoing.
  • Transport CS James Macharia, on the other hand, stated that – according to the preliminary report - the crew was appropriately certified to fly.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that FlySAX airline informed the crew of their ill-fated plane, which crashed in the Aberdares,  to fly to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport forcing them to change their flight path.

In a press statement on Thursday, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) Director General Gilbert Kibe alluded to the key piece of information on the plane crash to this change of route.

“The company, FlySAX, informed the crew to fly to JKIA to drop passengers then head to Wilson, we didn’t know of it until they were airborne,” said Kibe.

Chief Air Accidents Investigator Martyn Lunani, while terming the aircraft as airworthy, said the change of flight request was under investigation.

“We have involved other countries in our investigations, they also have the samples and it will take time. We got to the site and took the relevant evidence, we are even getting evidence from the Met department,” said Lunani.

“This investigation is not to apportion blame or responsibility.”

Director General Kibe added that a conclusive finding on the cause of the crash was yet to be reached as investigations are still ongoing.

“On whether they were told to increase altitude and they did not heed to the request is a matter that is still under investigation,” he said.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, on the other hand, stated that  according to the preliminary report, the crew was appropriately certified to fly.

CS Macharia said contact with the aircraft was lost at 5:02pm while enroute at 11, 200 ft and a speed of 156 knots (289km/h) and the Search and Rescue Mission was activated by the Approach Radar Controller a minute later.

The CS further added that the aircraft “was found to have been destroyed on impact with terrain.”

“All the 10 persons on board suffered fatal injuries and the bodies of the victims were extracted from the debris and recovered the same day,” said the CS.

According to the CS, the Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) did not deploy as the antenna had broken off due to impact.

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Story By Samuel Ramtu
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