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Plane crashes in Uganda: 28 killed since 1970s

By John Tugume

Added 29th January 2020 08:20 PM

The most recent accident happened in the central region, where a helicopter operated by the UPDF crashed, killing two people

Plane crashes in Uganda: 28 killed since 1970s

Experts from Civil Aviation Authority at the accident scene of the Antonov which crashed in Kasanje on January 8, 2005.

The most recent accident happened in the central region, where a helicopter operated by the UPDF crashed, killing two people

At least 28 people have been killed in the 11 plane crashes that have happened in Uganda since the 1970s.

The most recent crash happened in the central region, where a helicopter operated by the Uganda People's Defence Forces got involved in an accident, killing the two crew members.

The two have been identified as Maj. Naome Karungi, an army pilot with about 15 years' flight experience and Lt. Benon Wokalo, a trainee.

Eleven killed in 2009

According to the Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives (B3A), the recorded plane crash in Uganda with the highest number of fatalities claimed 11.

The tragedy occurred when an Ilyushin II-76 plane operated by Aerolift crashed on March 9, 2009.

"Shortly after takeoff at night, while climbing, the aircraft nosedived and crashed into Lake Victoria, 10km south from Entebbe airport. All occupants were killed; among them three Army Officers from Burundi and one Army Officer from Uganda. They were flying to Mogadishu on behalf of the American operator Dynacore," the bureau writes.

Cargo aircraft kills 6

On January 8, 2005, an Antonov AN-12 cargo plane operated by Service Air crashed on its way from Entebbe to Kinshasha. None of the six crew on board survived.

The aircraft was carrying two vehicles, t-shirts and 10 tonnes of beans from Entebbe to Kinshasa, DR Congo.

"Five minutes after takeoff, the crew informed ATC that one of the four engines was on fire. Pilots decided to return to Entebbe but the aircraft crashed in a wooded area, 11km short of the runway," B3A writes on their website,

Crash of Britten-Norman Islander

On October 25, 1998, a Britten-Norman Islander aircraft operated by TanaMana Aviation travelling from Entebbe to Kasese crashed in the mountains.

The aircraft had one crew member and 10 passengers on board. Four people were killed in the accident.

Rwenzori crash claims three

A Cessna 208 Caravan hired by the UN crashed in the Mt Rwenzori area on its way from Goma, DR Congo to Bunia in the same country.

The cargo plane got destroyed on April 28, 2006, and was being operated by King Air Charter.

"The aircraft was performing a special cargo flight from Goma to Bunia on behalf of the United Nations World Food Programme.

"During the flight, the single-engine aircraft hit the east side of Margarita's Peak, in Uganda. Search and Rescue teams found the debris and the dead bodies a few days later," B3A notes.

Aircraft made in 1988 kills 2

A Cessna 406 Caravan flying from Entebbe to Masindi crashed 10 minutes after takeoff, killing two people on board.

According to B3A, the accident happened on September 26, 2007.

"The crew was scheduled to perform a geophysical survey flight for the government of Uganda over Entebbe region. Few seconds after takeoff, the twin-engine aircraft crashed and burst into flames. Both occupants were killed and the aircraft was destroyed," BAAA adds.

Other crashes

Two other crashes were recorded by B3A, which were non-fatal.

On March 19, 2005, a Boeing 707 operated by Cargo Plus Aviation crashed on its way from Addis Ababa through Entebbe to Lomé.

The 1974-made plane had five crew members, who all survived.

"The aircraft was performing a cargo flight from Addis Abeba to Lomé, Togo, with an intermediate fuel stop at Entebbe, Uganda, on behalf of Ethiopian Airlines.

"On final approach to runway 35, the crew decided to make a go-around due to poor visibility. On the second attempt, the aircraft crashed in the Lake Victoria, a few metres offshore. The aircraft was destroyed but all occupants were slightly injured. The crew crossed minimum safe altitude and was approaching beyond glide path," B3A, which was established in Geneva in 1990 for the purpose to deal with all information related to aviation accidentology, reports.

Three other crashes are said to have occurred in Uganda in 1976, 1983 and 2000, where crew members survived.

The Douglas DC-10 which crashed on April 30, 2000, was being operated by DAS Air. The aircraft had been manufactured in 1976

Meanwhile, the September 20, 1983 crash of a Cessna 402 happened less than 10km from Entebbe, shortly after takeoff.

And finally, a De Havilland DHC-4 Caribou operated by the Uganda Police Air Wing crashed on April 28, 1976, during training. The plane had been manufactured in 1965.

What B3A writes about the accident: "The cadet pilot was flying the aircraft from the left-hand seat while the check captain occupied the right-hand seat. There were no passengers. The first circuit involved a simulated hydraulic failure and was completed without incident.

During the second circuit, the starboard engine was intentionally feathered and the aircraft made a landing approach on one engine. Just prior to touchdown a sudden increase in engine power resulted in the aircraft yawing and rolling steeply towards the starboard side.

The aircraft started skidding on its starboard wheel and wingtip. It skidded across the runway and over the adjoining grass strip, towards the aerodrome boundary. Some 220 m further down, the aircraft crossed a drainage ditch and crashed through a barbed-wire fence around the aerodrome perimeter.

The fuselage broke in half during the crash and the wreckage came to a halt approximately 15m beyond the aerodrome perimeter.

The check captain suffered severe back injuries; the cadet pilot sustained no injuries.

Investigations carried out after the accident revealed that the aircraft was operating satisfactorily prior to the accident.

It is concluded that the probable cause of the accident was the application of considerable engine power when the aircraft was in an asymmetric landing configuration and at a speed probably below the single-engine minimum control speed (VMC).

Lack of understanding between the two flight crew as to what each was doing immediately prior to the accident and the student/instructor relationship between the two crew members as well as the prevailing dark night conditions were contributory factors.

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