MOGADISHU, Somalia – A Kenyan plane crashed into a closed Burohache airstrip in El-Wak, Somalia, authorities said, minutes before its scheduled landing at Mandera airport in northeast Kenya, where he makes regular trips.
Officials said plane number 5Y-GRS DAC Aviation International De Havilland Canada DHC-8-100 took off from Wilson Airport in Nairobi and had 45 passengers on board. The Burohache military airstrip where it landed was closed for renovation.
The 45 passengers on the plane were safely evacuated by the Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] troops occupying sector II of AMISOM in the region of Gedo. It was only 15 km from Mandera where it was to land, officials added.
Those who knew about the incident blamed him for a mechanical problem, but experts added he would investigate. Survivors said they suffered minor injuries after the plane landed at the military camp.
Skyward officials in Nairobi have vowed to issue a statement after receiving more information about the incident. These planes are prone to accidents, but the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority [KCAA] has often tightened the rules to limit such incidents.
The Aviation Herald reports that the plane successfully touched down on the gravel runway at Elwak, but one of the main landing gears collapsed. As a result, the aircraft left the runway and ended up on its side. Passengers can be seen leaving the plane on foot, but the cell is likely to be damped.
The 5Y-GRS is identified by ch-aviation as a 27-year-old Dash 8-100, initially delivered to Tyrolean Airways in 1994. It spent a year with Olympic Aviation from 2003 to 2004, before being transferred to the company of DAC Aviation leasing. East Africa. It is said to be operated by DAC Aviation, presumably on a wet-rental basis, Simple flying.com reported.
Skyward Express was founded in 2013 from the ashes of Skyward International Aviation. Based at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, it operates a fleet of seven aircraft, consisting of one CRJ 100, three Fokker 27s and two DHC Dash 8-300s. The Dash 8-100 is not listed as its own aircraft, as it appears to be crewed leased from DAC Aviation.
Although the company claims to be separate from Skyward International, some would argue that the name transfer was nothing more than a rebranding. Skyward International suffered a loss of reputation following several air crashes, with four of its Fokker 50s destroyed, according to ATDB.aero.
ATDB data shows an F50 crashed in Nairobi with the landing gear not lowering, causing it to land prone. Another crashed near Ultawala after the crew ignored multiple alarms during the take-off roll, killing all four on board.
A third crashed during a forced landing at Aweil-Uwayl, where one of its wings was sheared, while the fourth deviated from the runway in Mogadishu after the landing gear collapsed at landing. The company has been on site over suspected defective planes.