The Civil Aviation Authority has concluded that severe weather, negligence, and a mulfunction in the plane’s propeller led to the death of 20 people in Yirol last year when a small aircraft crashed in the lake.
In September 2018, a chartered Let-410 UVP airplane of South West Aviation crashed into Lake Yirol, killing a number of people, including an Anglican Bishop.
The aircraft was carrying 23 people from Juba, to Yirol in September, 2018. Only four people, including two children, survived the crash.
The committee formed by the President through the Ministry of Transport finally released a report detailing the cause of Yirol plane crash yesterday.
According to the report seen by Eye Radio, the investigators found that the airline company did replace a faulty propeller in Pibor without informing the safety department of the changes.
The plane left Juba, and landed in Pibor, Buma State, before proceeding to Yirol in Eastern Lakes.
The report also says pilot incompetency and error in setting the altimeter for Yirol airstrip was also to blame for the accident.
“Two flights preceded this same flight and they came back with their passengers, but this captain decided to move around searching for the runway. Number 2, the incompetence of the pilot and error in setting the altimeter for Yirol airstrip before the crash, caused variations in altitude [by] flying at false altitude -below the actual flight level,” Jalling Delero, the lead investigator told the press.
“And also the replacement of a faulty propeller in Pibor and not informing the safety department of the changes and not being given the release document for operations.”
In 2015, a Russian-built cargo plane crashed at the bank of river Nile in Juba -shortly after taking off from Juba International Airport, killing dozens of people on board.
The Antonov-12 B turboprop plane crashed in a farming area, about a half-mile from the runway. More than 40 people died, with a 14-month-old girl surviving the incident. The baby was later adopted by the First Lady, Madam Ayen Mayardit.
Then in March 2017, another plane travelling from Juba to Wau, in the north-west of the country, crashed with at least 40 people on board. None of the passengers were killed but several were taken to hospital with serious injuries.
The report recommended that, for the safety of passengers in the country and in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization Annex 6, item 188.8.131.52, outdated black boxes should be discontinued, and digital or modern black boxes must be installed in the planes.
It directed the South Sudan civil Aviation Authority to provide the airstrips with fire trucks and extinguishers.
“Any aircraft above 5700 kg must be installed with the black box, the modern one not the conventional one. So local airstrip administrators must clear the runway for any foreign air jet obstacles, potholes, human, animals and anything crossing the airstrip perimeter illegally,” Mr. Delero added.
To succesful do these things; the investigators recommended that the government hires an international aviation firm to help inspect safety, and viability of all aircraft licensed to fly in South Sudan.
“We need the services of expert to determine the air-worthiness of the aircraft because most of the plane here are not airworthy”.
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