Crash pi­lot un­qual­i­fied

RE­PORT: ME­CHANIC OP­ER­ATED EN­GINE CON­TROLS Probe says it was un­clear who was fly­ing the plane when it crashed.

The Citizen (KZN) - - FRONT PAGE - Amanda Wat­son – aman­daw@cit­i­zen.co.za

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.

Pic­ture: Gallo Images

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.

Pic­ture: Gallo Im­age

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.

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