News

Aviation safety queried as Mashuuru plane crashes 

Pilot had to look for an open place to make an emergency landing 

By Zipporah Kariuki 

The safety of light aircraft plying Kenyan airspace has once again come into the spotlight after mechanical problems forced a plane to crash-land in Mashuuru on the morning of Thursday, January 16. 

The plane, registration 5Y-CHR, was taking three tourists from Wilson Airport to the Amboseli National Park. It flipped over from the impact upon hitting the ground. It was a lucky escape for the crew as it was only the pilot who escaped with minor head injuries.   

Mashuuru OCPD Mohammed Hillow confirmed the incident and added that occupants of the ill-fated plane were rescued by a helicopter from the same company and the tourists taken to Amboseli. The planes are owned by Yellow Wings Air Services. 

Hillow explained that after the plane developed mechanical problems, the pilot had to look for an open place to make an emergency landing. The plane would have landed smoothly had the place not been muddy as a result of the heavy rains that have been pounding the area.  

The accident took place in Ilmarti Location, a few kilometres from Mashuuru town. 

In the recent past, planes, especially those that operate from Wilson Airport, have been involved in a number of mishaps. In October last year, a plane belonging to Silverstone Air crashed at the Wilson Airport immediately after take-off. It had been taking 50 passengers to Lamu Island. Two Passengers were injured. 

Seventeen days later, yet another plane belonging to Silverstone lost a wheel on take-off from Lodwar. The aircraft made an unscheduled landing at the Eldoret International Airport where it had been diverted.   

At around the same time, a Safarilink aircraft  a Cessna Caravan  veered off the runway. 

A report obtained by the Saturday Nation indicated that there were 28 reported incidents and accidents between January 2018 and October 2019, translating to an incident or accident every month. 

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