South Sudan says plane that killed 19 last year was not cleared to fly

Honduras Plane Crush2

JUBA, May 10 (NNN-AGENCIES) — South Sudan said the ill-fated Antonov plane that crashed killing 19 people on board on Sept 9, 2018 in the Yirol area of central Eastern Lakes region did not get flight clearance.

Jalling Deloro Yengkeji, director general of the South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority (SSCAA), said investigations conducted together with technicians from Slav Air found that the accident was due to poor mechanical condition and bad weather.

“The weather was not good and visibility was very poor due to fog at the airport. The crew which crashed was different from those who brought the aircraft to South Sudan and before the crash the aircraft was flown by two pilots from Khartoum brought by South West Aviation and were not inspected,” he told journalists in Juba during release of the report on the crash.

The committee was formed by the government on Sept 11, 2018 after the plane crash.

Yengkeji disclosed that Slav Air leased the aircraft to South West Aviation, a local company in Juba and that the ill-fated aircraft had been issued a one way permit flight from Khartoum to Juba on May 17, 2018. Its insurance coverage was valid.

“A week before the crash the aircraft underwent some power plant maintenance in Pibor due to propeller malfunction, and was not issued a certificate of release for service by (SSCAA) officials,” he said.

He added that the crew did not check the weather brief at meteorological department prior to their departure for Yirol.

“We recovered the black box and sent it to Ukraine and they discovered that the technician did not replace the tape and the reading of the tape of the black box was nil.

It was instead reading the other previous flights flown before from Ukraine to Italy and then Khartoum,” said Yengkeji.

South Sudan in April banned planes spanning 20 years of service from transporting people, limiting them to cargo in a bid to minimize plane accidents. — NNN-AGENCIES


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