Crash pilot unqualified
REPORT: MECHANIC OPERATED ENGINE CONTROLS Probe says it was unclear who was flying the plane when it crashed.
The plane which crashed at Wonderboom Airport in July, in an accident that claimed two lives and injured at least 20 people, had a crew without the necessary qualifications to fly it, a report has revealed.
First officer was not rated locally to fly the plane. Preliminary Report SACAA investigation
The Convair 340/440 aircraft which crashed at Wonderboom Airport, Pretoria North, in July had an unqualified crew on board, according to the South African Civil Aviation Authority’s (Sacaa’s) preliminary report on the crash. The crash had claimed two lives.
“The purpose of the preliminary report is to give progress within 30 days into the investigation of an accident and therefore this does not mean this is the final report,” said Peter Mashaba, Sacaa’s executive officer for accident investigations.
Mashaba noted the current preliminary report contained two major sections. One was the factual information obtained through the investigation and the second was the preliminary findings of the crash identified during the ongoing investigation.
Sacaa found that the 65-yearold captain, with more than 18 240 hours flying time, had valid Australian air transport, commercial and private licences and he was rated to fly the aircraft.
“However, the validation issued by Sacaa was for Private Pilot Licence under visual flight rules (VFR), which was valid until May 5, 2021,” the report stated.
It went on to say the first officer was not rated to fly the Convair, and was only validated locally to various “single engine landing” aircraft. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, both pilots – Ross Kelly and Douglas Haywood – had flown for Australia’s national airline Qantas “for more than 30 years, including as A380 captains” and had more than 37 000 flying hours between them.
It is unclear as to who was flying the Convair at the time of the accident.
It was supposed to stop in Zambia, Uganda, Sudan, Egypt, Croatia and Austria before arriving in the Netherlands on July 23.
The report found the South African aircraft mechanic who was not part of the crew, according to the aircraft flight manual, and was not rated on the aircraft as a pilot, had been operating the engine controls.
The mechanic died in the crash, while another person was killed on the ground when the plane impacted.
Emergency procedures were not followed when the crew were informed of the left engine fire, and the engine fire extinguishing system had not been activated.
The entire procedure was recorded on a GoPro camera inside the cockpit. Mashaba said the investigation was ongoing.
FLASHBACK. Emergency services workers at the scene of a plane crash at Wonderboom Airport on July 10. One person in the plane and one of the ground died and at least 20 people reportedly injured in the crash.
WONDERBOOM ACCIDENT. Emergency services workers at the scene of the plane crash at Wonderboom Airport earlier this year. Two people died on the scene and at least 20 people were reportedly injured.