• No_Ads
World
Mozambique pilot 'intentionally' crashed planePublish Date: Dec 22, 2013
Mozambique pilot 'intentionally' crashed plane
  • mail
  • img
All 33 people onboard the Mozambican Airlines were killed in the crash. PHOTO/AFP
newvision

JOHANNESBURG - A Mozambican Airlines captain had a "clear intention" to crash an airplane that went down in Namibia killing 33 at the end of November, according to a preliminary investigation reported Saturday.

Flight recorders showed flight TM470 went down on November 29 while Captain Herminio dos Santos Fernandes manipulated the Embraer 190's autopilot in a way which "denotes a clear intention" to bring the plane down, said Mozambican Civil Aviation Institute (IACM) head Joao Abreu.

"The reason for all these actions is unknown and the investigation continues," said Abreu.

The plane went down in torrential rains in the swamps of Namibia's Bwabwata National Park on November 29, killing its six crew and 27 passengers.

It was flying from the Mozambican capital Maputo to Luanda in Angola.

Abreu told a news conference that Dos Santos Fernandes locked himself inside the cockpit, ignored warning signals and did not allow his co-pilot back in moments before the Embraer 190 hit the ground.

"During these actions you can hear low and high-intensity alarm signals and repeated beating against the door with demands to come into the cockpit," he was quoted as saying by state news agency AIM.

The altitude was manually changed three times from 38,000 feet to 592 feet -- below ground level -- and the aircraft's speed was also changed manually, according to the preliminary report.

Airbrake parameters showed the spoilers, aerodynamic resistance plates on the wings, were deployed and held in that position until the end of the recordings, which proved the throttle was manually controlled.

"The plane fell with the pilot alert and the reasons which may have given rise to this behaviour are unknown. At the time, the co-pilot had left the cockpit and was absent while everything happened," said Abreu.

The black boxes retrieved from the crash site were analysed at the US National Transport Safety Board in Washington.

Newest plane in fleet

These indicated the aircraft was operating at normal cruising altitude, and had good communications with the control tower in the Botswana capital Gaberone.

The Brazilian-manufactured aircraft was the newest plane in the Mozambican Airlines fleet.

The team of investigators includes experts from Botswana, Angola, Mozambique, Brazil, China, the US and Namibia.

Namibian investigators said earlier this week they had detected "no mechanical malfunction" that could have led to the crash.

Three weeks after the incident forensic experts have identified only seven of the 33 victims.

The passengers were from Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Brazil, France and China.

Dos Santos Fernandes had 9,053 flight hours, of which 1,395 as a captain. His licence was renewed in April 2012 and he underwent a medical exam last September, according to Mozambican Airlines.

The accident is the deadliest for Mozambique since a plane carrying then-president Samora Machel crashed in 1986 in South Africa en route home from an African leaders' summit.

That crash, which claimed at least 34 lives, remains a mystery, but speculation has lingered that it was linked to tensions with the then-apartheid regime in South Africa.

The European Union banned Mozambican Airlines (LAM) and all air carriers certified in Mozambique from flying in its airspace in 2011, citing "significant safety deficiencies".

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Kidnapped Nigeria girls taken to Islamist stronghold
THE Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram were taken to a stronghold of the Islamist group, parents said as the military confirmed that 129 students had been abducted...
Putin warns Ukraine on brink of civil war as Kiev sends army in
Russian leader Vladimir Putin warns that Ukraine is on the verge of civil war, the Kremlin said Wednesday, after the Kiev government sent in troops against pro-Moscow separatists in the east of the country....
Lawyers: Pistorius Did Himself No Favours In The Dock
Oscar Pistorius did himself more harm than good when he took the witness stand, say South African lawyers....
Gunmen shoot Belgian head of Virunga National Park
Unidentified armed men on Tuesday critically wounded the Belgian head of Africa's oldest wildlife reserve, the Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said....
S. Korea ferry with 450 passengers sinks
South Korean coastguard vessels and helicopters pulled passengers off a stricken ferry as it sank off the southern coast with around 450 passengers on board....
South Sudan rebel chief vows to take key oil fields, capital
South Sudan rebel chief vows to attack Juba & target crucial oil fields, warning that the civil war will not end until the country''s president is removed from power....
Is the return of Buganda Properties a sign of good Governance?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter